How does the summer weather affect our skin?
Not as harshly as the winter weather affects it, which is always a bonus! But the summer months aren’t exactly kind either; sun exposure can do real damage. If you don’t protect yourself adequately, your skin will burn and the eventual peeling will dry your skin. Sun damage also prematurely ages the skin, so always ensure you’re wearing a high factor sunscreen. Swimming pools and air conditioning also dry out our skin so moisturising is key.
How important is it to exfoliate our skin in the summer months?
It is not recommended to exfoliate at all, or at least reduce the amount you exfoliate in the summer months. Exfoliation removes any dead skin cells that are hanging about, so the new, brighter cells can come to the fore—not usually a bad thing, but unfortunately that squeaky new skin is much more sensitive to the sun and vulnerable to damage. Instead, use a cleansing brush; or, if you need to exfoliate, wait until the evening and reduce it to once a week.
Is it more important to moisturise in summer than in winter?
In the summer, sebaceous glands on your body start to secrete more sebum—the oily substance that helps waterproof and lubricate the skin—and this excess sebum can leave skin appearing oily. Therefore it’s recommended to use a light, non-greasy, non-comodegenic facial moisturiser. Your body’s skin will still need moisture, especially if exposed to the sun or chlorine/salt water. Keep the skin moisturised with after sun lotions and light textured in-shower products.
Should we wear sun cream every day, or only when the sun is shining?
Yes, 100 percent all year round! Ultraviolet rays, which are the cause of sun damage and skin cancer, are always present. They are independent of cold or hot weather, and are not blocked by clouds. On overcast days, only visible rays (but not UVB rays) from the sun are blocked. The best way to protect the skin is with sun protection.
What sort of SPF factor would you recommend?
Sun protection factor (SPF) measures the amount of protection you’ll receive from the sun’s UVB rays, the higher the number, the stronger the protection. An SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93 percent of UVB radiation, while an SPF 30 sunscreen blocks nearly 97 percent. Furthermore, higher SPF values offer some safety margin, since consumers generally do not apply enough sunscreen. We recommend a minimum of SPF 30.
Are there any specific types of sun cream you would recommend?
There are many options out there, it depends what you’re looking for apart from sun protection. The skin on your face is different to the skin on your body so it’s always advisable to purchase two separate products. You may also want to look at texture and how the product is dispensed e.g. cream, spray, mouse. Finally, think about your skin type; sensitive, oily, dry etc. as there are products suitable for the individual skin indication.
Are there any types of food you would recommend for a glowing summer complexion?
Studies have found that carotenoids, the antioxidants in brightly coloured fruit and veg, can reduce our skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Lycopene, found in red fruit and veg, acts as your skin’s internal SPF, while orange choices, like sweet potatoes and carrots, provide beta-carotene, which we convert to skin-vital vitamin A.
Vitamin C is vital for collagen production, and is found in abundance in peppers, kiwis and strawberries, plus ensure you include dark green leaves that deliver antioxidants that protect collagen from damage.
Nuts are packed with healthy fats. Nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, as well as seeds like chia and flaxseed, help keep us well-oiled. They’re great sources of vitamin E, an active sun blocker, which protects skin cells from UV damage, while also keeping it soft and supple.
Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout contain beneficial fats, which promote skin hydration, resulting in plumper-looking skin.
Does drinking water help to keep skin looking great in summer?
It’s never truly been proven; keeping hydrated during the warm summer months is essential for keeping the body healthy. But, in the context of skin health, it all depends on your skin’s ability to hold water. Unless you’re severely dehydrated, you won’t see a difference in your skin. It’s better to use hydrating moisturisers.
Are there any natural remedies for sunburn or general summer skincare?
There are hundreds of apparent natural remedies and old wives tales such as mil or potato skins. The best remedy is prevention, stay out of the sun during the peak periods and cover up with sun protection and clothing.
Should we wear less makeup in hot weather? And why?
Ideally, yes, not only does it give your skin a break, but also you’re more likely to re-apply the sunscreen! If you want to continue with makeup, look for sunscreens with colour correcting tints.
This Q&A was brought to you by Eucerin, a Beiersdorf brand. For more information, visit https://www.eucerin.co.uk.