Just as we change our wardrobes moving into summer, so too should we adjust our approach to skincare. In summer, our key skin concerns are heavily impacted by an increase in oil production, increase in sun exposure, and increased dehydration. By tweaking and making slight modifications to our product repertoire for the warmer months will ensure the skin stays balanced yet dewy and glowing as the mercury rises. Below are a few simple and strategic swaps and well-placed skincare essentials for summer.
Sun protection, all day every day
Sun protection is a non-negotiable part of your skincare routine year-round. During summer it’s absolutely paramount for your skin health to apply a broad spectrum SPF50 as the final step in your morning routine. And of course, ensuring you are reapplying every two hours when spending time outside. Most modern formulations contain a host of hydrators and skin blurring ingredients making them perfect to double as your day cream and primer. There are many makeup products and moisturisers on the market that include sunscreen, however, this doesn’t provide adequate protection and a separate sunscreen should always be applied before applying your makeup.
Don’t forget your neck, decollete and hands, these areas are more exposed in the warmer months and are particularly susceptible to sun damage. I like to incorporate a vitamin C serum into my morning routine. Its high antioxidant properties add an extra layer of protection while simultaneously brightening and addressing any pigmentation, which is more common during summer.
Use lighter weight formulations
In summer, you can swap out your heavier and more occlusive products for lighter formulations. Not only do lotions, gels, serums and mists feel more refreshing than denser creams and milks, but they are also less likely to cause congestion and clogged pores when there’s more humidity in the atmosphere. Store your restorative winter favourites in the fridge – they’ll keep well for a few months and you can revisit them again come autumn.
Eat the rainbow
So many of my favourite antioxidant-dense, skin-boosting foods are in season during the warmer months – like avocados, berries, cherries, tomatoes, bright green leaves, mangoes and cucumbers. Summer for me is the best time for big, bright salads with cold-pressed olive oil and grilled wild fish.
As the temperature rises, we naturally sweat more. It’s vital that we replenish this water loss to retain optimal skin hydration. I like to fill a large carafe with water and add in a few slices of cucumber, mint, grapefruit or lemon to boost hydration. Along with consuming a diet rich in hydrating foods and plenty of liquids, we can attend to this topically by using products containing hyaluronic acid (a super-hydrator that can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water) and hydrating facial masks that work their magic overnight as our cells regenerate while we sleep. An invigorating face mist can also do wonders after a hot day to quench and refresh the complexion – I like to keep mine in the fridge for an extra boost.
I’m a big fan of the double cleanse regardless of the season, but this simple technique has many benefits, especially during summer. In the warmer months, our sebum glands naturally produce more oil than usual, so double cleansing is essential to help balance out the complexion and eliminate unwanted shine. In addition, more time spent outdoors means increased exposure to environmental factors such as UV light and pollution, which can generate free radicals (unstable molecules that latch onto healthy cells and gradually weaken them). Thoroughly cleaning the skin via a double cleanse will remove any of this debris. The first cleanse removes traces of makeup, sunscreen, and any pollutants and sweat. The second draws out impurities from the pores.
Humid weather, increased oil and sweat during summer can often lead to clogged pores and bouts of congestion. Incorporate a gentle exfoliation into your summer skincare routine two to three times a week to refine and clarify the complexion and keep any break-outs and blackheads at bay. I recommend exfoliating in the evenings, as most can leave the skin slightly photosensitive and more susceptible to sunburn.
In-studio treatments such as microdermabrasion, peels and LED light therapy are great modalities for the warmer months to promote cell turnover, refine, brighten and infuse the complexion with vital actives.