A touch of sunburn, parched skin and hair, pollution overload on hot city streets? Which beauty products perform best and bring about the fastest recovery, from the damaging effects of summer’s more extreme conditions whether on holiday or at home?
Davines Minu Hair Mask – from a cult brand with curiously appealing basic looks, this is remarkably effective at reversing the dulling and drying effects of sun, sea and chlorinated water on hair. Its key ingredient is extract of Salina capers from Messina, which contain quercetin, a powerful amino acid which acts like band aid on damaged hair. You will get great mileage out of this mask too because it can be used after washing and as a protective treatment when you’re in the sun: comb it through hair before to stop sun bleaching out highlights.
£17.75/250ml, from Liberty London
Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion – one of my favourite facialists, Sarah Chapman, has given this mask super absorption abilities, making it incredibly good at melting into skin and infusing it with vital properties to restore moisture and luminosity after it has been exposed to the elements. Key ingredients are a moisturising complex called Pentavitin which contains the skin-plumping property hyaluronic acid and rosewater, and multi-mineral complex to condition skin. The mask is also wonderfully soothing, especially if you keep it in the Fridge.
£39/4 masks, from Sarah Chapman
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant – still one of the best multi-tasking ‘balms’ you can buy, this was originally developed by Elizabeth Arden as a polishing conditioner for her racehorses’ hooves. It’s a rich, intense treatment that, as it turned out, works miracles on dry patches like elbows, heels, edges of soles and lips too, as well as treating stray and hardened cuticles, the flakiness that happens with minor burns – sun or wind , scrapes and abrasions. You’ll find a tube of it in most makeup artists kitbags for a reason and a little goes a very long way.
£26/50ml, from Harrods
Rodin Luxury Body Oil – perhaps the most luxurious and hardworking body oil you can buy. This is clever because although it’s an oil it melts into skin and doesn’t leave a sticky film all over you or make you smell of some indecipherable ‘therapeutic’ aroma (few body oils do this), despite being a blend of 11 vitamin-rich essential oils. Its main aim is to transform weather-worn skin and restore elasticity with a concentration of ingredients that promote collagen production – rosehip, neroli and evening primrose oil. A few drops applied to skin after a shower go a long way.
£80/120ml, from NET-A-PORTER
By Terry Soleil Terrybly Hydra Bronzing Tinted Serum – this is a really clever base that treats skin and delivers subtle colour and radiance in one. It contains sweet orange extract said to stimulate melanin in the skin so it gives instant natural colour and a gentle gradual tanning effect, the antioxidants vitamin E and jasmine to protect against free radical damage and sun-induced premature ageing, as well as hyaluronic acid and cassia angustifolia seeds to prevent dryness.
£59/35ml, from SpaceNK
Legology Exfo-Lite Stimulating Salts For Legs – developed to bring exceptional smoothness to dry legs, this makes light work of crocodile shins, dry hips, knees and heels. But it also has a powerful diuretic, cooling and lightening impact on legs which feel heavy after a day in the heat, flying or pounding hot pavements. Apply it to dry skin before showering, then rinse off, or apply it while standing up in the bath then soak to allow the detoxifying and lightening properties to work even harder.
£42/5 sachets, from Legology
Aspivenin – the mother of insect bite or sting treatments, this works (on any kind of bite – mosquito, wasp, scorpion, even snake) as effectively as it looks like it would. To use it you pull the plunger back, then place the nozzle over the affected area and press the plunger down again to create a vacuum which draws sting out of the bite. So there is no need to apply any scary chemicals to your skin to soothe the injury or stop itching, and the effects are immediate.
£19.95, from Aspivenin
Sisley Restorative Fluid Body Cream – absolutely the best topical for soothing skin that has had too much sun or that is so dry that your tan has started to peel: it comes into its own as a pre-flight guard against tan-loss in a dehydrated airplane environment. A fluid enriched with skin-nurturing botanicals and essential oils, it absorbs quickly to restore suppleness, cool and soothe irritated skin – it’s particularly effective at counteracting prickly heat.
£91.50/150ml, from Harvey Nichols
Kate Shapland is an award-winning beauty editor for the Telegraph Magazine and co-founder of MyShowcase