How to survive a heatwave in style (and protect your skin too)

How to survive a heatwave in style (and protect your skin too)

I’ve been holding off writing this post because I didn’t think this weather would last. Yet here we are, six weeks into a summer of glorious sunshine (what is rain again?) with little sign of things changing anytime soon.

Sunshine definitely makes me a happy chappy, even though I am quickly running out of summer outfits. I can always buy more clothes (oh, if you insist), but I can’t undo the effects of sun damage – and neither can you. While I love looking stylish in summer more than anyone, I always think of my skin too. Here are my tips for doing both.

Heat doesn’t have to mean shorts and a t shirt

I feel you, it’s hard to feel inspired to put together summer outfits that look and feel good. Shorts and a T shirt may be the go-to, but even on the sunniest of days having bare legs isn’t essential. Look for trousers in lightweight fabrics and avoid any skintight styles – this is not the time for skinny jeans! I love mixing up my summer look with a mixture of floating jumpsuits, flared trousers and maxi dresses. An added bonus of covering your legs? Extra sun protection.

I know when it’s a really sunny day then it is tempting to wear as little as possible, but consider a lightweight jacket. I know the tops of my shoulders are particularly susceptible to sunburn. #smallpersonproblems

Twenty-Something City colourful summer fashion The Shore Leith

Invest in long-lasting products

The last thing any fashionista needs is a sunshine make-up disaster! I personally swear by Primark’s Velvet Finish Foundation (only £6 y’all!) to keep my face looking matte. As well as the incredible price and wide range of shades, this foundation contains SPF 30 which is perfect for the mini heatwave we are having. You could also invest in a fancy setting spray, but I find a spritz of hairspray all over my face works just as well. As for lipstick that won’t budge, even at a BBQ? Try Lipcote. It’s a game changer.

I know a lot of people don’t like the feel of greasy make-up on their pores in the heat, and luckily summer is the best time to rock a natural look. However, even you barefaced babes need to use sunscreen on your face. Most day creams these days contain SPF, as do tinted moisturisers, but make sure to check the packaging before you buy. I use No 7 Protect and Perfect Intense Facial Sun Protection in SPF 50 every day as it contains a powerful anti-aging formula and maximum sun protection, but for those of you who aren’t rocking the Casper the Friendly Ghost look then SPF 30 is fine. Don’t forget to apply to your neck too! Finish with an SPF lip balm (I love Carmex Moisture Plus) and you’re good to go.

Twenty-Something City colourful summer fashion the shore leith

Keep it colourful

OK, this is a predictable tip coming from me, but I am such a fan of embracing aaaaallll the colour and bold prints in summer – the brighter, the better! I used to think bold colours worked best on people with a cracking sun tan, but I think I’m testament to the fact that isn’t true.

For an easy way to wear colour or prints in summer then look for jazzy trousers. These are easy to come across on the High Street and make an instant outfit with a plain t shirt and some sandals. Or you could do the opposite like me, and find a bold patterned top teamed with complementing trousers. Who said summer dressing has to be difficult?!

Invest in hats and sunglasses

In this weather I won’t leave the house without a hat and/or sunglasses to keep the sun out of my face. I hate the feeling of squinting in the sun, plus my sizeable forehead attracts the sun like you wouldn’t believe. Accessories are a really affordable way to update your summer wardrobe. Floppy hats, visors, caps… I’ve bought them all recently for no more than £5 each, like this fabulous purple beach hat.

There are plenty of cheap sunglasses available too, but be sure to check they have a UV sticker, ideally UV 400. Our eyes are up to ten times more sensitive to the sun than our skin, so it’s really important to do your homework here and only buy glasses that will protect you. Thankfully most sunglasses these days do offer UV filtering, so it’s not necessary to splurge hundreds of pounds on designer sun specs. Unless you want to. Then totally do it.

Twenty-Something City colourful summer fashion The Shore Leith

Protect your skin

Now for the serious part, ladies and gents: just because we’re in the UK does NOT mean that you won’t burn. In fact, the most recent statistics show that almost 16,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK. That’s not a statistic I wish to be a part of.

The good thing is, skin cancer is preventable. Make sure you wear suncream every day – your skin doesn’t have to feel hot to get burned. Confused by this whole SPF business? Most people are. Essentially, the SPF is the number of times greater than your own skin’s sun defences the product provides, so SPF 15 is 15 times extra protection, and so on. That’s why really pale people like moi should use a higher number of SPF all the time in summer, even if the sun doesn’t feel at its hottest.

My favourite suncream brand is Hawaiian Tropic as it’s just so moisturising (plus it smells like Pina Colada). They do a shimmering version that I particularly like, even if it makes me feel a bit like a Twilight vampire sparkling in the sunlight. I use my suncream like body lotion in summer – I apply it thoroughly all over as soon as I’m out of the shower. I’ll also carry a bottle of suncream in my bag to top up regularly during the day.

I hope you all make the most of this amazing weather and enjoy plenty of summer adventures. But while you do, please remember to stay protected. You’ll thank me later.

Peace out!



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