Beach holidays common sense
Born in sunny South of France but having lived in London for almost 10 years, I have considerable vitamin D demands. And every summer I long for beach holidays... But while I used to be totally reckless in my early twenties. And sometimes spend the worst hours of the day under unbearable heat. (The idea of sun damages being way too remote compared to the benefits of a summer tan). Now I take a much more cautious approach.
My beach holidays basic rules
First, I don't enjoy so much the heat. And on the contrary, feel much more comfortable lying in the sun in the last hours of the day. I must have grown old and become a bit of a Brit!
Second, as years go by, it is impossible to ignore how bad the sun can be for your health. And honestly I would rather not take any chances.
And finally, if none of the above managed to deter me from being too imprudent, there is the kid situation. If you don't protect yourself, as a mother, you always protect your children. That means avoiding the sun at certain hours, wearing hats, and litres of 50+ sun cream. And eventually, you end up applying all those rules to yourself (for the best).
So now, I only go under the sun before 11 in the morning and always after 4 at least. I try and spend as much time as possible under the shade. I protect myself with a combination of 30+ and 50+ sun oils and always hydrate my skin extensively after I have been exposed.
Beyond common sense, there are a few things that can help ensure you spend successful beach holidays. Things that you buy of course. And who does not like spending money on beauty products?!
My beach holidays essentials
From back to front, left to right
1. At the beach, you always need a good book. Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco, is a beauty of poetry which I would recommend to anyone who has not read it yet.
2. I often carry a notebook while at the beach, or more generally on holidays, to write moments I want to remember, ideas for the blog etc. This one I found in Marby and Elm on Clerkenwell road. Love their selection of stationery which you also buy online at MarbyandElm.
3. Rather than a massive heavy towel, I personally prefer soft fabrics. This beach fabric is unfortunately a rare find being a present from Turkey. But TheBeachPeople have incredibly luxurious sea towels in the same style which I am quite fond of.
4. A beach bag of course! Nowadays beach bags have become a very common holiday accessories from Sophie Anderson (available at Net-a-Porter or cheaper at TheOutnet) to Rae Feather's personalised baskets.
5. A shower oil for very dry skin to hydrate the skin after the sun. La Roche Posay's Lipikar is definitely the best. And you can use that for your kids too, without any restrictions. Available on line for less than £9.
6. 30+ sun protection for your very last moments under the sun. I quite like Uriage's Bariesun sun oil, £15.
7. 50+ sun protection for the worst hours. Would recommend Vichy Ideal Soleil Suncare Oil. Available at Boots at £12.37 (very precisely!).
8. After sun oil. Totally indispensable. My absolute favourite is Polysianes' sublimating oil, the smell is divine and it leaves a nice glitter on a tanned skin (Nuxe has a famous alternative but honestly I can't stand the smell of that oil...). It's available on Amazon at £16.51.
9. Hair protection. Love all the range from Phyto, including their Phytokératine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray, available at John Lewis at £18.50.
10. For those who, like me, need to hide c-section scars etc, a one piece swimsuit. I am quite a fan of Melissa Odabash, Vix and Eres. But honestly this year was not that impressed. And they are generally pretty expensive. So I went for a much cheaper (and rather fun) option from Princesse Tam-Tam. This big open mouth swimsuit is unfortunately no longer available on line but can still be found in shops (lots in France if that's where your holidays are taking you and there is a corner at Selfridges London).
Et voila! Enjoy sunny and healthy holidays!