Summer Health & Beauty Saviours With Nutritionist Frances Phillips

by Frances Phillips

Frances is a model, registered nutritionist (mBANT) and freelance health & beauty editor.

I’m definitely more of a summer person - I love longer, warmer days and easy summer dressing. It’s also easier to make healthy food choices thanks to the wider variety of fresh produce available and naturally craving lighter foods in hotter weather.

My approach to beauty has always been quite holistic; I believe that beauty starts from the inside out and products are the final piece of the puzzle. In fact, my journey into nutrition began as a result of struggling with my own skin issues and seeking a longer term solution than having to rely on topical quick fixes. Here are my top beauty and nutrition tips for a healthy summer and beyond.

Find A Sunscreen That Works For You

Finding a sunscreen that you love can involve a lot of trial and error. However, when you do, it makes applying (and reapplying!) feel like much less of a chore. I tend to use mineral sunscreens as I find they work better for my sensitive skin and I prefer to use cleaner beauty products where possible. I choose SPF30 or above and try to be mindful of covering up and staying in the shade during peak times. A big bucket hat is a great investment for beach trips too.

Always Cleanse Your Skin 

I think this is the most important step in my skincare routine. I like to make sure everything is properly removed - including sunscreen, make-up and everyday pollution. I prefer gentle gel or cream cleansers and use a hot cloth to help remove everything whilst providing a gentle exfoliation too. I always double cleanse at the end of the day to make sure everything is off.

Protect Skin From Within

To help protect your skin from the inside out, I recommend including plenty of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. These help protect our collagen and elastin against the damage caused by free radicals, the unstable chemicals from things like UV rays and pollution that can lead to premature ageing. Antioxidants can be found in all colourful fruits and vegetables so it’s important to eat a wide variety (especially focus on ‘eating a rainbow’). I particularly recommend including different types of berries regularly for their high antioxidant properties. 

Focus On Gut Health When Travelling

Our gut health is linked to our skin health via what’s known as the ‘gut-skin axis’ so it’s really important to take good care of your digestive system if you want glowing skin! However for many people travel can cause digestive issues. In the first instance, I recommend making sure you are drinking enough water and eating enough fibre (think fruits & vegetables). You may also want to include some probiotics foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut & kefir and prebiotic foods such as onions, garlic & asparagus. There are many reasons why you may be experiencing gut issues (and if they are ongoing I recommend speaking with a registered nutritional therapist) but if you find you only have an issue when you’re travelling then I’d start with these basics.

Invest In Beauty Multitaskers

I love beauty products but I’m also quite minimal with make-up, especially in summer when I prefer creamier and more blendable textures on my skin. I look for multitasking products like lip-to-cheek balms to keep holiday packing to a minimum and like to use the same shade over my brow bone, cheeks, bridge of my nose and lips for an easy put together look. That plus a bit of tinted moisturiser and bronzer is my go-to on holiday.

Maintain Healthy Summer Hair

As much as possible I stay away from heat styling my hair in the summer and just leave it to air dry to minimise damage. I prefer wearing my hair down but like the option of tying it up when it’s hot so I’ll always have either a hair claw or tie in my bag. I love silk scrunchies for being gentle and getting rid of frizz. Plus, they don’t leave a kink in your hair like most ties do so you can put it up and down as many times as you like. I’ll also leave a hair oil in overnight the night before I wash it to prevent it from drying out.

Stay Hydrated

We need to drink more water in the warmer months to stay optimally hydrated but it’s also possible to get some of our daily water intake from food too! Cucumber, watermelon and celery all have a high water content so are particularly hydrating and great for skin. As are tropical fruits like pineapple, papaya and mango, which additionally contain enzymes that are beneficial for both our gut and skin health. I advise drinking around two litres of water a day in summer, sipped throughout the day. Find my favourite infused water recipe below.

Frances’s Favourite Infused Water Recipe

I love making infused waters in summer - I’ll make a big bottle and keep it in the fridge to drink throughout the day. You can keep topping up the water using the same ingredients and when you’re done, you can eat the berries and cucumber to benefit from the extra fibre and antioxidants too! Leave to infuse for at least an hour before drinking.

  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • A small handful of blueberries or raspberries
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 litre of water