The British summer is full of surprises, one day it’s close to 30 degrees without a cloud in the sky and the next, it’s grey and bucketing it down. And while you might feel like you can’t fully embrace your summer wardrobe (since many of us won’t be travelling abroad this summer) – you absolutely should switch things up when it comes to your skincare.
We’ve uncovered the most common summer skin issues, and the product types and skincare actives you should be adding to your arsenal as temperatures rise.
Sebum ControlHeat and humidity trigger our sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, aka oil naturally produced by the body to protect and moisturise the skin. So, for those of you who have a skincare regime dedicated to normal or dry skin, you’ll probably find you need to switch things up. Cleansers that contain exfoliating acids like salicylic acid are ideal during this time as they deep clean pores, helping to remove dead skin cell build up and excess sebum to ensure spots don’t become a summer season problem.
Niacinamide aka vitamin B3 is another active that’s ideal for treating excess oil, as it literally slows down sebum excretion rates. This makes it the perfect active for those with naturally oily skin, especially when heat and humidity turn your oil production dial to max. It’s also a pigmentation prevention hero, as it disrupts the production of melanin to stop pigmentation from forming in response to damaging UV rays from the sun.
Sun DamageTo be clear, sun damage can occur during any of the four seasons. If it’s light out, the sun is present and ultraviolet light is hitting your skin, causing photo-damage in its deepest layers –which is why sun damage like sunspots can take years to present. Niacinamide, vitamin C and liquorice root extract work well at inhibiting melanin (the dark pigment that makes up hyperpigmentation), but protection against the sun is key.
Sun protection should be worn all year round but come summer it’s worth ramping up your SPF to at least a 30, and reapply every two hours as your sun protection value is only fully effective for the first two hours after application.
DehydrationParched skin is commonplace come summer and when skin is dehydrated it can look flaky, red and lacklustre. It can also feel irritated, itchy and super tight. The recommended eight glasses of water a day is just the start when it comes to hydrating your skin, and it’s not as simple as simply slathering on a moisturiser.
You need to tag team a number of hydrating actives and strengthen your skin barrier to keep hydration in. First start with humectants, these are ingredients that draw water to themselves – think hyaluronic acid, glycerin and even polyhydroxy acids (PHA’s) like exfoliating lactic acid and glycolic acid. Used regularly, these will majorly boost your skin’s hydration levels.
But to stay hydrated you’ll need to protect your skin’s natural barrier. This is where ceramides come into play. These long chain fatty acids bolster the skin barrier, allowing it to act like a burly bouncer preventing nasties from getting in and water from getting out.