Summer is the time for enjoying the outdoors, catching up with friends and lots festivity, but it can leave your skin feeling a little blah. Summer sees most skins more regularly exposed to external aggravators such as harmful UV rays, dehydrating wind, increased humidity, increased production of sweat and clogging pollution. Research has actually shown that skins age more at this time of the year, than any other due to the extra time spent outdoors. To help your skin manage this tricky time of the year, we have a few tips and product picks to keep your skin healthy and happy.
We talk about this all the time and we probably won’t stop any time soon (sorry, not sorry!). Sun damage is cumulative. It is also the number one cause of premature ageing and pigmentation. UV light causes photo ageing in the form of brown spots (lipofuscin), coarse skin and wrinkles – whether you have burned your skin or not. When sunlight comes into contact with our skin, a cascade of damage can result. Primary amongst them is the stripping of barrier lipids, which causes inflammation, production of reactive oxygen molecules that affect healthy cell growth and stimulation of collagen destructing enzymes.
Apply your sunscreen daily, making sure you’re using enough for adequate coverage and continue to reapply during the day. Even on a cloudy day, your skin can still be exposed to up to 40% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. If possible, apply sunscreen 30 – 45 minutes before heading out into the sun to allow your skin to absorb the product. Add a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing for further protection. If you do get burnt (it happens to the best of us, sometimes!), there are a few things you can do for immediate relief:
- Taking an aspirin will decrease your inflammatory response.
- Buttermilk from the fridge makes a great cooling compress. Soak a tea towel or washer in a mixture of half buttermilk & water and put over your burnt skin. Change frequently. The lactic acid in the buttermilk helps to calm inflammation and retain moisture.
- A Bespoke Base Gel can be customised into an after-sun mask/gel for you by your skin treatment therapist and will probably include ingredients such as D-Panthenol, Aloe Vera, Linseed and Echinacea to prevent peeling, reduce redness & inflammation and soothe & cool.
Remember that just one incidence of sunburn doubles your risk of melanoma — so make sure you book into your skin cancer clinic each year for a comprehensive skin check. It’s painless, quick and will detect early warning signs of carcinomas and malignant melanoma.
Antioxidants are your friend
Antioxidants help to protect the skin from future sun damage and can also assist in reversing existing sun damage. Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Green Tea are three amazing antioxidants that when used in synergy help to activate immune cells, stimulate collagen production and block free radicals. Specifically, Vitamin E (tocopherol) prevents protective lipids in the skin from oxidising; Vitamin C helps prevent hyper-pigmentation and Green Tea is a powerhouse – it is a free radical scavenger, anti- inflammatory, anti-ageing, photo-protective and also protects the langerhans cell (immune cells found in the epidermis that migrate to deeper layers of the skin when exposed to UV radiation. It is possible to strengthen and protect these cells and avoid premature ageing.).
Hydration – inside and out
The elements that summer brings such as increased sun exposure, heat, humidity, beach, chlorine and air conditioning mean an increased likelihood of dehydration. By increasing your consumption of water you can alleviate this. Higher temperatures can quickly lead to internal dehydration, resulting in headaches and dizziness. If you’re on the go, carry a drink bottle to get your minimum of at least 2 litres a day. Give your skin a hydrating spritz by using Lotion M or Face Tonic. It’s like wrapping your skin in a delicate mist that leaves a refreshing, cooling effect. Spray directly onto face before applying moisturiser and repeat during the day as refreshment when required. It can even be used over make-up. Store in the fridge for uber refreshment! Lotion M is also the perfect skin refresher after a long day at the beach or in the sun and for general environmental protection. Active ingredients such as Cucumber Extract and D-Panthenol noticeably soothe the skin. It contains Horsetail Extract which supports stressed capillaries and strengthens connective tissue. Lotion M offers strong antioxidant properties and helps to protect from UVB damage; it literally puts the moisture back into your skin after the sun has taken it out.
Avoid perfumes to avoid pigmentation
Avoid all products with fragrance or essential oils as they can be photo-sensitisers and many are known to trigger excess pigment. It actually attracts the sun and causes pigmentation in those areas. Apply your perfume to your hair or clothes, never directly on your skin. If you want to learn more about pigmentation & perfume, check out this blog by our dermaviduals Ambassador, Robyn. If pigmentation is a a concern for you, remember that there is no easy fix. Look for skin-loving ingredients to treat as well as prevent further pigmentation. Look for products like Niacinamide (B3) and Vitamin C. Products should also contain Vitamin A to help regenerate, repair damage and keep cells healthy. Green Tea is photo-protective, anti-inflammatory, free radical blocker that helps to repair UV-induced cell damage, essential fatty acids and Vitamin E that also decreases sun induced redness. Our Whitening Serum is an essential for protecting and correcting skin tone and texture. It diminishes the appearance of pigmentation and also lightens age spots. It is also a tyrosinase inhibitor, offering cellular protection and is perfect for use on post-inflammatory acne marks. Our Whitening Serum is not only intended for those suffering from melamsa, chlosama pigmentation caused by UV damage, it is also designed as a preventative. Research indicates that age spots contribute to the appearance of skin ageing as much as a wrinkle does.
As always, this advice is general – your skin treatment therapist knows your skin best through your regular skin consultations. If you don’t already have an amazing dermaviduals therapist guiding you on your skin journey, find one here.