With all eyes on the UK this summer, we've tracked down some wonderful UK brands that work hard to keep all members of the family looking good and feeling healthy, from niche labels to big-hitters.
All prices were correct at the time of going to press.
Best for Teens
Lush is a youthful brand with some genius, fun products that are hardworking and kind to the skin and always smell amazing too. Pioneering products created over the years include the Bath Ballistic and the travel-friendly Solid Shampoo. With an emphasis on fresh ingredients and a strict policy against animal testing, the products provide a great entry point for teens looking to start buying their own products. Pack the Dream Cream (£10.75, lush.co.uk), a soothing, cooling hand and body lotion that can be used on sensitive skins.
Another ethical and kind brand perfect for young skins is Organic Surge, with every product sold – including the Tropical Bergamot Hand & Nail Cream (£4.09, organicsurge.com) – contributing towards helping children in Africa. The Yes to Carrots range, now grown to incorporate Yes To Tomatoes, Yes to Blueberries and Yes to Cucumbers, is affordable and free of parabens and petroleum. New launches include the Yes to Tomatoes Exfoliating Cleanser, aimed at acne-prone skin; the Yes to Carrots Exfoliating Body Wash, to nourish dry skin; and the Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Body Lotion for sensitive skin (£9.99 each, yestocarrots.com).
Ideal for family holidays and sure to appeal to fashion-conscious girls, Ted Baker’s Blossom Set (£7.50, boots.com), scented with bergamot and red fruits, contains a body spray, body lotion and wash. Meanwhile, aromatherapist Andrea Garland’s home-made products are temptingly presented in antique tins, pillboxes and vintage compacts. Ideal for the sleeping beauty in your family, the just-launched Chamomile and Oak Sleeping Beauty Cream (£28, andreagarlandshop.co.uk), loaded with pumpkin seed oil, rice-bran oil, camomile and geranium, will help soften and plump skin through the night.
Best for Mums
Brilliant for sea-, sun- and sand-damaged hair, Dove’s Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner (£3.35, superdrug.com) injects moisture into dry hair and seals broken ends as well as controlling frizz. Another classic budget brand is Alberto Balsam, whose new Strawberries and Cream Shampoo and Conditioner (from £1, most supermarkets) has soy-milk proteins to leave hair looking lush.
Luxe haircare brand Gielly Green offers a great all-rounder in the form of Argan Ultime (£28.90, shop.giellygreen.com), containing 100% organic argan oil that penetrates the hairshaft, strengthening damaged hair. For those on the move, it can also double up as a moisturiser, stretch-mark eliminator and even nail and cuticle conditioner. OSMO also has a genius range of products using argan oil as the central ingredient. Its Berber Oil Little Luxuries (£9.95, osmo.uk.com) is a travel-sized collection of goodies for hair, including the Berber Oil Shampoo, which deep-cleanses to get rid of seasalt and chlorine from holiday hair.
Known for his cult products Swimcap and Elasticizer, haircare guru Philip Kingsley has just introduced two travel-sized masks to promote healthy scalps, as part of his ‘Fitness for Hair’ Program. The Stimulating Scalp Mask (£5.25, philipkingsley.co.uk) encourages hair growth while the Exfoliating Scalp Mask (£5.25,) combats the build-up of flaky skin and contains aloe vera to soothe and moisturise – ideal for detoxing grime and product build-up.
The gorgeously girly yet cool products from Percy & Reed include the travel-handy, spray-on Dry Conditioner (£12, percyandreed.com), which keeps hair looking its best between washes. Good for all travel conditions is TommyGuns Weather Protect Dew Drops Serum (£6.15, asos.com), to make hair smoother and silkier.
Renowned for its expert service and pioneering products, Liz Earle now includes the Mineral Sun Care Cream SPF20 (£19.95, lizearle.com) among its offerings. This high-performance protector contains plant-based antioxidants, such as green tea and pomegranate, and gives a super-sheer protection against harmful rays. As it's enriched with shea butter and mineral-based, it's even suitable for toddlers and young children. (If going out in the sun is not for you, the Express Liquid Tan [£20, he-shi.eu] from new label He-Shi is an easy-to-apply unisex self-tanning bronzer giving a lovely bronze appearance.)
Champney’s spas are now well-regarded for their luxury pampering products, including the Softening Hand Scrub (£6, boots.com), brilliant for sloughing off dead skin and keeping nails conditioned. Follow it with a treat from Crabtree and Evelyn, who in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee have bought out the Union Flag Gift Set containing the India Hicks Island Living Hand Wash and Hand Therapy (£25, crabtree-evelyn.co.uk) – just the thing for giving the royal wave!
Known for its ‘clean’ products free of synthetic fragrances, parabens and synthetic colours, REN has also introduced ‘Best of British’ packaging for its bestsellers, the Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash (£17) and Body Cream (£26, Selfridges.com). Natural Empathy's Hand and Body Lotion (£15, nutribeautyproducts.com), which similarly comes adorned in a Union Jack bottle, has a nostalgic yet modern fragrance of cedarwood, English lavender and patchouli evocative of English drawing rooms and wildflower meadows.
For those in search of a beach-perfect body, Soap & Glory’s new Sit Tight Intense XS (£16.50, boots.com) is a super-strength body-firming serum with a rollerball massage applicator to target dimples and cellulite. Meanwhile, No 7’s Protect & Perfect Moisturising Body Serum (£27, boots.com) promises to reveal firmer, more radiant skin in 4 weeks.
Whether it’s the travel-handy Cleansing Facial Wipes (99p for minis) or the new Moisture Boost Hydro Mist (£5.99, boots.com) with lotus flower, perfect for flights, Simple is an indispensable British brand. Or try Naked Skin products, made with 97% natural ingredients and without synthetic fragrances or alcohol. Its Perfect Getaway Cream Cleanser (£4.49, nakedbodycare.com) swipes off make-up to leave skin in tip-top condition.
One of the UK’s original and best beauty brands is Pond’s, whose Cold Cream (£4.49, boots.com) has been a trusty pot to have on your dressing table since 1914. The light formula can be used to cleanse and moisturise – even Kylie has put her youthful looks down to using it. Fine soaps are also coming back into vogue due to our love of all things vintage. Mitchell and Peach box of Soaps (£28, mitchellandpeach.com) has four hand-wrapped triple-milled soaps that produce a creamy lather. The family-run firm's goodies are all made in Kent with lavender, English honey, violet root and rose sourced from the farm itself or from local suppliers.
This Works is a high-quality, design-conscious label with a host of indulgences aimed at the modern woman. A great travelling companion is the Perfect Skin Super Moisture (£28, boots.com) – a rich antioxidant cream that acts as a serum and moisturiser in one. Oskia London's Get Up and Glow (£64.50, oskiaskincare.com) is an instant energising serum enriched with youth-boosting nutrients and peptides that visibly brighten the complexion, while Dove Spa’s Flash Dash Instant Beauty Drops (£18, dovespa.co.uk) is another fantastic skin boost for those exhausted by a long trip. But it doesn’t get any more British than Green & Spring’s natural skincare line, with many ingredients sourced from herbs and flowers native to our fields and meadows, including the cute Lip Balm (£7.50, greenandspring.com).
Regarded as one of the leading facialists in the UK, Sarah Chapman has her own ultra-luxurious product line including The Discovery Collection (£40, sarahchapman.net), a set of three travel-sized essential products (cleanser, serum and day cream) in a lovely white pouch. Or try Emma Hardie’s Professional Facial Starter Kit (£32, emmahardie.com), also perfect for holidaying.
Best for Dads
A great all-rounder for when you're away from home is luxury spa brand Elemis' ultra-rich Travel SOS Emergency Cream (£16.40, timetospa.co.uk), which is particularly good for soothing parched, weathered or sunburnt areas. As well as patchouli, eucalyptus and lavender, it contains myrhh, which soldiers of ancient Greece used to help heal their wounds.
The Vintage Shaving Company takes inspiration from traditional men’s grooming products, combining a traditional style with high-quality natural ingredients and a green ethos in products such as The Daily Face Balm (£9.95, feelunique.com) with aloe vera, vitamin E, almond oil and shea butter to soothe and hydrate the skin. Sensiderma for Men from sensitive skin specialist Queen Cosmetics includes the Daily Moisture Lotion (£21.50, sensiderma-men.com), a no-nonsense light facial hydrator for men with normal to dry skin.
Thea Organic Skincare produces a vast range of 100% natural products for all the family, but its ‘kind-to-skin’ range for men is especially noteworthy, with our favourite being the Rich Hair and Body Foam Wash (£12.95, theaskincare.com) with cedarwood, lavender and camomile to leave you revitalised and refreshed.
If we had to pick our top product for men from everyone’s favourite chemist, Boots (incredibly, founded back in 1849), it would be its Intensive Foot Softener (£5.99, boots.com), which deeply moisturises to soften dry skin and cracked heels – a problem that can be exacerbated by holiday heat.
Launched in 1928, Brylcreem still offers its original hairdressing cream in the iconic red-tub but has updated its products for a younger audience and introduced travel-sized tubes of styling gels for keeping every strand in place (from £1.52, boots.com).
Cool London hairdressers Fish has created a quirky range of hair products for guys. Ideal for summer jaunts is its Frozen Firm Texturising Cream (£6, boots.com), specially designed to tame hair in hot climates, with minty blast of menthol to cool you down while creating choppy styles.