Summer means adjusting your skincare routine so your skin still feels great in the hot weather. Image supplied.
When you envision summer skin you often think – glowing, tanned and spot-free, right? Quite often, however, the reality can look completely different. Sunburn, excess oil, pigmentation and sun damage are more likely to occur during the hot, summer months so it is crucial you keep on top of your skincare game and mix things up to suit the changing weather conditions. Especially here in New Zealand where the conditions are harsh and have a profound impact on your skin, now is the most important time to look after your skin. So, we had a chat to Dermalogica NZ’s Head of Education, Caroline Parker, to find out how and why we should be switching up our skincare routine for summer and here’s what she had to say.
How often should we be switching up our skincare routine?
I like the idea of changing things up in our skincare routine. It gives the skin a boost but also stops us getting bored with our routine. Our core skincare products like cleansers, exfoliants and moisturisers won’t change very often, as they tend to be recommended based on the oil flow in our skin or sensitivity, and both these skin characteristics are usually quite consistent. But we might switch to a summer cleanser if our skin is a combination and becomes oilier when the weather is hot and humid. Typical products to change up in our routine are serums and masques, and perhaps we can bring in courses of exfoliants like at-home peels to give the skin a boost.
What are the challenges of skin changing seasonally?
Skin is our largest organ and it interacts directly with the environment, so climate, therefore, will impact a lot. For example, many people will have noticed their skin gets dry, flaky and even itchy in the winter due to the cold, dry weather; while in summer the skin can be oilier causing some people to experience breakouts. People with sensitive skin can find their skin stings in the summer due to irritation from sweat and in the winter from a lack of skin oil.
What are the most important steps in a summer skincare routine?
Top priority will always be the daily use of an SPF and topping up regularly when we’re outside and to watch the application of the SPF, as it’s easy to miss areas like the tip of the nose or tops of ears if the hair is tied up. Cleansing is important in summer, as we often spend more time outside so we can have an accumulation of products, sweat, oil and pollution on our skin which is important we clean off thoroughly. Beyond this, talk to a professional skin therapist to get some advice on the unique needs of your skin during summer.
What products would you recommend for summer skincare?
This will vary depending on where in New Zealand you are. In the northern part of New Zealand, where it can be hot and humid, lighter weight, cooling products will probably feel more comfortable and you might want to use products that will help mattify an oily shine if that’s a problem. In southern New Zealand, where there is typically less humidity but still very high temperatures, hydrating products will be a priority like a cooling, hydrating masque. I often suggest putting a hydrating (sd alcohol-free) toner in the fridge for a cooling spritz through the hot months and using products like sheer tints rather than a foundation to give the skin a healthy summer glow.
What ingredients work best to care for skin during summertime?
Ingredients like aloe, cucumber, lavender and chamomile will all cool and soothe hot skin. The consistency of the formula will give us a clue about how cooling it will be – look for lighter weight, hydrating formulas like a gel which will feel great in warmer weather or a lightweight cream which will also keep our skin comfortable.
Should we avoid getting certain skincare procedures during the summer?
This is never a one-size-fits-all scenario so always talk to the professional performing your skin procedure for confirmation. Generally, however, we wouldn’t advise chemical peels to be performed during summer due to the increased risk of UV damage. Treatments for hyperpigmentation might also be best left until autumn to reduce the risk of sun exposure triggering pigment production in the skin.
Anything else we should know?
Across New Zealand we get large variations in temperature and humidity levels, both of which affect our skin. I believe local knowledge is best and would encourage people to get advice from a qualified professional skin therapist regarding the way the climate in their part of New Zealand is affecting their skin.