If you prepped your skin well before you travelled with exfoliation etc, had a good skin care routine whilst you were away, used an excellent sunscreen, didn’t actively tan and ate healthy, then you may have minimal recovery for your skin and are already preparing your skin treatments for the winter (Christmas is less than 100 days away!). For the rest, even though you’ve used sunscreen, indulging in foreign food and active tanning, plus the chlorine and flights have left your skin looking and feeling a little lack lustre and dry.
Here’s my top 5 tips on how to repair your summer skin, and prepare for the winter months.
1. Review your home skin care routine seasonally. This is important to make sure you are meetings 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 (i.e. a lighter /no moisturiser in the summer etc).
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. AlumierMD that I work with in my Chelsea clinic have a fantastic range of luxury medical grade sunscreen for all skin types and tones. They also offer colour match technology so you can use it as a daily foundation. Win win!
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 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. In my Chelsea clinic I offer DNA Genetic Testing to offer my clients an individualised protocol though generally my top antioxidants to consume are Vitamin C to treat and prevent pigmentation, manufacture collagen (gives the skin firmness) and elastin (keeps the skin bouncy and supple), counteract free radicals that damage the cell membranes and DNA in the skin as well as aiding skin healing and resilience. Co-enzyme Q10 will protect collagen and elastin, Alpha Lipoic Acid (and minimising sugar and refined carbohydrate intake) will help prevent glycation end products (AGE’s), which are harmful molecules caused by non-enzymatic action of the sugars to the molecules they are meant to attach to and so the sugars attach to molecules they shouldn’t. AGE’s cause free radical damage, oxidative stress and inflammation, which can lead to a host of skin problems including acne and premature ageing. Vitamin E and Selenium will protect the skin and minimise free radical damage whilst Zinc aids 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 though a skin condition (i.e acne, rosacea) and/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. My hero product for this is Alumience A.G.E Serum (also by AlumierMD), which forms a biomimetic shield on the surface of the skin and traps 83% of particular matter to protect the skin against pollution and prevent premature ageing.
5. Visit a facialist. As previously mentioned September is a good time to have your skin assessed and review your home skin care routine. Treatment wise, high-tech holistic facials are the perfect combination to achieve your best skin. The 360 degree holistic approach supports the non-invasive, state of the art technology, which effectively treats and prevents skin conditions such as ageing, acne, dehydration, inflammation pigmentation and rosacea / sensitivity whilst supporting healthy ageing. Popular choices in my Chelsea clinic at this time of year are Hypercustomised Skin Peels, which can be used to treat different concerns on different areas of the face (e.g. ageing on the forehead and acne on the chin). Treatment can start two weeks post holiday sun and is particularly effective on fine lines and wrinkles, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and acne. Combined with light emitting diode (LED) light therapy the results are amplified. For a gentler resurfacing facial then diamond-tip microdermabrasion, which can be used in my Cosmecutis™ Prescription Facial, uses diamonds to exfoliate the skin. For a deep cleanse then include galvanic to detoxify the skin as well and balance oil levels.