It's Spring Day and that means that summer is just around the corner for us southern hemisphere folks - following quickly on the heels of a chilly winter. While our focus during winter is on taking care of dry skin the transition from winter to summer can be quite taxing on our skin. Here are some tips to get you through the next few weeks.
You have heard it before, but hydrated skin starts on the inside so commit to increasing your daily water intake. Summer is also a great time to increase your intake of fruit and salads, helping to boost your intake of vitamins and fibre. This will also show up in healthier skin.
Because your skin produces more sebum in winter, the excess oil during the transition from winter to warmer weather can cause or worsen acne. To combat oily skin, avoid heavy creams and lotions. If you do need extra moisture, use a serum that contains salicylic acid or retinol. Find a cleanser that has a slightly acidic pH (something in the pH range 4.5 to 5.5). Stay away from alkaline cleansers as they remove too much sebum which dries out the skin. As we mentioned last month our skins are much happier with slightly acidic products. Salicylic acid will help to exfoliate the skin and open any blocked oil glands, lessening the occurrence of acne.
We prefer clear gel cleansers to milky cleansers or soap. It's also worth making sure that your cleanser is paraben and sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) free.
Consider using a gentler exfoliator
Because the chilly winter air may have left your skin dry and uneven, it is critical to (gently) remove the excess dead skin layers. Instead of a rough scrub choose a product that contains a small amount of glycolic, mandelic or salicylic acid.
Opt for water-based serums
Oil-based serums, lotions or creams are more likely to block your oil glands, leading to break-outs. Oily serums are also much harder to cleanse from the skin. So we much prefer water-based hydrating serums.
Depending on where you live, the humidity is generally higher in summer, and you might even find that you do not need to use a moisturising serum as often. If a serum feels too “rich" for your skin in summer then keep it for the dryer winter months and find something lighter. Warmer weather also encourages your skin to produce more of its own natural oils, another reason you may not need as much additional moisture on your skin.
Now that it is warmer and the weather is more pleasant, it is more important than ever to be sunwise. Do not spend more than 5 minutes in direct sunlight and stay in the shade rather than in the full sun, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when UV rays are strongest. Wear protective clothing.
Sunscreens (containing titanium) are the safest to use. Remember that SPF 15 is enough (93%) protection. Higher SPF values contain a disproportionate amount of chemicals for very little additional protection. Remember that you should always re-apply sunscreen at regular intervals, so a lower SPF equals fewer chemicals (and less inflammageing).
Get enough exercise
Shake off the winter blues by getting outside and moving your body. Walk, run, jog - whatever it is make sure you can do it consistently. Sweat purifies the pores and the body and a great workout also has the power to cleanse the mind and increase your feel-good endorphins. We do recommend cleansing your face after a good sweat especially if you do suffer from breakouts or acne. So, get up and get moving and embrace the summer.
Spring clean your cabinet
Spring is synonymous with spring cleaning - so take the opportunity to clean out your makeup bag and bathroom cabinet of any old or expired makeup or products. The rule of thumb with makeup is to toss it after a year unless it's something used on the eye (like mascara) in which case the shelf-life is only 3 months.
Give everything (brushes, sponges and the makeup bag itself) a good clean. Cloth bags can be thrown into the washing machine, otherwise, the bag can be wiped down with makeup remover. Make sure everything is thoroughly dry before packing it all away again.
Take the opportunity to replace your expired makeup with multipurpose products that will help you save space and money.
Do you have any other tips for summer skin? Let us know in the comments.