Summer...the sun in the sky, warm temps, outdoor activities and water play. Let’s face it (literally). Increased outdoor activities in warm summer weather, working up a sweat coupled with higher humidity, a need for extra sun protection, temperature fluctuations and exposure to the elements can all create the perfect storm for your face. Do you find you'd rather hide than come out to play due to break outs, sunburn, shiny face and hyperpigmentation? We’ve pulled together a few skin care product quick fixes (and some requiring a little time and diligence) to address these summer skin challenges.
1. Sunburn - Prevention, prevention, prevention! Ward off the burn with an excellent, full spectrum, physical sunblock. Personally, I’m a fan of Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF30, which is rich in hyaluronic acid and feels like a drink for the skin, leaving in feeling soft, plump and well hydrated. Although for some, it may be too emollient (read: it can leave you a little shiny). COOLA Suncare also makes a matte finish Cucumber Mineral Sunblock SPF30 for face, an excellent option for oilier skin as it’s super lightweight and leaves no shine behind. Jane Iredale’s Powder Me Dry Sunscreen is a pretty slick option for those seeking a dry sunscreen with color and coverage that's also water resistant. It can be used on the entire body, even the scalp, a place often neglected and difficult to address without a hat.
When it’s too late and you’re seeing red in the mirror, steep two bags of green tea in near boiling water for 10 minutes, then cool in the refrigerator. Use alone or combine with equal parts witch hazel once cool, and mist over burned areas repeatedly. You can also refrigerate and apply the used tea bags to especially fried areas for instant relief. I like Zhena’s Gypsy Dragon Well green tea, as it’s high quality, yet still affordable, 100 percent organic and Fair Trade, and packaged in luxurious little non-GMO corn silk sachets that are biodegradable. Studies have shown that drinking along with topical application of green tea can prevent sun damage, and combined with the tannic acid in tea, it will soothe and may help heal your lobster-like countenance a little quicker.
2. Break Outs - Focus on prevention first. Make sure you’re washing your face every night to remove the day’s grime and prevent build-up and clogged pores. Shamanuti's Activated Charcoal Cleanser is a dream. Using the naturally detoxifying properties of activated charcoal, it neutralizes acidity and absorb impurities. The formula also gently exfoliates with maple extract, and wards off blemishes with tea tree oil. It may seem ideal for oily, acne prone skin, which it is, but in fact works well for all skin types, including sensitive. When, despite your best efforts, you break out anyway, it’s time to treat and cover. For fast healing, I like to spot treat with Stark Skincare’s Green Tea Detox Clay Mask. Simply mix with a little water and dab directly on those trouble spots at bedtime. You’ll look like you have some hideous disease for the night, but in the morning, the spot will be less red, smaller and well on its way to departing thanks to the healing clays, green tea and apple extracts in the mask. To cover up, I like Dr. Hauschka’s Pure Care Cover Stick, which effectively conceals while continuing the treatment with tea tree oil. Make sure to choose a shade a little darker than you would for an under eye concealer, or you’ll inadvertently be shining a spotlight on your blemishes.
3. Shiny Face - Balancing out oil production when warmer weather tends to crank it up can be a challenge. Reevaluating your skincare regime and shifting to deeper cleaning (see Item 2 above), coupled with a switch to lighter or oil balancing moisturizer, along with oil absorbing products can make a big difference. Dr. Hauschka’s Melissa Day Cream is an shine reducer that absorbs quickly and helps to control oil production throughout the day. The key ingredient here is lemon balm (Melissa flower) which effectively balances oily and dry areas. When the shine is there despite your efforts to prevent it, TATCHA makes a lovely beauty paper, their original Aburatorigami, ideal for blotting off excess oil without disrupting make-up or leaving a white residue. Paper free, powder free and pulp free, they’re lovely to use and get the job done.
4. Hyperpigmentation - Whether its freckles or melasma, the sun can bring out pigment in all the wrong places. Prevention is again the key here, and with that, I refer you to item 1 above: commit to using a high quality, physical sun-block 365 days a year, not just when sunny days rule. Once the damage is done, there are options to help, though most don’t fall into the category of "quick fix." Look for natural products featuring ingredients like Vitamin C, malic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids, and apple extracts, all of which are put to work in MyChelle’s Apple Brightening collection & Vitamin C serum, which work to remove damaged, pigmented skin and supress the over production of melanin. With diligent use and religious application of sunscreen, this regimine can dramatically reduce hyperpigmentation. Those with sensitive skin may need to opt for either a Vitamin C based product or an alpha hydroxy acid as they both can produce sensitivity. For everyone using these products, it’s especially important to wear sunscreen as they are likely to increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. To camoflauge pigmentation and even out skin tone immediately, Alima Pure has an incredible selection of clean, natural mineral foundations to suit every, and I mean EVERY skin color, and it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all. For the novice, they have some very helpful tutorials on how to apply mineral make-up.
Sensing a theme here? Prevention is the key to minimizing your summer skin challenges. With a little planning and forethought, you can have clear, beautiful, healthy skin all summer long.
Have another summer skin challenge? Let us know and we’ll help you out with a few suggestions.
Top Image: Widerbergs