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Skin needs special care in summer. Protect it from insect bites and sunburn – while keeping it smooth and glowing – with these natural products

If you're heading off on holiday this summer, there's bound to be a number of must-have items you'll want to take with you.

One of the first travel essentials we think of – especially if the weather is hot and sunny – is a good, effective sunscreen.

Protecting your skin from sun damage – such as early ageing and skin cancer – is vital.

But many brands of sunscreen contain polluting chemicals that invariably end up in the sea – causing damage to delicate marine ecosystems and harming the species that live there.

Certain chemicals have been identified as being particularly dangerous – especially to coral reefs, which suffer bleaching and other issues when exposed to the pollutants.

Oxybenzone and octinoxate are perhaps the worst offenders – and sunscreens containing these, and other chemicals such as octocrylene and parabens, can seriously harm marine environments.

Coral reefs are highly sensitive, so even tiny traces of these chemicals can have a devastating effect. And even if you don't plan to swim in the sea this summer, the chemicals in sunscreen get washed off in the shower, and could end up in the ocean.

These chemicals aren't great for humans either – studies have suggested that parabens, for example, are potentially harmful when applied to the skin.

Luckily, there are several manufacturers producing natural sunscreens that don't contain these damaging chemicals. We suggest three to try – along with some other great products to keep your skin happy this summer.

Weleda Edelweiss Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 150ml

Weleda's Edelweiss Sun Care range offers excellent protection for the whole family whilst safeguarding skin health and the environment. It contains non-nano mineral UV filters and the ingredients are 100% certified natural.

Weleda sunscreens are active immediately upon application, and are waterproof and suitable for sensitive skin types – even delicate baby skin.

The thick formula stays visible on the skin when applied – making it a great choice for parents who want to ensure that all areas of their baby or toddler's skin have been protected.

The sunscreen smells good too, with a summery fragrance of lavender, roman chamomile and lemon-scented litsea cubeba. It also nourishes and moisturises the skin, thanks to organic sunflower oil.

Edelweiss Sunscreen Lotion is Suitable for vegans, and comes in a terracycle tube that can be recycled.

IMAGE Skincare Prevention+ daily hydrating moisturizer SPF 30

Formulated to be worn under makeup, this protective facial moisturiser is non-greasy and is quickly absorbed into the skin, leaving a matte finish.

It provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection to help prevent sunburn and decrease the risk of skin cancer. The moisturiser's DNA Protection Complex also offers antioxidant protection against free radical damage.

The mineral formula provides long-lasting hydration and is perfect for dry and sensitive skin, and skin that's prone to redness. It's very pleasant to apply – with a fresh, citrusy scent, and leaves skin feeling soft, smooth and nourished.

incognito Sun Cream and Insect Repellant SPF 30

If you're heading somewhere where mosquitoes or midges may be a problem, incognito's new sun cream and insect repellant may be very useful.

The non-greasy cream offers broad-spectrum SPF30 protection against both UVA and UVB rays, protecting against sun damage and ageing. It's made with aloe, geranium and edelweiss, with a light and fresh fragrance – and has a rich, moisturising formula that's easy to apply to achieve maximum coverage.

The cream is DEET-free, and contains PMD – the same insect-repelling ingredient as found in incognito's award-winning Insect Repellent Spray and Roll-On. PMD is approved by NHS, Public Health England, and WHO, and is recommended for high-risk areas for mosquito-borne diseases – offering clinically tested 100% prevention from biting insects for four hours.

Approved by the Soil Association as COSMOS Natural, the ingredients contain no GM, and are never tested on animals. A COSMOS Natural standard also ensures that both harmful environmental effects and waste production are minimised.

The bottle is made from renewably resourced and eco-friendly sugarcane plastic, which has a positive carbon footprint and is 100% recyclable. Incognito is also an ethical and environmentally conscious company that donates 10% of its profits to charity.

incognito Sun Cream and Insect Repellant also comes in a handy 75ml size – perfect for popping in your hand luggage, or taking on day trips. And the three-in-one formula – sunscreen, insect repellant and moisturiser – means you can reduce the number of bottles you have to carry with you.

Bee Good Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator

Summer skin sometimes needs a helping hand – with humidity and heat causing pores to expand, blackheads and clogged pores can be a problem. Bee Good's Honey and Camelina exfoliator gently lifts away dead skin cells, excess oil and dirt to leave skin clear, smooth and glowing.

Milled lavender flowers act as a natural, non-irritating, exfoliating grain. And nourishing and moisturising British wildflower honey, combined with camelina and wheatgerm oils, helps to soothe and hydrate dry skin.

The combination of these ingredients creates a wonderful-smelling exfoliator that's a pleasure to use. Bee Good Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator is free from parabens, synthetic colour, mineral oil, silicone, and SLS/SLES – and it comes in a handy 50ml tube that you can carry in your hand luggage.

Weleda Edelweiss After Sun Lotion

Weleda's after sun lotion is cooling and soothing for sun-kissed skin. It is easily absorbed, leaving no sticky residue – and the deeply nourishing formula adds a subtle glow to tanned skin.

Created from natural ingredients, including organic aloe vera, edelweiss and olive oil, this after-sun lotion has a refreshing scent of eucalyptus and calming lavender. Regenerates the skin after UV exposure, adding moisture to support a long-lasting natural tan.

Friendly Soap Travel Soap

This is one of our favourite solid shampoos, because it smells amazing, lasts for ages – and is fantastic value.

The luxurious blend of lemongrass, lavender, tea tree and peppermint oils creates a refreshing fragrance that provides an invigorating start to your day. As well as leaving hair soft and shiny, it works as a body soap, and creates a lather that's suitable for shaving – so it's perfect for travel.

You can even wash your clothes with it, so carrying just one bar of Friendly Travel Soap can seriously reduce your luggage weight. It's naturally moisturising, and doesn't dry out skin or hair. Free from SLS, parabens and palm oil – and also cruelty-free.

incognito Incense Sticks

These slow-burning incense sticks are great for keeping mozzies and midges at bay – and work well for travelling, as they're compact and lightweight. They're ideal for windy conditions – so good for camping – as, unlike citronella candles, they don't get blown out in a breeze.

Made with natural ingredients, the sticks have a pleasant citrus aroma – and are also free from irritants, parabens and SLS, as well as being non-toxic and vegan.

Green Adventures July 2019