As summer is slowly starting to wind down and September is looming in, have you noticed that your skin isn’t looking its best? That is because hot summer sun, salt water, chlorine, sand and wind can all lead to dull, splotchy and discoloured skin. In response to the harsh elements the skin is not usually used to, it responds by increasing the surface layer of dead skin cells, resulting in a “weathered” skin look that lacks radiance and glow. As well as increasing the potential risk of skin cancer, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause an almost immediate heightened appearance of freckles, sun spots and overall discoloured complexion. So without further ado, here is what you can do to get your skin back on track after the fun summer days:
PEEL THE DEAD SKIN AWAY
First things first, you need to free your skin from dead skin cells. Professional peelings done by an aesthetician are ideal post-summer, as they work more intensively than a peeling done at home, however, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, a good exfoliator used twice a week will do the same trick.
If you’re willing to splash the cash, we recommend the super-powerful french exfoliator that is Biologique Recherche P50 PIGM 400. For acne-prone skin, try Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid and for a more affordable yet still highly effective option, THE ORDINARY Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is efficient in penetrating and sloughing away dead skin cells and won't break the bank!
REPLENISH MOISTURE LOST
Though we might not realise it straight away, our skin loses a significant amount of moisture during the warm and sun-intensive months, particularly when exposed during peak sun times and for prolonged period of time. Depending on your skin type, aim for maximum hydration and make sure you look at what’s inside your products. If extra moisture is what you’re looking for, look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, organ oil, green tea, vitamins A, C and E, Co Enzyme Q, and aloe vera, advises Dr.Craig Austin. Plus, stay away from products that contain alcohol or other harsh chemicals as these can strip moisture even more. Though a good moisturiser can give you a quick fix, incorporate a serum into your routine, as these redesigned to penetrate the skin more easily and can treat just about any skin concerns your may have.
To counteract pigment spots, use creams with brightening ingredients. The classics are vitamin C, salicylic acid and arbutin, or you could also opt for more natural herbal complexes from olive oil extracts such as ascorbyl glucosides and zinc PCA. For this to work, however, you need to make sure to avoid light or more sun exposure and use the skin care products for a minimum of 3 months to make sure the skin is fully recovered and excess melanin is dismantled.
SWITCH YOUR SKINCARE
It’s easy to become low maintenance about your skin whilst on a tropical holiday somewhere in the Bahamas, and usually a lightweight moisturiser and some salt water does the trick, however, the reality is your skin will be heavily strained by the exposure to the sun and you skincare routine thus needs to step up. As mentioned previously, exfoliating and preferably toning the skin after are key to strip away dead skin cells and allow any subsequent skincare to penetrate the skin more efficiently. For that much needed extra hydration, opt for a good serum and an accompanying moisturiser. Finally, consider supplements such as fish oils that contain essential nutrients associated with generating and maintaining hydration.
CHECK YOUR SKIN
Last but but no measure least, if you have not had a full skin exam by a dermatologist in some time, fall is the ideal time to do so. Studies have shown that strong sun exposure can cause slight immune suppression within the skin, that may in turn allow skin cancer to flourish. Now is therefore a very important time to look at your skin closely, examine any new growth or any existing spots changing in size, shape or colour.