Our skin is the largest organ in the body and will goes through many changes throughout our life, affected by hormones, diet, lifestyle, age, genetics, and of course, environmental changes.
As we transition to Summer, the change in humidity, increased sun exposure and higher temperatures can disrupt the skin barrier which may result in skin texture changes, an increase in oil production, congestion and more sensitivity.
You may find it necessary to set aside some of your winter staples to welcome in a routine that will balance, hydrate and protect throughout the warmer months and we wanted to share our tips for making this transition as seamless as possible.
Cleanse with milk or gel cleansers to keep your oil production balanced and prevent stripping the skin. Consistently cleansing is an essential step of any routine but it becomes particularly important during warmer months when sweat and SPF come into the picture.
You may find that the rich moisturizer your skin was happily soaking up peak-winter might now feel heavy, that's because heavier creams are rich in emollients to prevent moisture loss from your skin. As the temperature rises, you'll sweat more and your skin may feel greasy after applying something rich. To balance this, consider swapping rich creams for gel moisturizers or lightweight facial oils, that absorb quickly into your skin.
It's important to remember that all skin types need hydration and moisture in the summer months. Since skin will be losing water faster than usual, skipping on moisturizer is not the answer, try reaching for one that is rich in natural moisturizing factors such as hyaluronic acid or linoleic acid. These ingredients will prevent moisture evaporating from your skin but will not clog pores.
In general, skin doesn't require as much exfoliation in the winter months as our focus is on replenishing moisture and maintaining balance. Your spring/summer skincare routine should involve either physical or chemical exfoliants to help slough off dead skin and allow your products to penetrate deeper into the skin, just be mindful of not over-exfoliating which can throw your skin off balance and create irritation.
The frequency of exfoliation will vary slightly depending on what kind of product you're using and your skin-type but as a general rule, 1-2 times per week should be more than enough. Our skin has it's own natural exfoliation process (which slows down as we age!) but in the warmer months when sweat, SPF and heat come into the picture, it won't hurt to give a little helping hand.
We recommend, starting slow and gauging how your skin feels. With some gentler products, you may want to increase how often you do it.
If you haven't already, take a peek at our last blog post for a more in depth look at SPF. Long story short, SPF should be worn everyday, rain or shine (you'll get sick of us harping on about this but it is important!) but it is crucial in Spring/Summer when the suns rays are at their strongest. A Broad Spectrum SPF 30-50 will do the trick and should ideally be reapplied every couple of hours to protect you from the UV rays that can cause sun damage and hyperpigmentation.
SPF is also notoriously trickier to remove from skin which could be a contributing factor to clogged pores in warmer months. This is where a consistent cleansing routine will serve you well. Consider double-cleansing too, this allows the first cleanse to break-down makeup, dirt and SPF and lift it off the skin and the second cleanse to wash all of that away and properly cleanse the skin underneath.
Antioxidants protect your skin against free radicals. These destructive radicals are released from the sun’s UV rays and air pollution. They damage your skin in a process called oxidative stress, resulting in sun damage, premature skin aging and even skin cancer in the long run.
By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants protect your skin from the signs of premature aging as well as prevent the breakdown of collagen and reduce inflammation.
Powerful sources of antioxidants include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A (Retinol), Niacinamide and Green Tea Extract.
6. REGULATING OIL PRODUCTION
During summertime, you may also notice an increase in breakouts and oiliness. As the temperature increases, your skin’s sebaceous glands produce more sebum to regulate your body temperature. This excess sebum can clog pores and cause breakouts but using a lightweight facial oil could help those with oily and acne prone skin. By rebalancing your sebum consistency and replenishing your skin, you'll notice fewer breakouts and happier skin.
7. KEEP IT SIMPLE
The fewer products the better, don't overwhelm your skin and focus on the basics. Create an easy routine that includes: cleansing, antioxidants, exfoliation, hydration and sunscreen. If you're a makeup wearer, opt for lighter products that will allow your skin to breathe such as tinted SPF and maybe choose to keep skin products at a minimum and highlight other features on the face instead.
8. SPRING CLEAN
Take time to spring clean your beauty cabinet, letting go of things that afre past their prime. Look for the period-after-opening (PAO) symbol on the back or bottom of any product, which looks like like an open tub with a number next to or inside it. This tells you how many months your product should be effective for after opening.
Wash all beauty tools including face cloths, re-usable cotton pads, ice-rollers and makeup brushes even more regularly in the summer months as these can be breeding ground for bacteria, which transfers to your face and can clog pores.
All of this to say that simplicity and consistency are key when it comes to creating a summer skin routine that keeps your skin happy and healthy. If you're unsure of where to start or need help with recommending products, book in for a skincare consultation and we'll have a chat about your existing routine and guide you towards products for your skin type and concerns!