During the summer months, when the sun is shining, we often feel our most relaxed and happy selves. But someone needs to tell that to our skin, because as the mercury rises our complexions can easily go into meltdown. From excess oil and breakouts to redness and heat rashes, some complexions don’t deal with the hot and humid summer weather very well.
Keep calm and carry on with these expert skin tips. We called on facialist Tarryn Warren and Consultant Dermatologist Dr. Alexis Granite at Malucci London to reveal their top tips for keeping your complexion clear and calm this summer.
1. Beat breakouts
When it comes to summer skin, two of the biggest issues Warren’s clients face are blackheads and breakouts. “This is generally due to wearing make-up in the heat, pollution and heavy SPFs,” she says.
To combat this, Warren says you can really lighten up your daytime skincare routine: “When it’s warmer our pores are open, we sweat and produce oil, so you don’t need to moisturise.” Instead, after cleansing look to a lightweight serum and SPF.
When you get in from a hot day out, Warren suggests cleaning your skin as soon as possible. "Make sure you cleanse as early in the evening as you can. Let it breathe. Let your pores push out the funk and clean themselves, they can’t do this with layers of SPF and make-up.”
SPF is designed to cling to the skin so that you’re protected, but this also makes it quite stubborn to remove. Ensure you double cleanse in the evenings to remove everything and prevent clogged pores.
If you tend to get breakouts on hot days spent lazing in the park or on the beach especially, then Warren recommends getting a clay-based face mask and using it in the evenings “to absorb oil and draw out the impurities.” The Purifying Wonder Mask contains kaolin clay, as well as charcoal and Ghassoul powder to leave skin feeling super clean.
“Remember, SPF doesn’t last the whole day. So, if you are having an afternoon siesta, wash your face and let it siesta as well,” she adds.
2. Put off pigmentation
Struggling with pigmentation during the summer months? Warren suggests you do your best with a sun hat and SPF. If pigmentation is your complexion bugbear, make sure to opt for the highest SPF you can. We would recommend an SPF 50. Be generous with your application and reapply often.
The fastest way to tackle pigmentation is with a treatment course of peels or laser. “Generally, I recommend waiting until after summer to treat pigmentation,” says Granite, “as any underlying tan can increase the risk of burning from treatments.”
3. Defeat dehydration
“Hyaluronic should be your number one skincare ingredient during the summer,” says Warren. “It’s great for ALL skin types and does not cause sun sensitivity.” Find it in the Glow First Essence, or the Hydrating Gel Cream. Both should be applied after cleansing. If you’re into sheet masks, try the brand-new Hydrating Sheet Mask, a bio cellulose mask that contours closely to the face, delivering beneficial botanicals to keep the skin hydrated longer. Your skin will feel intensely moisturised, softened and radiant.
Oh, and keep the Urban Hydrating Mist in the fridge for a cooling hit of hydration whenever your complexion is feeling parched.
4. Take a pass on prickly heat
“Prickly heat, also known as miliaria, occurs when blocked pores trap sweat in the skin,” explains Granite. “It is very common in babies, but may occur at any age, especially in hot, humid conditions.”
To avoid a bout of prickly heat, Granite recommends you avoid heavy, tight-fitting clothing. “And stay in the shade when possible if you are prone to prickly heat.”
While cool showers and compresses can help relieve the itching, Granite says if it is very uncomfortable “anti-histamines can help.”
According to Warren, factoring in plenty of beta carotene and lycopene from carrots and cooked tomatoes “will strengthen the skin to improve your protection against the sun.”
You may think it’s best to avoid the sun altogether if you’re prone to prickly heat, but Warren advises “20 minutes of sun exposure every day in the mornings when the sun isn’t too strong.”
And remember, we all need Vitamin D which is triggered to synthesise in the body by the sun. It is key for things like healthy bone density and a strong immune system.