Although the festive season is traditionally marketed as a winter wonderland holiday period, half the world in the Southern Hemisphere experiences the boiling heat of summer from mid-November through to February. That's why most Summer hemisphere schools/ colleges have their long holiday during Christmas time, because who wouldn't want to spend all summer lazing by the pool or on some tropical beach drinking coconut milk and catching a tan? Of course there are a few essentials that you'll need to survive on a sweltering summer holiday to stay healthy and deal with the weather!
You will need a hat. There is absolutely no question about this. Your skin on your face is very sensitive and much thinner than on the rest of your body, so burning or tanning your face puts you at a more extreme risk for skin cancer than if you were to burn your legs or your back. Your tan will blend up so your face won't look obviously white compared to the rest of your skin. Mom was right, just wear the damn hat.
You'll need a good water bottle that you can fit in your handbag or backpack. Staying hydrated is so important during hot weather and it can really help you feel better after a long day in the sun as well. Opt for a BPA-free plastic bottle (like the one above) or get a nice glass bottle. Make sure the bottle neck is big enough to fit some ice cubes in - no one likes warm drinking water!
A lightweight, good quality pair of sneakers is so important. Rather splurge on something you know will last the whole season and maybe even the next. If you go somewhere special for holiday, like overseas or across the country, you'll likely be doing quite a bit of walking for sightseeing (especially when you get lost). You don't want to be in crappy flip flops or flat sandals the whole day, and as much as it's uncomfortable it's so bad for your feet and back! Opt for a neutral, light pair that can go with any outfit so that your splurge is worth the money.
A swimsuit is an obvious one. Break out of your comfort zone and just wear the bikini or swimsuit you want, confidence (and not giving a shit about what other people think) is hot, no question about it. MIght as well enjoy the heat while on holiday and take a long trip to the beach.
Yes, you really do need sunscreen and no, you shouldn't bring along tanning oil. There is NOTHING on this Earth that will ruin an amazing summer holiday that you planned months in advance like a bad burn. I don't care how dark your skin is or how much you think you 'don't burn, only tan'. Tannning is 'sunburn lite' and it damages your skin irreparably (you don't want to look like chewed-on leather by the time you're 30). Sunscreen is especially important if you have tattoos that you want to keep looking fresh or if you have scars (the skin is thinner and burns easily). Rather get some tanning lotion or get a spray tan to darken up, just keep in mind that the sun's direct rays are NEVER your friend, especially in places like Africa and Australia.
Proper sunglasses are a must, and by proper I mean polarized. Polarized sunnies are the only ones that actually protect your eyes from the harmful sun's rays. Glasses that are tinted darkly (like the cheapies in Topshop and Forever21) are actually worse for you. The dark lenses trick your eyes into thinking that you're in a dark room, so your pupils dilate to accomodate more light - so you're actually allowing more light to penetrate your cornea, causing a lot of damage. Polarized sunnies avoid this problem and you can get ones that aren't too expensive at most good spectacle retailers or pharmacies.
If you're like me who wears foundation/ BB cream in summer to cover uneven skintone/ acne or just to look fab then you'll know the horror when you're out somewhere in public and it's hot and you start feeling your face quite literally melt off. Sweat is inevitable and oily skin in summer is a bitch, but no fear; setting spray is here. Make sure you prime your face well and use non-oily, waterproof primer and foundation/BB cream formulas (look out for the word 'matte' or 'mattifying'), and then when all your makeup is done give your face a good mist of setting spray to lock all your fabulous, hard work in!
Summer sweat often causes oily roots after a long day in the sun, while your ends stay clean. If you're like most women you probably wash your hair every 2-3 days and you'll know that trying to wash hair that's longer than past your shoulders is way too much effort for everyday. Dry shampoo comes in handy when you need to just freshen up your roots. Often dry shampoo is quite visible in darker hair due to it's obvious light colour, but I know Batiste makes 2 great dry shampoos from dark and medium brunette and black hair so that you can't see the dry shampoo! Dry shampoo also gives your hair great volume and leaves a fresh smell. Perfect for those midday touchups on the go as well!
I hope you all have wonderful summer vacations, stay tuned for lots more content to come soon!
Until next time!
-The Traveling Oyster xxx