Get festival ready with our top 5 must-have cosmetics…

Whether you’re heading to Glastonbury, Download or any other music festival over the summer, we’ve put together our favourite products of the moment that’ll really make sure you’re festival ready. And what’s more, they’re all naturally derived, ethically sourced, and cruelty-free, which means you’ll fit right in with Glastonbury’s ‘Respect your environment’ and ‘Working together for a cleaner, greener, fairer Glastonbury’ mottos.

1. Mineral Sunscreen
Now we certainly wouldn’t advocate leaving your funky wellies at home but fortunately not all music festivals end up in a mud bath like Glastonbury 2009 – you may actually be lucky enough to experience glorious sunshine! So as UVA and UVB rays are the primary causes of skin ageing and skin damage, and are commonly linked to skin cancer, sun protection is literally the most important thing you can do for your skin. So it figures that the number one cosmetic on our must-have list is sunscreen. But not just any sunscreen, no, no, no, we only advocate physical (mineral) sunscreen.

So there are two types of sunscreen, chemical and physical. The former covers most of your common high street brands, but what they don’t tell you is that they’re actually putting both you and our environment at risk. There is an abundance of research that shows that the chemical filters contained in chemical sunscreen are toxic and damaging to our bodies, some having hormone disrupting qualities and some promoting the growth of cancer cells – ironically the very thing we’re trying to avoid by using them! In contrast, physical (mineral) sunscreens use mineral filters (normally zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) that physically reflect and block the sun’s rays – they literally form a suit of armour on your skin. Their particle size is much larger than the chemical filters found in chemical sunscreen which means they aren’t even absorbed into your blood stream. So what’s great is that whilst they’re reflecting the UV rays back into the atmosphere, they’re completely inert, meaning they aren’t causing any other damage to your skin or body. To read more about the problem with chemical sunscreen, check out our previous blog post ‘Is your sunscreen actually doing you more harm than good?’.

So here are our favourite mineral sun care products…

Tropic Skincare Skin Shade
Tropic offer a broad spectrum (protects from UVA and UVB rays), water resistant mineral sunscreen range to keep skin protected from the sun, and prevent premature skin ageing. And with an SPF range of 15, 30 and 50, there’s something to suit all skin types. And what we really love about these sunscreens is that they apply easily like a cream but dry to a soft powder finish, so you’re not left with that sticky or greasy feeling.


What’s more, Tropic Skin Shade is jam-packed full of hero ingredients for your skin. Extracts of Australian kakadu and illawarra plum provide immediate and long term hydration, nourishment for the skin, and are rich in antioxidants that protect skin from free radicals. Kahai oil protects skin with high levels of essential fatty acids and contains a vastly higher concentration of vitamin E than any other natural oil! And then there’s Roucou oil which is 100 times richer in beta-carotene than carrots to provide protection against UV rays, and it also stimulates the production of melanin in your skin to help your skin respond faster to UV rays.

What’s not to like? Buy them here for just £28.

Tropic Skincare Tinted Skin Shade
Everyone’s talking about this tinted facial sunscreen at the moment. Featured in Grazia and Harper’s Bazaar to name a few, this 3-in-1 product not only keeps your face protected from the sun throughout the day but also acts as a moisturiser and provides lightweight, high coverage for radiant looking skin. So pack light and leave your daily moisturiser and foundation at home! It comes in two shades of tint and offers SPF 50 protection.


Too good to pass up? Buy Tropic’s Tinted Skin Shade here for just £24.

2. Aftersun
If you’re a diehard Radiohead fan and are planning on spending the day basking in the sun whilst glued to the barrier in front of the Pyramid Stage, you’re going to need something to cool and soothe your skin at the end of the day. Let’s face it, there’s nothing funny about the lobster appearance or the mere touch of clothing sending you into a pain induced rage! So the next cosmetic on our list of festival essentials is Aftersun, and here’s our favourite…

Tropic Skincare Sun Soothe
Tropic’s naturally derived, chemical free Sun Soothe is a deeply soothing, super cooling lotion to calm skin redness after sun exposure, and help prolong your natural tan. Why do we love it so much? Well, it’s really effective and here’s why…. Triple concentrated Aloe Vera juice rich in amino acids helps to cool skin and relieve redness. Bisabolol has been shown to exhibit dramatic anti-inflammatory effects, which helps to repair and calm skin. Menthol and Eucalyptus provide a super cooling sensation that’s an excellent soother for prickly heat. And Arian Oil and Vitamin E deeply nourish and condition the skin.


Avoid the lobster look with this absolute essential. Buy Tropic’s Sun Soothe here for just £18.

3. Hand sanitiser
Portaloo or ‘long drop’ (if you’re heading to your first festival, all we can say is “just don’t look down”!), however much you try to avoid them by not drinking or holding on until your bladder is at bursting point (we’ve all been there), you’re going to have to visit the dreaded festival toilets at some point. And afterwards, you’re going to need some serious hand sanitiser! And here’s our favourite…

Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Defence Hand Spray
This certified organic cleansing hand spray combines a purifying blend of pure organic essential oils with witch hazel, to help protect and keep hands naturally clean and fresh. And it contains no harsh synthetic chemicals that’ll damage your skin either. So say hello to your gentle, yet effective, natural organic refreshing cleanser.

hand defence

An essential for any festival handbag, buy it here for just £6.50.

4. Deodorant
It’s simple, Eau de Festival is not pleasant! So deodorant is a must-have. And here’s our favourites (both natural, of course)…

Tropic Skincare Feel Fresh
This quick-drying deodorant and antiperspirant cream contains a unique blend of zesty, antibacterial citrus essential oils, soothing oat oil, repairing bisabolol and detoxifying bentonite clays to control odour and ensure your underarms stay nourished, soft and fresh all day long. And it actually smells good enough to eat.


Stave off the stench and buy it here for just £10.

Neal’s Yard Remedies Lavender and Aloe Vera Deodorant Spray
Cleansing, organic essential oils of lavender, tea tree and ylang ylang are combined with an extract of alpine moss (lichin) to prevent the growth of odour-causing bacteria – perfect for the festival environment! Aloe Vera is added for its cooling and soothing properties.


Oppress the odour and buy it here for just £8.50.

5. Shimmer
No festival goer is complete without a bit of shimmer! Ok, so maybe these aren’t ‘essential’ items – we wouldn’t recommend leaving your toilet roll at home in order to fit these into your already bursting at the seams backpack, but maybe you can justify losing one can of baked beans?! – but from illuminated cheekbones to glistening shoulders, glowing skin is always on trend, and these shimmering treats provide all the radiance you need…

Tropic Skincare Summer Goddess Shimmer Oil
This stunning body oil is infused with golden shimmer. With organic virgin coconut oil and golden jojoba oils to hydrate and nourish, and scents from Tahitian and bourbon vanilla topped with lime essential oils to keep you smelling delicious (also useful for covering that three day festival odour!), this body oil will leave you with smooth, super hydrated skin that dazzles with a golden shimmer. Being a goddess never looked so good!

Dazzle at Download or Glisten at Glasto – buy it here for just £28.

Tropic Skincare Cream Highlighter
Available in two shades – Spotlight and Sunlight – these soft shimmer highlighters will brighten and illuminate your complexion, while enhancing cheekbones, collar bones, shoulders and lips. They can also double up as an eye shadow and are perfect for a quick, convenient touch-up on the go. Extracts of bayberry fruit wax and jojoba esters create a smooth cream that provides long-lasting hold for your shimmer.

Want the spotlight shining on you? Buy them here for just £18.

So there we have it, our top 5 must-have cosmetics. You can order them all directly using the relevant links above, or contact us to find out about free local delivery. There’s nothing more to say than have fun, stay safe, and shimmer like you’ve never shimmered before!

Mental Health and Massage

We all have ‘mental health’ just as we all have ‘physical health’, but for some reason, ‘mental health’ is still associated with social stigma and prejudice. Today marks the end of Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 – a national campaign coordinated by the Mental Health Foundation to help shed the stigma associated with mental health and encourage more people to open up about their own mental health struggles. After all, ‘it’s good to talk’ and nobody should suffer in silence.


A recent survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation aimed to understand the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems, levels of positive and negative mental health in the population, and the actions people take to deal with the stressors in their lives. They found that nearly two thirds of people report that they have experienced a mental health problem. And more than four in 10 people say they have experienced depression, and over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks. In fact only 13 percent of the study population reported living with high levels of good mental health. The survey demonstrates that levels of good mental health are disturbingly low and that our collective mental health is only deteriorating.

This is quite clearly a huge epidemic that needs to be addressed, and soon. In addition to the wide variety of talking therapies, CBT, and psychotherapy etc that is available, there’s a growing body of evidence that shows physical therapies such as massage can also be beneficial in helping to alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. In fact, a consumer survey undertaken by the Americal Massage Therapy Association found that 88% of individuals viewed massage as being beneficial to overall health and wellness and 32% of consumers stated that their primary reason for receiving massage was due to stress.

Research published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2013) indicates that massage therapy can reduce symptoms of depression for individuals with HIV. In fact, results showed that massage significantly reduced symptoms of depression at week four of the study and continued through weeks six and eight, suggesting that regular therapeutic massage sessions could be a useful tool in the treatment of depression for patients with HIV.

Research published in Military Medicine (2012) reports that military veterans indicated significant reductions in ratings of anxiety, worry, depression and physical pain after massage therapy. The results also suggest declining levels of tension and irritability following massage.

chair massage

Research published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2012) shows that chair massage for nurses during work hours can actually help to reduce stress and related symptoms, including headaches, shoulder tension, insomnia, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain.

Overall therefore, this growing body of research suggests that regular massage therapy would be a hugely beneficial addition to an integrated treatment plan for mental health conditions. And as a holistic massage therapist myself, I’ve personally seen the benefits of massage therapy with my own clients, whether they’re suffering from anxiety, depression, stress, or bereavement.

Woman having a massage

So if you feel you may need help with your own mental health, it may just be worth seeking out your local massage therapist in addition to your GP and other medical professionals, to enable a fully integrated and holistic approach to treatment. Visit our website to find out more about Pura Vida and the wide variety of massage therapies we offer.


1. Polane RE, Gertsik L, Favreau JT, et al. Open-label, randomized, parallel-group controlled clinical trial of massage for treatment of depression in HIV-infected subjects. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.2013 Apr;19(4):334-40. doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.0058.
2. Collinge W, Kahn J, Soltysik R. Promoting reintegration of National Guard veterans and their partners using a self-directed program of integrative therapies: a pilot study. Military Medicine. 2012 Dec;177(12):1477-85.
3. Engen DJ, Wahner-Roedler DL, Vincent A, et al. Feasibility and effect of chair massage offered to nurses during work hours on stress-related symptoms: a pilot study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2012 Nov;18(4):212-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2012.06.002.