Information & Advice
Oh, the irony. Just when we're planning to lighten our make up and embrace summer's brighter days with a fresher, pared-down face, up pop those summer skin care niggles – oiliness, dryness and sensitivity – to test our summer holiday spirit. But panic not, we've rounded up the expert solutions and problem-solving products so you can shake off your skin care woes, relax and enjoy the summer.
Clued-up beauty fans know the drill: always protect your skin against UV rays – or suffer the consequences. "The immediate and long-term effects of sun exposure include photo ageing, which causes depletion of collagen fibres, hyper pigmentation, uneven skin tone and deep wrinkles. More serious risks of sun exposure include the development of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers," warns Julienne Curran, medical relations manager for La Roche-Posay and Vichy. Both UVA and UVB protection is vital. We like La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF40 Sun Fluid (available in store), which provides great broad-spectrum protection. Apply generously, at least 30 minutes before sun exposure.
Even "normal" skin types can suddenly find themselves sensitive in the summer, when dry heat can exacerbate problems if skin is prone to dryness. "This can cause a sensation of tightness and discomfort," says Johanna Saiki, Avène product manager, who warns that salt, chlorine and air conditioning may also contribute to skin sensitivity. If your skin is suddenly sensitive, avoid exposure to the sun, seek gentle fragrance-free products designed with sensitive skins in mind, and consult your pharmacist. "Sometimes sudden irritation can come from medication," says Johanna. To calm irritated skin, spritz on Avène Eau Thermale Thermal Spray. "It's soothing and anti-irritating," Johanna explains, so won't aggravate upset skin.
Finding your skin oilier and spottier than usual? Blame the sun. "UV radiation accelerates sebum secretion so that skin is more prone to shininess and imperfections, especially in the summer months," explains Julienne Curran. Don't be tempted to skip moisturiser entirely, however – the experts agree that even oily skin needs it. Instead, invest in a daily mattifying moisturiser with oil-regulating active ingredients and UVA/UVB protection, says Julienne. We like Vichy Normaderm Pro Mat Daily Hydrating Care SPF15 (available in store), which is oil-free and – crucially – delivers that all-important matte finish.
At the opposite skin scale, dry skin can be particularly troublesome in summer as a result of dry air, air conditioning and extremes of temperature, warns Emma Thomson, head of natural therapies for Neal's Yard Remedies. To recover? "Hydrate your skin with light creams containing humectant ingredients that lock moisture into the skin, and up the amount of water you drink throughout the day," says Emma. Her tip: top up hydration levels throughout the day with Neal's Yard Remedies Frankincense Hydrating Mist.
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The ultimate guide to sun care
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