Summer skin: what you should do differently

It’s getting hot. That skin-scorching, mascara sliding kinda hot. Summer is here folks and, along with the merry singing of cicadas and the cool clink of ice cubes in a sundowner, there are some less welcome summertime party guests (here’s looking at you dry skin and pesky acne). 

Hang on, isn’t dry skin a winter problem?

Well, yes it can be, but for a different reason. In Winter, the air tends to be drier (even before you turn on the heating), which means the water in your skin evaporates more quickly. In Summer, it’s the outdoors that are problematic – too much sun, chlorine and salt can leave skin looking lizard-dry. What to do? Moisturise. Moisturise. Moisturise. Stick to your usual twice a day serum and lotion routine like a security blanket. 

What should I moisturise with in Summer?

Good question. We’re glad you asked. Too many people dispense with a proper moisturising routine in summer because they worry it will lead to breakout when it mixes with sunscreen and sweat. Time to bust that myth – your skin desperately needs hydration. Sweating, not drinking enough water and too much sun will quickly cause skin to loose moisture. Oh, and so will showering too often (once a day folks and don’t stick your face under hot water. Ever). The ideal routine to keep skin in tip top shape is a light serum that delivers antioxidants deep into the skin, followed by a light lotion that prevents moisture loss from the surface.

Tell me more!

This is the season to thank the skincare heavens for hyaluronic acid. This natural water-loving ingredient can hold 1000 times its own weight in water – it’s like pumping water into a dry dam. It instantly looks healthier and you’ll find that those fine dehydration lines disappear as the once-thirsty surface soaks it up. As well as drinking plenty of fresh water you can also easily up your H2O intake by chomping on extra water-rich foods, such as cucumber and watermelon.

Take special care of your eyes

The skin around your eyes is around 40% thinner than elsewhere so it will be the first to show signs of dehydration in summer. If fine lines are settling in, the best remedy is vitamin A, but that’s a tricky ingredient during the warmer months as it also makes your skin more sun sensitive. A good alternative is Stevisse, which has the same vitamin A-like benefits without the irritation. If puffiness is your main problem, caffeine-infused formulations work wonders as caffeine naturally tightens the skin.

What about sunscreen?

Not optional, but imperative, can we just say. It’s much better to use sunscreen separately to moisturiser – not only will you get proper SPF coverage all over your face if you can see where you’re applying it, but mixing it with moisturiser can dilute the SPF and interfere with the moisturising function because sunscreen is designed to sit on the skin. To ensure you are properly covered, moisturise first, allow it a minute to sink in, then apply sunscreen.

Is sunscreen the cause of my acne in summer?

Probably not. If you’re breaking out in the warmer months, you probably need to exfoliate more regularly and cleanse more thoroughly. The most likely cause of acne in summer is a build up of dead skin cells and sebum, an issue that is best remedied with a good clean and polish routine. Take sunscreen off at the end of the day with a good micellar water – it’s fast, efficient and a quality formulation will contain skin-soothing ingredients that can fade sun spots.

Go #makeupfree If COVID taught us anything, it’s that we can live without makeup more readily than we thought if we take better care of our skin. Instead of smoothing your skin tone with foundation, use a pigmentation-fading cleanser (a daily dose of Algactiv LightSKN will do the trick!) to create a naturally even skin tone. Follow with a serum that’s packed with vitamin C and skin nourishing antioxidants, and an eye gel that soothes and de-puffs. Seal these in with a moisturiser that keeps skin hydrated and protected all day or night. Add SPF as the last step in the morning and remember to reapply sunscreen every 3-4 hrs. It’s simple but effective – make summer the season to love the skin you’re in!

Claire Hill - Summer Skin Care

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