Summer Safety Essentials That Are Actually Worth Investing In

With Easter under our belt and spring well underway, I think it's fair to say that we're all counting down the days until the summer arrives at this point! While your shopping trips are probably focused on sandals and summer dresses at the moment, it's well worth taking the time to think about your sun safety essentials too. They're an important thing to consider whether you're off to a sunny country or just staying at home; it's easy to assume that just because you're not on a beach that you don't need to worry about sun protection or hydration. But while it might not be a typically warm climate here in the UK, there have been days that have been known to hit temperatures as high as 33 degrees celsius- which is as hot as Hawaii and Florida in the summer! So shop smart and be prepared for some potentially scorching weather in the next few months- here are some essentials to jot down onto your summer shopping list.

Not just for practical reasons (no-one wants to be squinting their way through summer!) sunglasses provide protection against damaging UV rays. Over time UV rays can actually cause cataracts and macular degeneration, which is pretty scary! Oversized sunglasses are most effective, not only do they look ultra glamorous but will protect the delicate under eye area from premature aging too. 

Water Bottle 
It's so easy to become dehydrated on a hot day, it's important to not wait until you're thirsty to have a drink and is recommended that you take sips of water throughout the day. It's easy to do that if you have a water bottle on hand, and is especially important if you're out and about with no easy access to drinking water. I love these fruit infusion bottles as they give a nice natural hint of flavouring, you can pick them up cheaply from places like eBay. In order to stay hydrated on hot days be sure to limit caffeine and alcohol. I've recently purchased a metal, double insulated bottle so doesn't get condensation on the outside and leave your bag wet! It keeps drinks cool for up to an entire day, and the wide mouth makes it easy to get ice cubes into. Lots of brands do them from S'well to Chillys, they're fairly expensive but I've found mine is a good investment. 

Summer Hat 
You know summer has really arrived when the floppy straw hats come out. A sun hat will shade your eyes and face from the sun's UV rays and also protect your scalp from sunburn. A hat will also help to protect your hair, which can easily become frazzled in the sun (if you know you're going to be outside in the summer, use a heat protectant!) I think this one from Asos is really cute, and gives a relaxed festival kind of look to a summer outfit. 

Cover Ups 
On a hot day it might seem like the last thing you want to do is cover up with sleeves. But I'm not talking about throwing on a chunky knitted jumper, a nice lightweight top will help to keep damaging UV rays off your skin without making you too warm. This is especially worth bearing in mind if you have a skin tone that's prone to burning, and tends to burn even with a high SPF. Something like the kimono above will keep the sun off your shoulders (which are particularly prone to burning). Choose lighter coloured clothing, as dark colours will absorb heat and cause you to get too hot. 

I think when most people think about SPF, the first thought that comes to mind is horrible heavy sticky lotion that takes ages to absorb and leaves a white layer on the skin. But sun protection products have come a long way in the last few years, and you can pick up things like mists and sprays that are light on the skin and absorb almost instantly, as well as products that are especially designed for the face. My favourite is the Nivea Protect and Refresh spray which not only provides sun protection, but gives an amazing cooling effect to the skin. Just what you need on roasting hot days! Be sure to also choose a lip balm with SPF too, as lips are susceptible to burning and damage just as much as the rest of the face.

What are your summer essentials?