We’ve wished, waited and wailed for them but those warm sunny days are finally here and we’ve all gone into summer overdrive. While I’m looking forward to lazy days at the beach, barbecues with friends and late sunset walks with the hubby, I’m also keeping a keen eye on my skin. While we can all appreciate how gorgeous and glowy our summer skin looks, it’s also a beauty minefield that needs some serious maintaining.
While we lap up the rays with all-day basking or sweat it out on an early morning run, our skin is as vulnerable in the summer as it is in the winter. After suffering with rosacea and hormonal acne, I’m cautious to the point of paranoid about keeping my skin clear and heathy, which is why I have all the summer skin bases covered.
We all know that a natural I’ve-just-spent-the-weekend-in-Canne glow is the holy grail of summer skin but, realistically, it’s not always practical. Enter self tan! Not only is it a safer way to get sunkissed limbs, tanning formulas have come on leaps and bounds over the last few years and there’s now a product to suit all needs and skintones.
I’ve used self tan since the days where it was orange and smelt weird but continue to use it today, even if it’s a drop in my moisturiser to boost my natural tan. There’s something about golden limbs that leaves us feeling more confident, toned and, well, sexy. It makes us walk a little taller and wear clothes that perhaps we would shy away from if our skin wasn’t looking its best.
There are very few tanning products that I like to use on my face – I often find them drying and unrealistic for my skintype. But as technology has evolved, there are so many brands that now include face specific products which are packed with hydrating, nourishing ingredients. A must for summer skin! Over the years, I’ve tested a huge amount of self tan products for work and my own curiosity. I’ve experienced streaky legs, patchy arms and one that left my entire body a strange shade of green. So, I feel very qualified to be able to bring to you some of my all-time favourites! There are only a very few that I truly rate for both tanning newbies and seasoned glow-getters.
The guilt I feel over years of SPF 5, tan accelerator oil and hours of midday sun is enough to make anyone slather on the factor 50. Growing up fair haired and pale skinned left me desperate for a deep olive complexion and a tan to show that I have in fact seen the light of day. Fast forward a couple of, ahem, decades and it couldn’t be a more different story. While I still love the sun and its abilities to make us feel happier, more relaxed and a little bit more healthier looking, SPF (at least 30) takes precedent in my summer skin kit.
After hitting 30 wearing suncream stopped being a choice and became a necessity when I started to notice pigmentation under my eyes and a few more deeper lines than I’d like. Plus, anyone who has ever suffered with rosacea knows, the sun is not always your friend and I’ve noticed a huge difference since I’ve been wearing SPF everyday. I’ll always try my hardest to opt for a natural suncream as the thought of heating up chemicals on my skin doesn’t sit well with me and these are the best non-chalky ones I swear by.
That freckled, sunkissed skin may be what we strive for come summer but in reality, SPF, make-up and sweat is a match made in spot-forming heaven. As our skin produces more excess oil it’s easy for pores to become clogged and both black and whiteheads to form. Over the last few months I’m well adverse to the odd spot breakout and what made an almost overnight improvement was including azelaic acid. A somewhat under-the-radar ingredient, itgently exfoliates the skin without being abrasive which helps unclog pores and refine skin’s surface. I use an azeliac acid moisturiser every day and it’s been my saving grace.
Summer skin goes through a lot and it’s vital to make hydration a priority to counteract the heat it will face (no pun intended!). It’s a fine balance to soothe and protect the skin without blocking pores which will lead to spots. For day creams, opt for cooling gels and lightweight oil-free creams that won’t cause your make-up to slide off your face but will keep it supple all day long. In the evening is where you can afford to up the ante with a repairing or soothing product like a light oil or balancing cream.
Ah, a staple in my summer skincare regime, actually, in every season regime as you guys know my rosacea comes and goes. But anti-redness is something that can affect everyone in the warmer months, especially if you’re facing that tube commute everyday! Whether it’s sunburn (tut tut) or just overheating, adding a calming product to your summer skin kit will soothe inflammation and give you that extra protective layer.