If you prepped your skin well before you travelled, had a good skin care routine whilst you were away, used an excellent sunscreen, didn’t actively tan and ate healthy, then you may need a minimal recovery plan for your skin. However, if you are like the rest of us, indulging in foreign food, active tanning (even with sunscreen), bathing in chlorine and taking flights abroad may have left your skin looking and feeling a little lacklustre and dry.
Here are my top 5 tips on how to repair your summer skin and prepare for the winter months ahead.
1. Review your home skin care routine seasonally.
This is important to make sure you are meeting your skin’s changing needs. You wouldn’t wear your cashmere jumper to the beach. In the same way, the products and ingredients you choose need to be different during the summer and winter months.
2. Use a physical broad-spectrum sunscreen containing antioxidants every morning.
Many people opt for BB cream, or a moisturiser containing a token SPF. Sunscreen will not fully protect your skin against free radicals and infrared (IR) rays unless it has DNA support included. Look for antioxidant ingredients such as vitamin C, E, glutathione and resveratrol to mitigate the UV and IR free radical damage.
A popular myth about sunscreen is that if there is no sun you don’t need to wear one. False! UV and IR rays are present all year round and able to penetrate clouds, glass and the screens you use. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recognises that sunscreen is the most effective cosmeceutical to prevent and reverse the signs of ageing, as well as protecting against skin cancer.
3. Keep hydrated and eat for skin health.
There are differing opinions on how much fluid (note fluid, not solely water) should be consumed daily. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggests 3.7 litres of fluids for men and 2.7 litres of fluids a day for women. If you are sweating more in the sun and consuming alcohol, then you need to increase your water intake accordingly.
Diet wise, as our bodies all have individual needs, I like to DNA test my clients to determine a specific protocol. However, generally my top antioxidants to consume are:
• Vitamin C to treat and prevent pigmentation
• Manufacture collagen to give the skin firmness
• Elastin to keep the skin bouncy and supple, counteract free radicals and aid skin healing and resilience
• Co-enzyme Q10 to protect collagen and elastin
• Alpha Lipoic Acid to help prevent AGEs, which are harmful molecules that cause free radical damage, oxidative stress and inflammation
• Vitamin E and Selenium to protect the skin and minimise free radical damage
• Zinc to aid the skin’s regeneration process
4. Use an anti-pollution serum daily.
Whilst the skin acts as a barrier to protect us from external factors, if it is compromised through a skin condition (i.e. acne, rosacea) or is exposed to prolonged and repetitive high levels of environmental air pollutants, then the protective ability of the skin is not absolute. This can cause significant consequences to the skin such as ageing, inflammation (including acne, dermatitis) and cancer.
5. Visit a facialist.
With Autumn on the horizon, September is a great time to have your skin assessed and review your home skincare routine, as previously mentioned. Also, some of the most effective facial treatments are best taken at least two weeks post sun exposure, so the end of the summer holiday period is the perfect time to find out what’s right for you and get a treatment plan booked in.
Gemma Clare is a holistic health and skincare expert with 15 years of industry experience. She has a Science Degree in Holistic Therapies and is also experienced in advanced facial massage, skin care, facial electrotherapy and hyper customised chemical peels. She is a TV presenter and writer for the press including Elle, Psychologies, Natural Health and The Guardian on various health, skin and wellbeing related topics.
Gemma Clare practices from triyoga Chelsea on Thursdays. For more information and to book click here.
For more on Gemma visit www.gemmaclare.com