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summer skin

Summer Skin

As we pass the summer solstice and head into the long warm holidays, more and more skin is released from winter layers. As temperatures start to rise, it really can be beneficial to tweak our skincare routines to help keep our summer skin happy.

Sunshine on skin can feel wonderful – it boosts the mood for sure and many people with skin conditions such as psoriasis report improvements in the summer months. Our skins are also responsible for the synthesis of Vitamin D from the sun – otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin which is essential for good health, so this is a good time for building our supply up to make us feel good. Of course we need to be sun wise – seeking shade between 11 and 3pm if possible, wearing SPF and hats where needed.

As well as these benefits, summer also brings its fair share of skin concerns from irritation to dehydration. Here are some tips to help keep your skin happy through the summer months.

Top tips for summer skin

Dehydration is very common in summer for all skin types. Heat from the dry summer air as well as the sun’s UV rays can cause water loss. Air conditioning and the temperature change from air con to outside heat also dehydrate skin; hot weather in general increases water loss from the body – think how much we can sweat when we are hot.

We can address this internally of course by drinking plenty of water and eating water rich foods such as watermelon and cucumber. The skincare we use is also key in keeping our skin water levels topped up.

A few lightweight layers of hydrating skincare products can feel more agreeable on the skin as opposed to richer formulations that may feel too heavy in the heat. I love to use serums and sprays with hyaluronic acid which acts as a moisture magnet and helps keep skin plump. Current favourites include UpCircle’s Face Toner and I love the Haeckels Algae Plump Serum. I’ve got a post here exploring dehydrated skin more if you’d like a read.

If you’re not usually oily, you might find oil production ramps up a bit in the summer – this can be the skin trying to make up for lost water.

For naturally oilier skins summer can bring even more shine and extra congestion. It can be tempting to skip the moisturiser but oily skins still need hydration; if they become dehydrated they can actually produce more oil to try and make up for it. So skipping the moisturiser becomes counter-productive. Go for lightweight layers as above.

Some oily skins prefer to use oil-free formulations; while I’m not a fan of mineral oils I do think there is a place for some plant oils. Counter to a lot of belief oily skins can use oils on their skin, but plant oils such as jojoba that can help to balance skin – it is actually great for a first cleanse to help break down SPF and makeup. (oil attracts oil so it can be great for helping to unclog pores). Thicker more occlusive oils might not feel so comfortable, especially in the heat and can cause congestion.

This Salicylic Rescue Serum from Evolve is great for helping with excess sebum. A decongesting mask could be lovely once a week too.

Oil blotters are great for controlling shine as opposed to putting more and more makeup on which again can add to congestion.

Gentle cleansing is essential

Good cleansing is key for all skins. It is not a case of multiple cleanses a day (even though you might feel like it) but clever gentle cleansing. On a hot day I love a double cleanse – the first to break down makeup, SPF and daily grime and then the second cleanse to get that bit deeper.

You don’t need hot water for an effective cleanse, indeed water that is too hot can irritate already irritated and hot skin. A cool wash can be so calming to a skin that has been in the sun all day. Gently rinse off your cleanser – rubbing too hard with a flannel for example can irritate hot skin.

A gentle cleanse in the morning can be refreshing after a sticky night, but just one and something like a cream or gel formulation. I love Skin & Tonic’s Get Up & Glow Jelly Cleanser.

Too much or harsh cleansing can strip the skin and remove too much oil, which can get us into that vicious cycle of the skin producing extra oil, and also damaging the skin’s barrier. Try keeping skin fresh instead during the day with a hydrating spritz such as Odylique’s Calming Rose Super Tonic – my skin loves this.

Gentle exfoliation can be nice during the summer to help cleanse that little bit more but keep it gentle. I really like Evolve’s Miracle Mask which uses papaya as a natural exfoliator.

Be wary of anything too active in the summer heat (especially if your skin isn’t used to it) as some actives can make your skin more sun sensitive – SPF is key here.

Skin can become easily irritated in the summer. Mine is prone to redness, itching and heat rashes. (Fun!) Choose products that calm and soothe – a current favourite of mine is Balance Me’s Ceramide Barrier Booster (see a review here) it is a lightweight gel texture so great for hot days – I find it calms and hydrates.

Another fun summer skin thing to contend with is Prickly heat – anyone else suffer with this?! This is when sweat gets caught in the epidermis, which then causes a bumpy rash which can be very uncomfortable. I personally choose to use mineral sunscreens without silicones or mineral oils as I find that the latter can contribute to the blocked sweat.

Blotting sweat rather than rubbing it off can help with general irritation too. Wash off and calm hot skin at the end of the day with cool water – a cold flannel can work wonders – place on the affected area and leave for a few moments. Remember to rinse after swimming too.

What are your favourite tips for helping to keep summer skin happy? Let me know in the comments below and maybe give me a like if you found the post helpful 🙂

Images by Thea Baddiley with a little makeup by me.

summer skin
summer skin
summer skin