Summer natural beauty checklist

Get ready for Summer – naturally!

So, you want to wear this year's hot Little White Dress (backless), sling-back wedges and frolic through meadows on smooth and shapely legs as golden as Pippa Middleton's future, do you? Well, girlfriend, thank heavens for our all-natural Summer beauty checklist!

Use sunscreen!

At the risk of sounding like your mother, good sun protection is the most important health and beauty tip you need, and deserves its place right at the top of our beauty checklist.

Nothing will keep you more beautiful, for more years, than regular use of natural sun protection products, daily, regardless of whether the sun is shining or not.

Look for products that protect against UVA and UVB rays. If you can afford the time and the money, get specialist products for face, body and lips, though an all-in-one product is a squillion times better than no sun protection, and remember that it is never too early to start using products with some level of SPF all-year-round.

Photo credit: Nickolai Kashirin

If you want more from your sun protection, look for products that contain moisturisers, anti-ageing properties and colour tints. If you don't like the heavier feel that creams have, try sprays and the new generation of oils.

BigGreenSmile.com offers a wide range of natural sun protection products, from brands including Jason, Lavera and Green People. There's no excuse!

Get that skin glowing

Nothing says 'Help me, I'm overworked, exhausted and under-groomed' like skin so neglected it's gone chalky.

The first signs of sunshine can send us ladies into a head-spin, while we work out whether to do the supermarket  shop, the laundry and clean the loo (natural cleaning products only, of course), or exfoliate and moisturise from top to bottom.

Naturally, for the aspiring A-Listers amongst us, exfoliation beats the supermarket and U-bends any day of the week. For the rest of us mere mortals, it takes the threat of a particularly important Summer party, at which the in-laws / boss / significant Ex will be present, to dig the exfoliation mitt from the back of the cupboard.

But, seriously girls, if you want to look good this Summer – or at the very least, not look bad – exfoliate you must, and joking aside, an exfoliating mitt will be your new best friend.  Think about the months' worth of dead skin that's hanging around and creating that whitewashed, dandruffy feel to arms and legs. Yuk!

My preferred method is in the shower, with a mitt, and a vat of something like  Dead Sea Spa Magik Salt Brushing.  It contains pure Dead Sea salt brush off dead skins cells and to boost circulation, with coconut oil to nourish the skin and Vitamin E to repair and protect. 

If you fancy something a little gentler, try Weleda Birch Body Scrub.  It's a gentle exfoliant, containing natural plant wax pearls and pure plant oils to remove dead skin and moisturise at the same time.

Sort out those legs

Personally, I have only one thing in mind when it comes to baring my legs in summer, and that's roll on Winter. Only a pair of black opaque tights can make my stout legs look shapely, and only standing next to children makes them look long.

But, don't let that put you off. I'm sure that your legs are supermodel-gorgeous, give or take an hour or two of grooming.

After the dark, cold months hidden under tights and trousers, summer legs need exfoliating, moisturising and the application of a lustrous sheen or a light fake tan.
Ok, I'll get straight to the miracle product, which smells of summer holidays - Korres Basil Lemon Body Scrub which combines ground bamboo with jojoba and will prepare your skin for a uniform tan. 

Next, why not try TanOrganic Self Tan oil which has no biscuit odour, and works within 6-8 hours, with exceptional results without looking like you've been Tangoed. 

Do look back!

One flick through Grazia and it's obvious that this year's erogenous zone is the back. Great! That's the zone that first drops off the list when the kids are beating down the bathroom door, right?

Get a friend to help with this one. Better still, your chap, for added Summer friskiness. Failing that, try a long handled brush, and that aforementioned VAT of exfoliator.

The pesky thing with backs is that they can get spotty when you're not looking, and nothing makes a strapless maxi or a backless midi look less glamorous than a sea of purple pimples. Lavera Faces Mint Blemish Stick is the only thing for it – it treats and disguises. A friend or a double-jointed shoulder might be necessary.

For extra large pimples, try wearing a fake moustache. I guarantee no one will notice your spotty back.

Photo credit: J. Chris Vaughan

Footsies on show

The one time we would recommend keeping a badger in your handbag is now. Badger Mini Foot Balm, in its dinky tin, is just the ticket for those moments, idling away on the beach or in the park, when you catch a glimpse of your heels and think 'Hell's bells, when did I swap feet with grandma?'.

Cracked heels are another symptom of Winter months, and a tell-tale sign that somebody needs a pamper. Summer pumps are there for an emergency cover-up, but if you're reading this and not craving a pair of metallic sling-back wedges then you're a bloke. Go on, you know you'll want to.

All is not lost. Try Alva Anti-Callous Balm, a deeply moisturising foot balm to prevent and repair cracked heels and dry feet made with fine sage, thyme and willow bark.  And keep the Badger in your handbag for regular top-ups.

Don't forget hair

Photo credit: Jenny Downing

It's a common misconception that wet and windy months play havoc with hair. They do, but it's the Summer that will ruin your tresses. Sunshine will fade colour and frazzle locks faster than you can say 'make mine a G&T!' .

The best protection is a hat or scarf – or for Parisienne chic go for both. For every inch on your brim add an SPF of five.

If you do find your hair is dehydrated, pamper it with a rich moisturising treatment like A'kin's Ginkgo and Jojoba Intensive Moisturising Vitamin Mask or why not try this amazing multi-tasker, Lucy Bee Fair Trade Coconut Oil which works a treat if you massage some into your hair after washing, and leaving overnight. Wash off the next morning and your hair will feel smooth and silky.

Summer beauty SOS

This is more of a shopping list than a tip. Have these in your beauty bag for typical Summer occurrences: Z Gel, for insect bites, mosquito stings and sunburn; Jason Quit Bugging Me Insect Repellent Spray for keeping the blighters at bay in the first place; Green People After Sun, though we'd prefer you use for added moisturising properties and to avoid getting sunburned; Soil Association-certified all-natural HayMax Hay Fever Treatment because a runny nose and streaming eyes isn't a good look.

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