Well this weekend saw the onset of a bit of a scorcher. Thanks to three extremely lovely ladies (the brains behind my whole hen-do experience), I woke up on a glorious Sunday morning in a glamping-style tipi in a field in Worcestershire surrounded by (fellow hen)-friends and yellow-green, sun-soaked fields.
I’m not sure how long the hot spell will last, or whether there will still be wobbly mirages at the time this goes up, but the slightly wilting heat got me thinking about how to keep cool if you don’t have a tipi full of cushions to lounge in. Ice baths aside, I decided the next best thing was the spritzer.
The thing to remember with spritzing is that it should go hand in hand with moisturising. Strong sunshine has a very drying effect on the skin and spritzing water onto your face can, conversely, make it worse. Although it will have a cooling effect as it evaporates, it will carry away even more of the moisture from your skin as it goes. The best thing to do is top it up straight away, either by reapplying a lightweight moisturiser or SPF lotion, or by using a spritz that contains a moisturiser.
One of my favourite spritzers is from Liz Earle. Their Instant Boost Skin Tonic is available in a 200ml bottle or spritzer and you can also buy a mini 30ml spritzer for just £4.85. It’s such a perfect summer staple and would be great for festival-goers. The formula is gentle, non-drying and lightly moisturising. It also includes organic aloe vera, chamomile and cucumber; ingredients which are both cooling and soothing. The smell is particularly lovely; a light, fresh floral that makes me think of summer meadows. I’ll be down in Devon on the beach over the next week and this will be coming with me. Liz Earle products always seem particularly apt for an English summer break.
Another useful one for the beach or when you’re festival grubby is Avene’s Thermal Water Spray. It isn’t a moisturiser, so you will need to reapply a light moisturiser or SPF lotion to keep your skin fully hydrated, but this water mister contains the Avene Water which, Avene claims on their website, is ‘clinically proven to be naturally soothing, anti-irritating and anti-free radical.‘ I find it’s brilliant when you’ve been swimming in salty water or when your skin is sweaty and/or dirty. Salt water makes my skin feel dry and tight. Spraying a light mist over my face allows me to clean off the salt before I reapply my SPF.
Just recently I’ve also discovered another facial mister from Raw Gaia. I’ve been using their Organic German Blue Chamomile Floral Water as a toner after cleansing and, given the calming properties of chamomile, have found it particularly soothing when my skin is inflamed with rosacea.
They do quite an extensive range of floral waters, with many and varied properties, and I’m keen to try more. The full range includes frankincense, juniper, lavender, neroli, rose otto, witch hazel, geranium and tea tree. The only downside is that they come in glass bottles and, as such, are less portable and not really beach-bag appropriate. But the heavy blue glass looks gorgeous in the bathroom.
Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic, from £4.85 (30ml spritzer) to £12 (200ml spritzer). Available on Liz Earle website and at selected John Lewis stores. Ingredients: Aqua (water), Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, Glycerin, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, Cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, Calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, Anthemis nobilis (chamomile) extract, Humulus lupulus (hops) extract, Panthenol, Allantoin, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Tocopheryl acetate, Parfum (fragrance), Citronellol, Coumarin, Geraniol, Linalool, Sodium hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic acid, Dehydroacetic acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyaminopropyl biguanide.
Avene Thermal Water Spray, from £3.15 (for 50ml) to £6.50 (for 150ml). Available in Boots. Ingredients: Avene thermal spring water (Avene aqua), nitrogen.
Raw Gaia Floral Waters, £10.99 (Witch Hazel, Geranium, German Blue Chamomile, Rose Otto, Lavender, Neroli), £11.49 (Juniper), £14.29 (Frankincense), £14.69 (Tea tree). Available from the Raw Gaia website. Although the ingredients for the German Blue Geranium floral water aren’t listed on the website, floral waters are often produced as a by-product of the process by which essential oils are made.