Summer Holiday Skincare and Self Tan Favourites

summer skincare essentials

Some holiday (or pre-holiday) skincare essentials. The VO5 Hot Oil is a bit of an anomaly because it’s for your hair and not for your face, but it was orange and summery and looked good in my photographs! Hot Oil is one of those beauty products that seems very old fashioned, now, because it’s been around for such a long time, but it’s actually an excellent idea. There are loads of pre-shampoo nourishing oils out there (you pop them on a few hours before washing your hair to give it an extra conditioning session) but they can be really expensive and I’m not sure that many of them are more speedily effective than the VO5 one. The Hot Oil is, as the name suggests, hot. (Or “very warm”, anyway – you don’t want to boil your scalp!) This helps the oils to get to work faster and it means that you only have to leave the oil on for a very short amount of time (one minute) before shampooing it off. It’s a good post-beach treatment, and I like that the oils come in four separate tubes so that you only have to take one small product on holiday. You can find the packs of Hot Oil at here – £4.29.


And from one oil blend to another, this one rather more pricey but something of a summer skincare favourite for me. Decleor’s Solaire Tan Activator Serum is just brilliant if you know that you’re going to be getting lots of sun on your face and want to provide a little bit of extra protection. Often people think that these tan “enhancer” or “activator” products are bad news, promoting the idea of fast tanning or deeper tanning, but they’ve actually been designed (usually) to help the skin boost its own natural sun defences. The idea is that the antioxidants in the serum encourage the skin’s natural ability to deal with UV exposure and therefore tan more evenly. (Read more on antioxidants and their oft-cited benefits here.) There are loads of antioxidant-rich oil blends, but I do love Decleor’s – it’s soothing, nourishing and I’m pretty sure that the carrot oil in there helps to give me an excellent glow! I use a few drops massaged in before my sun protection, and if I’m feeling indulgent I add a drop to my SPF when I reapply, too! You can find Deceor’s Tan Activator Serum at here for £37.55. (RRP £44)

summer skincare essentials

Another serum that I tested out quite extensively earlier in the year; Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate. A Vitamin-C powerhouse, I find this one to be very brightening and it’s great for skin that’s dullish and needs a kick up the proverbial, but it’s also great for crepey, fine-liney skin around the eyes. I wouldn’t apply it too close to the eyes, because it’s quite warm and spicy when it goes on, but see how you get on! I’m erring on the side of caution because I don’t want thousands of people burning their eyes out, but I have tested it a lot with no particular eye trouble to report. You can find this serum  – which is more like a thick, dryish cream than the usual light-textured serum that you’d expect –  for £35 here. It’s usually £49.

sisley fake tan for face review

Other bits and pieces that you see in the pics above; La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Ultra-Light which has been one of my hero SPFs of the year (read more about it here) and two self-tanners for the face. Now you really have to excuse me with the first one, which is by Sisley and insanely expensive. I was in two minds about whether to include it at all, but it is the one that I use most regularly and so, in a way, it would be unfair and also a bit odd not to mention it. Sisley’s Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin Care is the best I’ve tried, but I would stress that there are other beautiful and very lightweight formulas out there for a fraction of the price. You don’t need to spend sixty-odd quid on a face tanner! But I did, and I still love it more than any other one I’ve tried, so it’s in.

But feel free to ignore it completely, because there are nine other options in the video below that I filmed with Caroline Hirons. I am ordering the Clarins one that she mentions, it felt amazing, and I’ve already praised the Elemis gradual face tanner here on A Model Recommends. If you want to splash out on a luxurious-yet-lightweight gel-cream face moisturiser with added self tan then Sisley is just dreamy; if you need to be sensible about things then try the Clarins (here) the Elemis (here) or the James Read (here). Watch the video for a full rundown of our favourite fake tanners (mine are all gradual because I’m a tan-scaredy) and let me know which ones you’d recommend in the comments below. Summer is only just in full-swing, plenty of time for my tan-testing yet!

Caroline’s Channel:

Sorry to start with such a pricey tanner, but I do love it.

Sisley Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Gel: sorry, this IS ridiculous, but I love it.

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanner:

Elemis Gradual Tanner for Face:

and Body:

Clinique Body Tinted Lotion:

Clinique Face Bronzing Gel:

James Read Gradual Tanner for Face:

Vichy Capital Soleil Auto Bronzant:

Dove Gradual Tan Deeper Effect:

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