The days are steadily growing shorter, and we’re in a strange seasonal limbo between summer and autumn. Between all-day festivals, late-night parties and being exposed to a mixture of sun, air-con and more recently, colder weather and central heating, it’s all too easy to neglect your skin, causing it to become dry and dull.
Fun in the sun
As tempting as it is to run outside with limbs bared as soon as the sun rears its head, just pause a moment and think of your skin. We’ve heard it time and time again - over-exposure to the sun accelerates the ageing process of our skin.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy the last of the sunshine whilst protecting your skin:
- Staying inside when the sun is at its most intense can work wonders - that’s between 10am and 2pm. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse for an afternoon nap!
- While not all variants are natural, always use sun cream to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, which destroy the skin’s elastin, accelerating the formation of wrinkles.
- Choose a moisturiser containing protective ingredients like red algae, which gives your sun cream a helping hand in shielding the skin from the sun’s rays.
- Cover up as much as possibile, whip out that sunhat and try to wear long sleeves and trousers as much as possible. Our favourite way to stay stylish is with cool, flowy wide-legged trousers which offer surprisingly good ventilation.
- Avoid sunbathing and tanning beds, both of which expose you to concentrated UV rays.
Quench your thirst
This one will come as no surprise: drinking enough water is essential to your health in general, and helps prevent skin dehydration.
Rather than chugging down two litres before you go to bed because you forgot to drink during the day, try these tips to keep hydrated:
- Keep a water bottle with you all day - you’ll be surprised at how much more you drink when water is on hand!
- Snack on water-rich foods like cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelon. They help hydrate your skin in the same way as drinking water and provide you with a source of vitamins to keep your skin glowing.
- Don’t over-cleanse. Surprisingly, water on the outside of our bodies, i.e. baths and showers, can actually strip the skin of its moisture! Keep baths to a minimum, keep showers shorter and cooler and be sure to moisturise afterwards. Choose body lotions or butters containing rich, natural emollients such as shea butter, which has a warm, comforting scent and will keep your skin super-soft and hydrated.
Another one we’ve heard many times before but worth listening to; always, always, always remove makeup before you hit the sheets. By letting your skin breathe, you avoid clogging your pores which can lead to blackheads and blemishes.
To easily remove your makeup, massage a cream cleanser all over your face before gently rinsing or wiping it off with cotton wool or a cloth, being extra careful with the delicate skin around the eye. Cream cleansers effectively dissolve make-up and remove dirt and excess oil, whilst hydrating the skin and keeping it plumped.
Keep your skin looking fresh by exfoliating regularly - this will remove dead skin cells and leave you with brighter, silky soft skin (just make sure to moisturise afterwards). Choose a plant-based exfoliator such as one containing bamboo powder, to gently and luxuriously cleanse without being too harsh on the skin.
Sweat, sweat, sweat
Get sweating, because no matter how you do it, sweating is the body’s natural way of getting rid of toxins which can clog up your skin.
Regular exercise also increases blood circulation and delivers more of the red stuff to the skin, increasing the reproduction of skin cells. This increased blood flow gives you that post workout glow which makes skin look fresher, softer and more supple. And if that’s not enough to get you off the sofa, exercise also helps you to sleep better, allowing your skin some more of that all important R&R time.
Armed with these tips, enjoy the last of the (sometimes miserable) British summer or take them elsewhere, preferably with sunnier skies!