Hydration, Barrier Protection and Lots of SPF Are All Non-Negotiables For Good Summer Skin
When it comes to switching up our skincare for the cooler months, we're all over it. We add overnight-masks to our routines, swap light-weight moisturisers for rich, creamy ones and load up on prods that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin to boost hydration. But what about our skin in Summer?
To figure out the perfect recipe for healthy, hydrated Summer skin, we sat down with Swisse Beauty Senior Product Developer, Joao Paulino who explained how to look after your skin after a long day at the beach and the skincare prods that are non-negotiable all year round.
Scroll to read our full interview.
POPSUGAR Australia: A lot of people notice a big shift in their skin texture and feel as the season change, can you explain why that is?
Joao: The different temperature and humidity conditions we experience year-round can have a profound effect on the texture and overall health of our skin. Researchers have recently been able to observe that colder climates can lead to skin cell shrinkage, alterations in our skin's capillaries (tiny blood vessels) and ultimately to more serious skin conditions. Warmer and more humid environments can directly affect our skin's barrier function, and potentially result in dilated pores and excess sebum, thus making our skin more prone to blemishes.
PS: In summer, we spend a lot of time in air-conditioning, what kind of effect can this have on our skin?
Joao: Prolonged exposure to air-conditioned environments can be detrimental to your skin's moisture levels and lead to dull, dehydrated skin. Moisturising products formulated with effective occlusive agents (e.g. vegetable waxes, silicones, mineral oil, butters) can certainly help minimise loss of moisture.
PS: What ingredients should we look for in skincare to help revive our Summer glow?
Joao: Focus on ingredients that have been tried and tested for their hydrating and barrier-replenishing benefits, such as Glycerine, Panthenol (or Pro-Vit. B5), Niacinamide, Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid. For night-time, to help accelerate the turnover of new skin cells and promote a renewed complexion, alpha and beta-hydroxyacids (AHAs/BHAs) like salicylic, glycolic and lactic acids are good bets.
PS: If we've just spent a full day outdoors, how should we be rehydrating and replenishing our skin of an evening?
Joao: Hydration is key to help relieve and restore skin that has been exposed to the outdoors, but you can also focus on ingredients that have been backed by scientific research specifically for their soothing benefits, namely: Niacinamide, Centella Asiatica and its compounds, Colloidal Oats, Allantoin. For immediate soothing benefits, a good tip is to pop your favourite night mask/cream in the fridge for a few hours before applying on your skin.
I'd suggest using an overnight mask such as the Swisse Hyaluro-Natural Intensive Hydrating Mask, a replenishing facial treatment formulated with a natural botanical alternative to hyaluronic acid. This leave-on overnight mask revitalises dry, stressed or tired looking skin for a supple, plump and glowing complexion.
PS: In Summer we want to maximise our skincare routine with as few products as possible, which ones can we skip and which ones should be our go-to's?
Joao: For a minimalist skincare routine, you can stick to the non-negotiables: a good cleanser that won't strip your skin, to be used day and night; a hydrating and skin-replenishing product formulated with scientifically-backed ingredients, such as a lightweight serum or cream; a good quality SPF 50+ and for night time, you can focus on skin renewal with either a retinoid or acid-based product. Less is more!
PS: Are there any active skincare ingredients that don't play well with sunscreen?
Joao: Some products when layered under sunscreen may cause some flaking, or pilling. This can happen when either product is formulated with high amounts of silicone, or sometimes when you're mixing oil-based products with water-based ones. Having said that, this all depends on the overall product formulation so my suggestion would be to do some trials at home and find what works best for you.
PS: Should we avoid applying products with certain types of actives if we're planning on spending the day in the sun?
Joao: Certainly. Some actives are known to cause phototoxicity, meaning they can react negatively when in contact with UV radiation and cause damage to the skin in the form of burns, blisters, rashes, etc. These include retinoic acid and many essential oils. Other common skincare actives such as retinol, AHAs, BHAs are not inherently phototoxic, however they can make your skin more vulnerable to the sun and thus more prone to burns if you're not using adequate sun protection. These ingredients can still be used however are best left for night-time.
PS: Do you have any tips for avoiding sunscreen-related breakouts in Summer?
Joao: My best tip to avoid these kinds of breakouts is to ensure you are thoroughly cleansing your skin, thus minimising any build-up inside your pores which can quite often be linked to breakouts - for this, cleansing oils and balms have been favourites of mine for a while. In addition, chemical exfoliants such as salicylic acid can be very effective at dissolving build-up and minimising the appearance and look of blemishes. However, make sure to patch test or consult a skin specialist to understand if it's right for you.
I'd suggest using a cleanser such as the Swisse Hemp Seed Gentle Cream Cleanser which contains raw, cold-pressed, 100% Australian Hemp Seed Oil, and Macadamia Seed Oil to remove makeup and impurities whilst leaving the skin feeling soft, supple and hydrated.