5 Things Your Skin Craves in June!
This short list of essentials will stop potential skin issues in their tracks... and help reverse any skin damage already done.
A short list of essentials to protect your skin from damage.
YOUR SKIN NEEDS
UV rays can slip through a too-thin layer of SPF or one that you’ve sweat or swum off, triggering your body to release free radicals—molecules that break down collagen (it keeps your skin smooth and plump). As the season progresses, accidental damage can accumulate. “This is why lots of women notice fine lines around the eyes or on the forehead as summer winds down,” says Diane Madfes, a consulting derm for Garnier. Antioxidants are free radicals’ kryptonite, neutralising their power, says Beverly Hills derm Robin Schaffran. BEST OPTION Vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant fights off free radicals and prevents the formation of lines, plus it gets brownie points for fading freckles, which are a sign of UV damage, says Dr Madfes.
HOW TO USE IT Reach for a C-spiked serum, which penetrates the skin better than a thicker lotion. Airtight pumps are best, since air causes the vitamin to become unstable and less potent. Apply it to clean, dry skin every morning.
YOUR SKIN NEEDS 2. Extra Exfoliation
Add this to the downside of even small amounts of sun exposure: if you
haven’t haven’t been been using using a a UVA-blocking UVA-blocking sunscreen sunscreen or or haven’t haven’t reapplied reapplied as as often often as as you you should, should, you’ll you’ll likely likely see see a a duller-looking duller-looking complexion, complexion, more more breakouts breakouts (a (a layer layer of of excess excess flakes flakes can can clog clog pores), pores), and and a a freckly, freckly, uneven uneven tone tone (natural (natural exfoliation exfoliation buffs buffs away away extra extra pigment) pigment) come come summer, summer, according according to to NYC NYC dermatologist dermatologist Patricia Patricia Wexler. Wexler. BEST OPTION Salicylic acid. It gently dissolves clingy dead cells, says Dr Schaffran. Bonus: it’ll keep you shine-free (salicylic acid is lipidsoluble, meaning it dissolves any extra oil sitting on your skin’s surface). HOW TO USE IT At night, lather up with a 2 percent salicylic-acid wash. If you’re on the drier side, find a formula that lists salicylic acid at the middle, not beginning, of the ingredients list. Leave it on like a mask for 60 seconds.
YOUR SKIN NEEDS
This is your ultimate damage security system. While you need it year-round, it’s most crucial during summer, when UV indexes peak. Ironically, that’s when many women slack off, says NYC derm Anne Chapas, who insists that being diligent at the start of summer doesn’t give you a free pass to indulge in a few unprotected hours (or minutes!) here and there. BEST OPTION Titanium dioxide. While most sunscreens protect against UVB rays, they don’t often block the full spectrum of UVA rays (those that cause ageing and DNA issues). This blocker from Lakmé (right) does.
HOW TO USE IT After applying Vitamin C, rub on a coin-size dot of SPF. Sunscreen loses its potency after three hours, so reapply if you take a walk at lunch or spend happy hour outside, says Dr Schaffran. Liquid, serum-style formulas are light enough to go over make-up.
YOUR SKIN NEEDS
4. Retinoic Acid
Derived from Vitamin A-based anti-agers, this wonder ingredient increases cell turnover, erases fine lines, fades sun spots and pimples, and creates a softer, touchable texture—all things you’re pretty desperate to see more of right now. BEST OPTION Retinol. This over-the-counter solution is less concentrated than a retinoid, so it’s often preferred by derms, especially in the summer. While they contain about a tenth of the Vitamin A found in retinoids, “the best, most effective form of Vitamin A is the one your skin can handle—it’s useless if the side effects stop you from applying it,” says Dr Schaffran. HOW TO USE IT In the evening, wash your skin, wait until dry, then spread a pea-size drop of retinol cream or serum over your face. If you experience any redness, alternate between this and a moisturiser made for sensitive skin, every other night.
YOUR SKIN NEEDS 5. Mega Moisture
It might seem a little strange to you (especially if you tend to get greasier in the summer), but moisturising is a (very) crucial, often overlooked step in warm weather. “UV rays plus chlorine and salt water can leave your skin feeling and looking as dry as it can in winter,” explains Dr Chapas. Parched skin also prompts your body to produce more oil as compensation (hello, breakouts!) and more than doubles the rate at which wrinkles develop.
BEST OPTION Hyaluronic acid. The hydrator naturally exists in your body, and because it absorbs 1,000 times its weight in water, a few smarty-pants scientists found a way to re-create it as a facial moisturiser. Like a sponge, it pulls moisture from the air into skin, so a light layer goes a long way. Plus, it’s not oil-based, so it’s ideal for shine-prone peeps.
HOW TO USE IT Five minutes after you apply a retinol product (you don’t want to dilute it), slather on a hyaluronic acid-spiked lotion. Since your skin does most of its repair work at night, the hydrating effect will be even more noticeable.