Now that it’s August and summer is in full-swing (or as much as it can be for 2020), I pretty much have a bag by the door ready to go at all times for outdoor activities. Of course it’s more fun, authentic, and oftentimes a better deal to buy these items in France, but for now I wanted to keep the list to things available online. You’ll find a few of my favorite French summer bag essentials including a great market basket, thermal waters, the Institut Esthederm Adaptasun, and more!
A French Market Basket
To build the bag we first have to have a good French market basket as a base. I like mine to be a little on the bigger side because I’m always acquiring things. I think a market basket is a good option because it’s lightweight, sturdy, and doesn’t get very dirty. I like this market basket because of the different strap options.
A Turkish Towel
Turkish towels are very versatile as they dry quickly, are lightweight, and get softer every time you wash them. I use mine for picnics in Paris and also packed it for the South of France and Normandy. You can use it as a beach towel, by the pool, to cover your shoulders from the sun, to sit on, or as a lightweight blanket. Plus, the towels come in lots of different colors so it’s always easy to remember which is yours.
La Roche-Posay Face Sunscreen
I can’t talk about French summer bag essentials without mentioning a few sunscreens. This La Roche-Posay face sunscreen is the best and just a general skincare essential of mine. I use it every day no matter what. I love that it’s super lightweight and doesn’t feel or smell like sunscreen. It also comes in a tinted version which is great for days when you don’t want to wear makeup but want a little bit of coverage.
Institut Esthederm Adaptasun
Someone once described the Institut Esthederm Adaptasun product as the Ferrari of skincare and that stuck with me. Yes, it’s expensive. But I think it’s worth it. Last year I didn’t even use a full bottle and I was in the sun a lot. There’s lots of science behind the product, but basically it trains your skin to fortify itself at a cellular level. Then it protects the skin on an external level from UVA and UVB rays. And somehow it still helps you develop a long, lasting glow. They don’t use an SPF rating, instead you can choose the product that’s best for you based on your skin type and the intensity of the sun you’re exposed to. For summer I like three suns.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen
For just a regular, great sunscreen I like the La Roche-Posay Anthelios line of sunscreen. It’s a classic white lotion sunscreen that does a great job and is available in various levels of SPF protection. It’s great for everyday use, when you’re working out outdoors or by the water. It’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes, paraben free, and fragrance free.
Vichy Thermal Water
I use this Vichy Thermal Water every day, morning and night, before I put anything on my face. If you’re wondering why you’d pay for a can of water to spray on your face, read this. It’s been a total game-changer for my skin plus it’s just so refreshing. On especially hot summer days, you can put it in the refrigerator to make it extra cool and refreshing.
Caudalie Grape Water
Two water sprays on my list of French summer bag essentials probably seems excessive, but this Caudalie Grape Water is different. It smells amazing and as the lady at CityPharma described to me it’s meant to be a more “refreshing in the middle of the day at the beach” water than an everyday morning and night water. Although you could definitely use it every day. I love everything Caudalie makes and am a huge fan of the brand in general. They have a points program where you can earn great gifts that you actually want to use.
Small Basket Bag
Last but not least on my list of French summer bag essentials is…another bag. I love having a big tote, but hate rummaging through the entire thing to try and find my phone, Airpods, keys, credit card, lip balm – whatever. This small basket bag is the perfect solution because you can throw it in the big bag or just use it separately. It’s durable and lined for a day at the beach but also cute enough to wear alone all summer long.
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