I know, if you’re in the UK like we are, summer isn’t exactly what I would call ‘in full swing’. But then again, I think summer doesn’t start until it hits 30 degrees… to each their own. But regardless, if you’re sweltering in extreme heat, or walking through muggy summer humidity and rain, there are some important considerations to make when we look at how to adapt our skincare routines through the summer.
The first thing to note is that there’s no call for an overhaul of your routine, but there are plenty of beneficial tweaks to be had. So what happens to our skin in the heat?
Oily skin gets oilier
Sorry to our oilier compatriots, but the increase of humidity triggers an increase in sebum production, and when you bring sweat into the mix we’re looking at clogged pores and more breakouts.
Using blot paper and/or a cold damp cloth throughout the day can help to reduce oiliness throughout the day (but please make sure to pat your skin, rather than irritating it by wiping!), and it’s even more important to thoroughly clean your skin in the evening and also when you wake up. Otherwise the build up of oils, pollutants like dirt and bacteria, and dead skin, can really irritate your skin and cause more and more blemishes to pop up.
Pairing our Peppermint Daily Cleanser with our Niacinamide Daily Toner can give you that double cleansing protection, as well as cool your skin down for a refreshed feel. Opt in a weekly or biweekly mask or exfoliator to aid in this process. And if you haven’t already, consider how using a serum like our Zinc PCA Facial Serum, which balances your oil levels, could help keep you feeling squeaky clean for longer.
Dry skin gets drier
That’s right, even though we might see an increase in humidity, which can benefit some dry skin (and those with skin conditions like psoriasis), we’re also looking at dehydration through sweating as the moisture evaporates and the dreaded dryness that comes from heavily air-conditioned spaces.
You’ll want to focus more on hydrating products, like our Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum, which improve long term moisture retention, and following up with a moisturiser to seal it all in. Part of improving hydration is improving your skin’s barrier function, with things like essential fatty acids and vitamin E, which are plentiful in both our Super Food Facial Oil and 5-HTP Face & Neck Cream.
Don’t be afraid to carry these around with you for some midday application, so long as you’re not leaving them in hot or sunny conditions!
UV Damage ramps up
Whilst the sunshine might come and go, UV rays are more harmful in summer. Not to mention that with each year the average UV index rating inches up, and lowest UV day in summer is still likely higher than the highest day of winter. This means it’s very important that you’re wearing SPF! Veeerryyy important!
Opt for a sunscreen that doubles as a moisturiser, or use a light moisturiser underneath, to avoid the heavy feeling of too many layers. If you wear foundation, you could go for a formula that includes an SPF, and always for a factor 30 and above when possible. Look for a broad spectrum which encompasses both UVA (A for ageing) and UVB (B for burning) rays, the former of which you may not see the immediate damage like you would with a sunburn. UVA rays can get to you through clouds and windows, so don’t forget to slip slop slap for staying indoors too, unless you’re planning on chilling in a windowless room… which we wouldn’t advise for the obvious reasons!
Our best weapon against UV damage are products sporting antioxidants, the molecules which nullify the negative effects of free radicals. Our Peptide Facial Serum and Zinc PCA Facial Serum are your tools for avoiding premature signs of ageing caused by UV, as well as our Ginger Root Daily Moisturiser which includes aloe vera to soothe red or sensitive skin.
Wearing sunscreen to protect your skin from dangerous rays is important, but proper sunscreen removal is also crucial when trying to minimise breakouts and prevent clogged pores. So, if you’ve been wearing an SPF, make sure you thoroughly cleanse in the evening... We’d even recommend double cleansing.
Your lips can dry out too!
Like we talked about last month, UV damage affects your lips too, and wearing an SPF can help them from drying out. You can put on a lip oil, like our Liquorice Lip Oil, on first for that extra hydration boost for longer lasting lip moisturisation. Our tip? Make using lip products part of your routine, rather than just having it lying around for when the moment strikes you. In the same breath, avoid losing your lip oil in a bag or pocket somewhere, only to be found weeks later when you’re digging around (guilty).
Some other considerations...
During this time, it’s important to think about how you’re storing your products. Cool and dark areas only, please! Heat and sunlight can accelerate the natural oxidising process, ruining your products before their time. Like many of us do with our eye serums or lip oils, the fridge is a great storage place, and it means when you come to your skincare at the end of the day, or in the morning, they’re nice and cool to the touch.
Make sure any tools you use, like a makeup brush for face masks, or a face cloth, are regularly washed and dried, not left out damp or coated in product. We’re already facing an increase in bacteria on our face through perspiration, and don’t need any more!
Cover up with light scarves, hats, and face masks if required for your day-to-day activities, and remember to wash them after use! The sweat and bacteria collected in these items can cause you more issues if you continue to put them back onto your skin each day, and ruin your dedication to clean, cared for skin. Your clothing choices are intrinsically tied to the health of the skin underneath.
It’s not too much to do, but the benefits will give you fresh and glowing summer proof skin! Keep your skin safe now, and your future self with thank you over and over again.
'Til next week,
Amy @ Team Q+A
Online community coordinator at Q+A and missing the Aussie sunshine (not so much the thinned ozone!)