Healthy Skin this Summer
Bikini and shorts season is in full swing and if showing off a beautifully luminous, sunkissed complexion minus the sun damage is high up on your to-do list, we've got you covered.
Nailing gorgeous glowing summer skin and maximising your radiance isn't as simple as slapping on a bit of fake tan and hoping for the best. If only.
At this time of year, your skin has to contend with breakout-inducing heat and humidity, super-drying air con and damaging UV rays – not the best recipe for a fresh, flawless complexion.
Luckily, there's loads you can do to nurture, protect and perfect your complexion during the warmer months, so to help you get your glow on, we've rounded up our ultimate tips and tricks for soft, shimmery summer skin.
The first step to glowing summer skin is effective cleansing. Warm, sticky weather can play havoc with your skin, especially if it's combination or oily, opening the pores, stimulating sebum production and breaking you out in spots, so opt for a purifying deep-cleansing product to really clear out those pores. If your complexion tends to be dry and sensitive, try a mild soothing product instead.
Skin-boosting tip: over-cleansing is a no-no as it can trigger overproduction of sebum in oily and combo skin types and may dehydrate dry, sensitive complexions – limit your showers and face-washing to twice a day max if you can.
A build-up of dead skin cells leads to a dull, lacklustre complexion – the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve – so it's super-important to exfoliate if you want smooth, radiant summer skin. A speedy dry brushing session before your morning shower will set the ball rolling. Use a shower puff on any rough patches and if your skin is oily or combination, apply a exfoliant with salicylic acid a couple of times a week post-shower.
While many skin experts will tell you toner is unnecessary, overly dry complexions may benefit from a mild alcohol-free 'freshener' toner to prime the skin for moisturising. Likewise, an astringent oil-eliminating toner may be helpful if your complexion is spot prone.
Whatever your skin type, stick with lighter lotions at this time of year – it's best to save the rich, heavy moisturising creams for the drier winter months, unless you're susceptible to eczema or related dry-skin conditions. While the muggy summer air will help keep moisture in your skin, overzealous air con will suck it out, so you might want to invest in a mini humidifier that you can pop on your desk at work or by your bed at night if you're lucky enough to have air con at home. Spritzing your skin with a hydrating mist every few hours should help negate the drying effects of air con, too.
Skin-boosting tip: moisturiser actually absorbs better on damp skin and helps the skin retain more H20, so try not to dry off completely before you apply your products.
Sun damage and uneven pigmentation won't do the overall appearance of your skin any favours. If you've got freckles or dark spots you want to eliminate, there are some great products out there that help fade away discolouration and brighten the complexion. A mild brightening product with sun protection applied daily, should also help even out your complexion.
Getting your five-a-day is key to rocking a radiant complexion. A study carried out last year by researchers at Leeds University found that a diet rich in fruit and veg gives the skin a golden 'carotenoid' glow that is perceived as being more attractive than a sun tan.
Skin-boosting tip: as well as upping your fruit and veg intake, drink lots of water, coconut water or fruit juices to hydrate and plump the skin from within.
Fake tan has come a long way since the days of streaky legs and orange elbows. Nevertheless, even the most high-end spray or classic fake tan in a bottle products can look a tad unnatural, however careful you are applying the product. Opt instead for a gradual tanner which develops a natural-looking glow over a few days.
Skin-boosting tip: bronzers and shimmer powders are essential for that summery sunkissed look. Apply your favourite product on your cheekbones and collarbones, as well as on your thighs and shins to visually slim and flatter the legs.
Though you may be tempted to sunbathe, try to resist the urge – there's nothing more ageing and damaging for the skin. Ideally, stay out of direct sunlight between the hours of 11am and 3pm, or at least limit your exposure as much as you can. Never forget to slap on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 before you go out, and consider wearing sun-protective mineral makeup to be doubly sure.
Skin-boosting tip: it's all too easy to overlook your lips, so remember to apply a lip balm with an SPF 30 or more, along with your regular sunscreen.
Summer skin needs a little extra TLC every so often, so set aside some time for a pampering session, say every fortnight or so. If your skin is oily or combination, treat your complexion to a oil-free face mask. A skin-quenching moisturising mask is the way forward for drier skin types.
Skin-boosting tip: try not to apply the mask too thickly – you'll have a hard time making it dry.
Eat your way to gorgeous glowing skin
Did you know that what you eat has an impact on your skin? Knowing what foods to eat can help you on the way to gorgeous, radiant skin.