Living in the South during the summer is not for the faint of heart. While sweet tea and air conditioning can bring much-needed relief, we have to find ways to protect ourselves and our children from the heat, humidity, and pests that can make summer living miserable.
Below are six of my favorite summer-time health and beauty products that make summer break more bearable.
1. Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for the Face
I have never been a huge fan of daily moisturizers with SPF. While I would wear them begrudgingly because I wanted to protect my skin, I always felt they left me feeling oily, no matter which brand I used, and if I was actually going to be out in the sun, it felt pointless to use the SPF moisturizer if I was just going to put more sunscreen on top. Discovering the Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for the Face was a game-changer for me. This sunscreen goes on like a cream, but it feels light and powdery once it is on. This means, in addition to protecting skin from the sun, it also works as an awesome make-up primer, and it’s easy to reapply over makeup without smearing it. Because it is a mineral sunscreen, it does leave that typical white cast, but this cream rubs in quite easily, so that cast isn’t very noticeable, and it’s easy to cover it up with foundation. I now just use a regular moisturizer and layer this on top in the mornings and reapply as necessary throughout the day.
2. Makeup Removing Oil or Balm
I use makeup-removing oils or balms every day to remove my makeup, but in the summer, my whole family uses it to help remove sunscreen build-up at the end of the day. Because sunscreens are usually designed to be waterproof, they can be especially difficult to wash off at the end of the day, especially if you reapplied throughout the day. The sunscreen ends up creating a thick barrier that soap alone can’t penetrate. Makeup removing oil or balm can break up and get under the sunscreen, separating it from your skin and making it easier to wash away. You can use baby or body oil to do the same thing on the rest of your body; just be sure to follow up with a face and/or body wash as well.
3. Lotion with Aloe
While I am a stickler about sunscreen, sunburns still happen, especially for my very Irish-skinned family. When any of us ends up with even a little bit of a burn, I turn to lotion with aloe, either Vaseline with Aloe or Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil with Aloe and Vitamin E, to soothe it. The lotion hydrates the skin while the Aloe and Vitamin E treat sunburn. The Baby Creamy Oil also has the rumored added benefit of helping to repel mosquitos. While there is no scientific evidence that supports the use of this product as a mosquito repellant, there is lots of anecdotal evidence that suggests that it is effective. Since we spend a lot of time outdoors during summer vacations, any product that can heal my skin after a day in the sun and possibly protect me from night-time pests is a product worth having at the ready.
4. Benadryl Topical Products
Unfortunately, mosquitos are far from the only pest we have to worry about in the summer. Like sunburns, bug bites seem inevitable. For years we used calamine lotion to treat itchy bug bites, and while this still works, I have found the Benadryl topical products are much more convenient to use and carry. I am especially fond of the Itch Relief Stick, which can be used to target the bites and doesn’t drip all over the place. Because this is an analgesic, it is important to follow the instructions on the packages and not to overuse the product.
Chafing is yet another summer-time struggle, especially in hot and humid Louisiana. Aquaphor has always been my go-to to prevent and treat chafing. While it can be a bit greasy, I find it is easier to apply and leaves less residue than the deodorant tricks, and my kids are more willing to use it. During the summer, I keep travel-size tubes in my purse and pool bag for on-the-spot prevention and treatment as necessary. Recently, Aquaphor came out with a spray that makes application even easier.
6. Shower Wipes
While there are many ways to prevent many of the summer challenges like sunburns, insect bites, and chaffing, one summer issue that is difficult to prevent, and can only really be masked, is the summer stench. We all know how bad the car can smell when a group of festival-goers piles in after a day in the heat and humidity. Shower Wipes are basically large baby wipes that can be used to freshen up on the go. We always throw some of these in our bag when we head out, but they are especially great after a hike or a sporting event.