It’s not just in winter that our skin needs nurturing, give it some tender loving care in summer too, says Mandy Pitcher, clinical aromatherapist and TW’s expert on skincare and natural therapies.
Would you wear a thick jumper in the hot summer months? Of course you wouldn’t. The same applies to skincare products – a heavy one is fine in winter but not in the summer. Just like your wardrobe, skincare needs to be lightweight. Summer means lightweight products and ‘less is more’.
In the warmer months we can perspire excessively, which means we lose precious moisture and in some cases we can become dehydrated. This applies to dry skin as well as oily. Keeping our skin moisturised re-establishes the stratum corneum, the outer most layer of the skin, which protects from harmful pollutants and chemicals and prevents further dryness or irritation. Always keep the outer layer nourished and hydrated.
Excess sebum, which is in fact a natural oil, is secreted and gets stuck on the surface of the skin, leading to blocked pores, grease and a feeling of stickiness. SPF – an essential product all year round but more so in summer – can clog the pores, which can lead to acne and congestion.
Make cleansing a priority
This is something I bang on about to my clients. If you don’t cleanse correctly there is little point in applying any other product. Would you mop the floor without sweeping or hoovering first? The same applies to skin. If you apply products onto dirty skin, they will sit there and won’t have any effect at all.
All year round proper cleansing is key and in summer even more as we produce more sebum.
Exfoliation is important too. Do this at least once a week and if your skin is oiler, then twice weekly. Don’t use abrasive scrubs but gentle exfoliants. You’ll see such a difference; your skin will look brighter with a lovely glow and products will be better absorbed. Go gently around the delicate eye area. If you have a hydrating mask, this is the time to use it. Your skin will thank you for the attention.
Antioxidant creams and oils work wonders to hydrate the skin. They protect from environmental damage and help to boost collagen. Make sure you are adding green, leafy vegetables, berries, citrus fruits and green tea to your diet too. Vitamin C is also important; it can help brighten the skin, assist collagen production and help hyperpigmentation. It’s also worth thinking about a supplement as Vitamin C is something that most of us are depleted in (you need huge amounts of fruit and vegetables to make an impact with your levels).
It’s obvious that water is high up on the list. Keep yourself hydrated. In the hotter months aim to drink a minimum of 2 litres of water a day. Herbal tea is on the list but not too much tea and coffee as it contains caffeine, which can dehydrate the skin. Other alternatives to hydrate the skin are coconut water, fresh juices and watermelon, which nourishes and protects the skin. It’s packed full of nutrients such as Vitamins A, B, C and E that help revitalise, boost collagen, brighten, reduce pigmentation and hydrate the skin. A super fruit for sure!
My summer skincare always includes rosewater, facial oil, SPF and a really good cleanser. I use a cleansing balm followed by a facial cleansing bar. This gives the skin a beautiful double cleanse. And I always keep a facial mist with me; I adore rosewater, it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and can cool down redness. Mist your face and chest and instantly feel refreshed. Aloe vera is another favourite (keep it in the fridge) – it’s antibacterial, a natural antioxidant and so cooling. Use it on the face and body.
Wishing you all a healthy, glowing, fun-filled summer.
Mandy Pitcher mandypitcher.com
Tel: 07545 261205