8 great-value summer essentials

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Forget overpriced branded lotions and potions to keep you thriving through the warmer months – these products do just the same job at a fraction of the cost

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The best SPF

Boots Soltan range, from £4

parent putting suncream on child

There are some expensive sun creams on the market, flaunting impressive claims and invisible finishes. But as long as the SPF is high enough, a cheaper bottle will serve you just as well. Boots’ Soltan range protects against UVB rays and carries the highest-possible star rating for protecting against UVA rays, all while being easily absorbed, water resistant and intensely moisturising. 


The best after-sun 

Superdrug Solait range, from £2.99

aftersun on sunburn

When many after-sun brands can cost upwards of £6 for a 200ml bottle, it’s well worth researching more affordable options to soothe your skin after a sunny day outside. Superdrug’s Solait range starts from £2.99 for body sorbets, gels and spray lotions; £3.49 for a face lotion; and £4.49 for tan-extending options and sprays for sensitive skin. Quality doesn’t always come at a high price. 


The best bite cream

Asda Hydrocortisone 1% Bite & Sting Relief Cream, £2 

If you’re prone to bites and stings (or have ‘sweet blood’, as your parents might have once said), a bite treatment is a suitcase essential on top of your insect repellent. Most supermarket pharmacies stock their own bite and sting relief creams in smaller sizes than the usual brands, making them cheaper and easier to stash in your hand luggage. Top up with a portable roll-on treatment.   


The best antiperspirant 

The Collection 48-hour Protection Antiperspirant, 85p 

anti persirant roll on

Always reach for the Sure or Dove when it comes to antiperspirant? While there’s no doubt the big brands can keep clamminess at bay, Sainsbury’s 48-hour protection roll-on could save you more than a couple of quid per purchase. Available in three scents with 0% alcohol, these options won’t leave you sweating over the cost of your summer shopping. 


The best antihistamine 

Tesco Hayfever & Allergy Relief Tablets, £1.95 

woman taking tablet

If you suffer from hay fever, heat rash or even pet or dust allergies, it might be tempting to reach for the Benadryl, but Tesco’s own-brand hay fever and allergy relief tablets work just as well at a fraction of the price. Containing the same 10mg of cetirizine hydrochloride as their branded alternative, Tesco’s tablets will temper any sniffles, sore throats and irritated eyes in a matter of minutes. 


The best SPF for lips

Chapstick Original SPF 10, £1.29 

SPF chapstick

You slather your body in SPF, but how often do you think about doing the same for your lips? Protecting your smile is important, and when it comes to lip care, Chapstick is a classic for a reason, so don’t dismiss it when choosing your protective lip balm this summer. At almost half the price of Nivea options, keep this in your pocket for sunny days and holidays.


The best stomach-settling tablets

Sainsbury's Anti-Diarrhoea Capsules, £1.15 

When it comes to your health, it doesn’t pay to take risks. And you won’t with these quick-acting pills, which contain the same level of loperamide hydrochloride (the ingredient that eases your stomach) as Imodium Instants, but at a cheaper price. The same goes for other handy medicines such as travel-sickness tablets, pain relief and plasters.  


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