It is currently 9am and 26 degrees in Bastia, Corsica. I’m sat in the shade at a beach bar trying to decide whether to go sailing or kayaking later. But being in such intense sun, particularly on the water, I’m also thinking a lot about my skin and how I’m going to protect it for the day, whilst still looking as good as I can.

Summer staples. Concrete photography, Lizz Gowens
Summer staples. Concrete photography, Lizz Gowens

Now that education on skin cancer, sunstroke and other such summer-sun enemies has reached an all-time high, so has the market for trying to combat them. From beautiful kimonos to funky water bottles and tropical scented sun cream, there really is no excuse for not making sure you’re covered.

ASOS has created a huge range of affordable beach cover-ups under its own section of the website with personal favourites of mine including the V Front Could Shoulder Beach Cover-up in black and from one of the other brands available on ASOS, the Oysho Neon Trim Kaftan. Both of these pieces are perfect to protect sensitive areas in the direct sun as well as still making you look great. Black is always a staple colour in any wardrobe or suitcase and is an effortless way to look great, while the Oysho patchwork style incorporates a  more seasonal style, complimenting the fringed hem which creates a boho/ festival vibe.

Hats and sunglasses are also essential for protecting yourself from sunstroke (what a way to kill a holiday) and can be used to accessorise cover-ups and bikinis. Quay Australia is a relatively new brand of sunglasses that many of you may have become familiar with through their huge social media presence as well as absolutely beautiful sunglasses. I’m currently sporting a pair of Quay Midnight Runners in tortoiseshell which can be purchased from their website or from other retailers such as Topshop and ASOS. I’ve always been a fan of huge frames but they also serve a practical purpose of covering all the particularly sensitive skin around the eyes. Sunburn just above your cheekbones is neither attractive nor comfortable – avoid. Mirrored sunglasses are also hugely fashionable at the moment and can be seen on many fashion icons from bloggers to celebrities. Whilst I’d love a pair of mirrored Ray-Ban, I don’t think I could justify the price to myself. Instead I opted for a more budget friendly pair from River Island.

Lastly and probably most importantly, of course, sun cream. Arguably the nicest smelling sun cream ever to hit the high street shelves is the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Protective Sun Lotion. The problem is, however, that at £15 a bottle (not a particularly large one either) it is hardly inexpensive. If you’re keen to get a good tan whilst still remaining protected, anything that contains carotene – a natural ingredient found in plants that will assist tanning – is recommended. For those of you who often spend time playing sports or on the water when on holiday, the best solution, although expensive, is the Riemann P20 Once A Day 10 Hours Sun Protection. It may be pricey but it’s practical, you don’t need to take it out with you or reapply and once absorbed it has no sickly sun cream smell.

Summer is many people’s, including my, favourite time of year. The warm weather and holiday season puts everyone in a good mood, but it is also very important not to forget that prematurely ageing skin and sun spots are not worth a temporary tan! There are plenty of ways to cover up in a fashionable and affordable way, so make sure you stay safe in the sun this summer.