Does your skin appear to have a personality switch come spring and summer? Kate Somerville answers a reader’s burning question about what to do when sun and humidity strike
Expert facialist Kate Somerville has been treating clients at her Hollywood clinic for over 25 years, and given the Californian climate she knows a thing or two about addressing warm weather skin concerns. From dry heat triggering dehydration to finding sun protection that doesn’t make you greasy, she troubleshoots one reader’s seasonal skincare dilemma.
My skin is generally consistent in winter but as soon as the weather gets warmer it goes haywire. Why does my skin alternate between being dry and oily and what can I do about it?
“Seasonal changes means you need a skincare routine that will reflect how your skin changes with the weather. The most significant factor as you transition from winter to the spring and summer months is that your skincare will need focus on really protecting skin, whether that’s from hot temperatures, the sun, dry indoor air or all three. These are just a few of the reasons that summer can take a huge toll on the health of your skin!
“Depending on your skin type and where you live and work, you will need to to adjust your daily routine. In humid climates, high temperatures and humidity lead to sweating and, in-turn, clogged pores . Perspiration can irritate skin and trigger breakouts, especially if you have oily skin. Increased humidity can equally increase oil production in and of itself. On the other hand, in drier climates, skin can become extremely dehydrated. It is important to understand how your skin is being affected by your climate and skin type - often we tend not consider both.
“As a starting point, make sure that you are using a cleanser that can remove dirt, sweat and any other impurities that are typically trapped in the skin by sweat. You want to make sure that if your pores are being clogged by humidity and heat, you are able to clean them out!
“To get even deeper into your pores, exfoliation is key (for every season, but especially summer). ExfoliKate , £72 for 60ml, can help to exfoliate both enzymatically and physically - it’ll deliver the best results if used two to three times per week. This routine should leave skin clear and glowing.
“Even if you have oily skin, or your oil production increases during the warmer months, you need to hydrate. Whether you are using a serum or targeted treatment to do so (or both), look for products that are rich in hyaluronic acid , lightweight in texture and oil-free. Try DermalQuench Wrinkle Warrior , £83 for 75ml, which is formulated with three different sizes of hyaluronic acid molecule to deliver hydration at deep, medium and superficial levels of the skin. The light formula won’t clog your pores either.
“Follow up with a trusted moisturiser, especially if you live in a dry climate. I recommend using a moisturiser that is lighter in formulation than the face cream that you’d use during the winter months to avoid any greasiness that could occur with increased sweating. ExfoliKate Glow Moisturiser , £55 for 50ml, is great for this as it has a light feel and finish yet is very hydrating and gives you that ‘just got back from the beach’ glow.
“The spring and summer period is a good time to check in with your entire body, not simply focusing on your face but also considering how your water and food intake can affect your skin. To help to prevent skin from becoming dehydrated increase the amount of water you’re drinking if it’s hot or if you’re jetting off on a summer holiday. I know that it may sound pretty obvious, as you tend to drink more water when the temperature is warmer anyway, but I cannot stress the importance and visible impact that this simple step has on your skin! Hydrating internally almost always results in better skin hydration too. You’re likely to be naturally drawn to lighter and more water-based foods such as cucumber and watermelon too and these can help with hydration as well - it’s not always about slogging through litre bottles of water at your desk. Another important tip when considering what to eat during these months is to prioritize including antioxidants in your diet. These can brighten skin over time and assist with the overall health of your skin, especially when it’s compromised by increased temperatures and harsh conditions during the summertime.
“Another vital element of seasonal spring and summer skincare is being proactive with protection rather than reactive, as we tend to be with winter skincare. You have to be aware of sun damage and sun exposure at all times, even if you work in an office or spend much of the day indoors. Make sure that if you are using retinol products especially that you are using a high SPF and try to limit direct sun exposure for long periods of time.
“The sun is the number one reason behind signs of premature skin ageing such as discoloration, dark spots and hyperpigmentation and sagging. One of the most common questions my clients ask me is “can you reverse the sun damage on my skin?”, but that something they usually aren’t fully aware of is that sunspots could be avoided altogether by regularly applying protective products. Most people only apply 25-50 per cent of the recommended amount of sunscreen, so it is extremely important that you are using the right amount as well as a high SPF product. The most important aspect of my summer skincare routine is a daily sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or higher. I highly recommend using a sunscreen that has a higher concentration of physical blocking ingredients and broad-spectrum protection - which means protection from all UV rays. These specifically help to negate the skin-damaging and skin-aging free radicals generated by the sun’s ultraviolet light.
“Finally, if you’re out and about in the sun, my UncompliKated SPF 50 Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray , £32 for 100ml, is perfect for those who want protection but are on the go. It reduces shine and creates a matte effect so you that you can apply it without disturbing makeup or increasing ‘grease’ and still be protected.”
Kate Somerville is offering Get The Gloss readers a Friends & Family discount of 20 per cent off all online orders at KateSomerville.co.uk from Friday 26th- Monday 29th April. Happy summer skincare shopping!