Donna White is a national newspaper and magazine journalist, blogger, and mum to Brodie, aged eight, and six-year-old Blake.

Her beauty regime used to consist of soap and water, followed by a quick swipe of lip gloss. Since entering her 40s she admits Mother Nature needs just a bit more of a helping hand. You can find her general ramblings over at www.mummycentral.com

So we went on a half-term holiday in the sun … The perfect tonic to pep me up before the dark, cold nights set in and the pre-Christmas stress took hold.

A fortnight in Lanzarote was all I hoped it would be. Sun, sea, sand, and lots of ….. swimming (well I’m a mum of primary school kids, what else did you think I was going to say?)

Our break in Playa Blanca warmed our bones and recharged our batteries. My brother-in-law joined us with his wife and daughter. It was a great time to catch up with family we don’t get to see very often.

lanzaroteThis is my favourite holiday snap – me with my sister-in-law Liz and niece Aimee (notice Blake in the background getting ready to soak us with his water gun!)

Well I may have been helpless to my son’s swimming pool attacks, but I did arm myself with some hair and skin protection to avoid the sun’s harmful rays.

One of my pet hates on holiday is stepping out on a humid day and ending up looking like something out of the Hair Bear Bunch (remember them?) So Mark Hill  Summer Loving Protection Serum (£6.49 for 50ml www.markhill.co.uk) got well-used to smooth away frizz and made my barnet look more sleek than “eeek”.

But my big discovery this year has been Aveda’s Sun Care Hair and Body Cleanser (£17 for 250ml, aveda.co.uk). Seriously folks, don’t take off without this little gem in your suitcase. I bought it primarily because it’s colour-safe, so wouldn’t strip the red/purple colour I have on my hair just. Fragranced with organic neroli and ylang ylang essence, it smells yummy and removes chlorine, salt and product residue from a day at the beach or pool.

hair bear bunchlittle exclusive treat arrived just before we flew out in the form of the new Pore Face Wash (£20 for 120g) and Pore Cleansing Oil (£25 for 150ml) from cult Japanese brand DHC (www.dhcuk.co.uk) which proved perfect for washing away any suncream residue and preventing my skin becoming too oily, which often happens to me on holiday, leaving unsightly blackheads.

The new range, which also includes a Pore Milk, Pore Lotion and Pore Essence is designed to shrink the look of pores and leave skin clean, healthy and refreshed. And these two items certainly did that. The foaming face wash left my skin feeling clean and smooth, but not dried out, while the oil removed make-up, suncream and even sand and grit after a day at the beach.

So now I’m back in Blighty, but I’m going to continue using these products because they make my hair and skin look and feel great. Although the shiny, smoo th hair could be squashed under a woolly hat and the glowing – and tanned – skin hidden beneath a thick scarf. Brrrrrr!

Parenting tip: If your little one hates having suncream put on their face – like my six-year-old Blake, who often rubbed it in his eyes – get them to wear swimming goggles while you put it on, and for 10 minutes afterwards while the cream sinks in.