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Summer Ready Skin and 8 Ways to Achieve it

We are well and truly into spring weather, and summer is just around the corner! 

So what are some tips and tricks to help you get your skin summer ready while also helping you keep it safe from sunburn and other issues common to warmer weather? 

My patients and followers know I’m a fan of the KISS method for skincare ie Keep It Simple Stupid - the least number of steps to achieve your goals, and once you’ve found what works for you, stick to it while avoiding latest fads and trends which might upset your skin. So a solid skincare regimen should see you through most seasons and climates with minor tweaks as needed. 

In saying that, warm weather brings a whole slew of skin-care challenges and questions like, "Do I really have to moisturize even if it's 100 degrees out and my face feels oily?” (Spoiler alert: Yes.) Luckily, the experts know exactly how to face summer — pun intended — head on.

Yes, yes I get it, it’s summer and you want to do summer-y things like go to the beach, and get into water sports so it may not always be possible or practical to cover up with hats and clothing and avoid the sun. This being the case, sun protection with the last line of defence ie sunscreen, becomes even more important because: 
  • you cannot avoid the UV eg while in the pool or at the beach
  • you sweat much more and will use up the sunscreen faster 
  • Poolside surfaces reflect UV more than usual, so extra vigilance here is even more important than usual 
  • water has a cooling effect, so it is possible to burn while partially submerged in water and not feel it (UV can penetrate water to a depth of 50cm) 

So what can you do to protect your skin? 

  • Apply enough SPF 30-50+ that is a dedicated sunscreen with an AUST-L number - 5mls for the face and neck including ears and 5mls for each area of the body eg each limb. Total body SPF would need a shot glass or 35mls to be enough. 
  • Reapply frequently enough - every 2 hours if out and about, and more often, every 40 minutes if you are regularly getting wet
  • when not in the pool, seek shade, wear protective clothing, sunhat and sunglasses because even perfect, adequate sunscreen of 50+ allows 2% of UV to penetrate the skin ie it is sunscreen, not sunBLOCK. 
2. Lighten up some skincare 
Heavier creams can feel like too much, or even oily when applied to skin in warmer weather. Does this mean you don’t need to moisturise? Nope, you still would benefit from a moisturiser, especially if using actives such as retinols and AHAs/BHAs but a lighter formulation eg a lotion instead of a cream, or a lighter formulation. You may also wish to swap out an oil based cleanser for a gentle foaming cleanser for sensitive skin during warmer months. Similarly, if you wear makeup, you may wish to lighten up some formulations and choose non comedogenic options where possible. 
3. Consider a 2-in-1 moisturiser/SPF

Heavier moisturisers and SPF in warmer weather may risk acne and an oily feeling skin;  a lighter sunscreen over any optional serums or a combination SPF/moisturiser formulation may be a great alternative during warmer months as long as you remember to apply enough and reapply regularly as you would any dedicated sunscreen. 

4. Moisturising is STILL important though …

Moisturizers improve skin barrier repair, maintain the skin integrity and appearance. Moisturizers improve skin hydration by directly providing water to the skin and reducing water loss, providing a soothing protective film and protects skin from friction. So even if you lean towards a lighter combo SPF/moisturiser, do remember to keep moisturising - sweat does NOT count as moisturising!

5. Invest in a good vitamin C serum.

Vit C is a great active all year around, but it works to even out pigmentation and to protect against it, as well as working synergistically with your SPF to help protect skin and improve uneven skin tone, which is more important in warmer months when UV exposure is more intense. Vit C also induces collagen, and can help with fine lines and wrinkles. Find a brand that works well with your skin type and layer it between your cleanser and SPF/moisturiser. 

6. Exfoliation 

Judicious exfoliation with an AHA is often a good way to keep all skin types but especially oily skin healthy and keep acne at bay. Remember not to overdo it though, 1-2 times a week is plenty, and not at the same time as retinols if you are using those in your skincare routine also. 

7. Don’t forget the other 4 Ss just because it’s summer! 

As discussed above, it IS summer and while it’s unreasonable to expect to cover up completely while at the beach, it’s equally important to remember that summer is also the season when UV rays are highest and in places like Australia, it is possible to burn in mere 11 minutes at midday. So remember, whenever possible, to wear protective clothing, sunhats, sunglasses and to seek shade when and wherever possible, with sunscreen as your last line of defence. 

8. Consider in-clinic skin therapies 

Lastly, if you are open to consider in-clinic treatments to get your skin summer ready, or to help with dry scaly skin, congested pores and more, consider options such as chemical peels, laser genesis (or a combo of the two) as well as Skinboosters to get skin summer ready. 


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