Summer is here, and with it comes a necessary revamp of our skincare routine. Because of the longer sunshine hours, heat, humidity and pollution, skin can become prone to blocked pores, acne, blackheads, redness and shine. OK, I know if you live in the UK like me you are wondering if I've looked out of the window to see the rain today?! Yes and I stand by this list regardless! With this in mind, I’ve created this list of my top tips for your freshest and healthiest summer skin.
1. Apply a fluid-based SPF every 2-4 hours
Obviously my first point was going to be protecting yourself from UV! It’s terribly important to use a fluid-based sunscreen – the consistency of a product matters! If you are reapplying a cream to your face every 2 hours, you are giving your skin way too much oil which has a tendency to block pores and aggravate acne. A fluid-based SPF will have a lower amount of oil and more water, giving the skin the exact top up it needs in every way.
2. Exfoliate every 8 days
Minimise pores, reduce shine and remove dead skin cells efficiently by gently exfoliating the skin using fruit enzymes and acid based mild peels. Always follow with a good moisturiser to help rebuild the skin barrier and protect your skin. I recommend exfoliating at night because the skin is more sensitive to UV afterwards. Also be extra vigilant with applying your fluid-based SPF for a couple of days post exfoliation.
If your skin is prone to redness, exfoliate once every 15 days instead, and use a very gentle exfoliating treatment. Try to avoid red patches and definitely avoid broken skin or areas with active acne, eczema or dermatitis.
3. Use a foaming gentle cleanser
Oil-based cleansers that emulsify with water just won’t effectively remove dirt from your skin because the micelles (vehicles formed by cleanser surfactants in water to transport dirty oil away from your skin) will not form as efficiently. With higher levels of pollution, more sweat being produced, and more time outdoors, it’s important to cleanse your skin properly at this time of year.
However, if your skin is particularly sensitive then stick with oil-based cleansers. Also, I do not recommend electric cleansing brushes of any kind – these are too aggressive to the skin. Hands will do just fine (as they have for centuries)!
4. Moisturise with a cream containing light oils
Lighter creams made specifically for warm temperatures and more oily skin types are perfect for protecting the skin barrier and keeping the skin hydrated in this weather. The oils in them have a lower molecular weight and so are less likely to feel waxy. And, unlike other heavier oil creams, you will still feel your moisturiser on your skin keeping it supple after hours. Really spend time massaging the cream into your face (for a minimum of 2 minutes) as stimulating increased circulation super for the skin. A perfect treat for rejuvenating and promoting skin cell recovery at night time.
5. Make your own refreshing cool spray
Acne, redness, summer flush and enlarged pores can be kept at bay with a little skin care invention I have that is so easy to make. Dilute 1 part of tea tree oil with 8 parts of water and put in a small spray container in the fridge (or ice box if having a picnic or at the beach). Use as a chilled spray on your face whenever you feel hot. It keeps you hydrated and keeps acne at bay. If you don’t have access to a fridge during the day, thermal pouches work well.
You could also use this same solution to soak some mini face towels, roll and wrap them in cling film and place in fridge. They would be amazing to use as a five minute treat on your face.
6. Quench your thirst and eat fresh
You’ve heard this plenty of times before. Avoid sugar, caffeine and dairy. Eat leafy vegetables in abundance, white meats, fish and fruit. Listen to your body when it feels thirsty and feed it with water. Contrary to popular belief, 8 glasses of water a day is not for everyone. Some people drink more, some drink less. There is no scientific research to say that water consumption of 8 glasses a day has a direct effect on the health of your skin.
7. Laugh and keep happy
It may seem odd to add this point, but recently I have treated and advised clients with skin disorders like eczema, chronic acne and flare ups that can only be attributed to extreme stress. The stress hormone, cortisol, really wreaks havoc on the skin in ways that are still being researched by endocrine scientists. The only way to help combat this is to accept problems and know that you can only do your best – and even that to a limit. Keep remembering what you have, keep perspective and keep humour in your life.