Take it from someone who knows: facialist to the stars Kate Somerville, whose A-list clientele includes Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba, combats LA's muggy, sun-drenched weather on a daily basis. And with the nation's up-and-down spring weather in full swing - 30+ one day, pouring rain the next - we could all use a little expert help.
"Seasonal changes mean you need a skincare refresh. During the summer months, your skincare should shift from repairing to prevention," Somerville says. So, out with the retinol, in with the SPF. If oily skin, clogged pores and fine lines (let's not call them wrinkles yet) are making themselves manifest, read on for Somerville's seven summer skin savers.
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1. Swap your moisturiser: it sounds simple, but how many of us actually do it? "Switch from heavy moisturisers and serums to lightweight and oil-free formulas - since the air contains so much moisture, a rich formula will make your skin feel weighed down and sticky," Somerville advises. Summer skin is often dehydrated due to a combination of too much time in the sun and late nights drinking, so "even if you're oily, you still need to hydrate," Somerville says. "Hydrate topically with serums containing hyaluronic acid, which holds 1000x its weight in water, to boost skin's hydration levels and leave skin smooth and glowing, without clogging pores."
2. Rethink your cleansing routine. "Skin can become congested from sweat and humidity, so it's really important to cleanse effectively and thoroughly," says Somerville, who promotes the double cleanse. "First use a make-up wipe to remove impurities on the surface. Use both the front and back side of the wipe. Then apply a cleanser (suited for your skin type) to penetrate deeper and fully cleanse skin. You can also use a cleanser twice if you prefer."
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3. Exfoliate regularly. "Exfoliation is such an important step in maintaining healthy skin, no matter what the weather is! Oils and impurities become trapped under the skin (especially in warm, humid climates) and exfoliation is key. I recommend exfoliating two to three times per week. Look for a gentle exfoliator, like my ExfoliKate, which exfoliates enzymatically to give you that glow."
4. Commit to facials. Somerville recommends booking in every 4-6 weeks in the warmer months for maintenance. "Get regular facials to help keep pores clear." Just steer clear of harsh peels or glycolic acid facials: "you want to focus on protecting skin in the summer," says Somerville. "Winter is when you want to do the work, repairing skin and getting rid of the damage done in summer by incorporating or upping the dosage of peels, glycolic and retinols."
5. Wear sunscreen. "SPF protection is the most important element for healthy skin year round, but it's particularly important during the summer months. Sun degrades our collagen and elastin and affects our body's ability to create healthy new cells. Many of my clients ask me to take away something they don't like about their skin and usually what they don't like could have been avoided by staying out of the sun. You should never leave the house without applying broad spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. Even on cloudy days." You heard the woman - slip, slop, slap.
6. Fight free radicals. "Incorporate anti-pollution products to combat environmental toxins, as you're spending more time outdoors," Somerville suggests. "It's also important to protect with products containing antioxidants like Thiotaine, found in my Age Arrest Collection, to protect skin from the free radical damage that can result in premature aging."
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7. Tone down active ingredients: If you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun, take note: "Avoid or reduce usage of products with sun-sensitising ingredients like Retinol, Vitamin C or Salicylic Acid. You can still use Retinol in the summer, the key is protecting your skin with SPF and a large hat! Pay attention to your skin - if you're feeling irritated from the heat and sun, reduce the frequency of your Retinol usage."