All beauty buffs know that the harsh southern sun can wreak havoc on our skin, making us look so much older than our years. So it's important to protect it from harmful UV rays with sunscreen, as well as invest in a good skincare range to keep skin looking health youthful and fresh.
What's your skin type?
Most skin types fall into one of four categories: dry skin, normal skin, oily skin or combination skin. Skin type is determined by the amount of oil secreted - and is hereditary. Environmental influences like the summer sun can exacerbate skin conditions, as can diet, but the different areas in the skin that produce oil and the amounts of oil produced are ultimately based on genetics. Identifying your own skin type and using the appropriate skin care for it will help maintain smooth, healthy skin in summer.
To keep your summer skin glowing, make sure you are using the correct skincare for your skin type. Keep in mind that skin is seasonal - you will more than likely need to switch to a lighter moisturiser for healthy summer skin. You can get honest reviews of products online, including skin care. And most cosmetic houses will be happy to give you a skin assessment and talk you through what skin care is best for you. They may even have a great gift offer on at the time!
Prep your skin for summer
In summer, heat stimulates the skin's oil glands, which bump up oil production, resulting in a vicious cycle of oiliness and dehydration, or a classic combination skin. Make sure your skin care is appropriate for the changes to skin in summer. Exfoliate at least once a week to improve the moisture absorbtion in your skin - the cream or gel you apply afterwards will reach the skin cells that need it, keeping them healthy. Exfoliating and hydrating the skin of your body is just as important, keeping your soft all over and even easing stretch marks.
Dehydration caused by the increase in pollution, air-conditioning, stress and negative lifestyle habits has become a major problem to skin at any time of year, especially in summer. Moisturisers are now available that not only introduce moisture into the skin, but also maintain a healthy level of hyrdration.
Ensure you drink at least eight glasses of water a day in summer: your skin will look clearer and glow! A good tip is to keep a bottle of water in your car - sitting in traffic is an ideal time to get through your required liquid intake and keep you hydrated in the summer heat.
The key to keeping your make-up fresh in the summer heat is to choose the correct daily moisturiser for your skin type and to apply it correctly. If your skin is dehydrated or oil-dry, applying more day cream won't solve the problem. If your skin feels taut, dry or looks excessively oily during the day, exfoliate at least once a week and modify your moisturiser to one that is more suited to your skin type. After application, allow at least two minutes for absorption and then blot off the excess by pressing with a tissue, particularly in the T-zone.
All skin types can benefit from masks in summer; choose from a cleansing mask for detoxifying and a deep pore clean, or a moisturising mask which increase hydration, softness and radiance - but do not make the skin oily. Create a skincare routing to prepare your skin by exfoliating and applying a hydrating mask each weekend in the run up (and through) to summer!
Protecting your skin from harmful rays
With the harsh summer sun in the southern hemisphere you should be wearing SPF30 sunscreen over your skin care every single day, even if you aren't planning to spend time in the sun. Studies show that even if you never forget your sunscreen. Without it, even quick outside trips in summer may damage your skin - whether you burn or not. Even if it's overcast!
Limiting your time in the summer sun, especially during midday hours, is essential. If you want a glowing tan, your skin will thank you for faking it. And if you want some extra protection, take your vitamins and minerals. Not only do their keep your body and skin healthy from the inside, according to research, oral supplements of vitamin E and selenium, as well as topical applications of vitamins C and E, can give your sunscreen a boost by partially preventing the skin damage that occurs once you've been exposed. If you don't like taking vitamins, try to eat good foods rich in these vitamins and nutrients.
Foods to cleanse your skin from the inside out
Fish contains oils that will help nourish your skin.
Ground linseeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote good skin health.
Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin. Eat plenty of dark orange (carrots, sweet potatoes) and dark green (broccoli, spinach) vegetables - all of which are high in vitamin A.
Vitamin E helps promote good-looking skin. Nuts such as hazelnuts and almonds are high in vitamin E - and great as snacks.