Dewy skin is great, but sweaty skin? No thanks. Lucy Wildman tells you how to stay shine-controlled in the searing heat of a UAE summer
Heat and humidity? We officially hate you. Nevertheless, in the middle of a long and sweaty summer, the daily beauty battle to stay in control of shine can be a challenge. Your skin needs an arsenal of beautifiers to cope with climatic change, and since there’s no denying that the summer swelter has well and truly kicked in, now is the time to update your skincare regime, and turn your attention to hot-weather complexion perfection.
HUMIDITY: FRIEND OR FOE?
Soaring temperatures and high levels of humidity are all part and parcel of a UAE summer. Living in a humid climate gives skin a hydration advantage, since the air that surrounds us is full of water, and our skin absorbs the moisture from the air throughout the day. Great news for drier skins, but if your skin type is combination, normal or oily, skin that is already flush with moisture can become overloaded and leave you battling an almost constant shiny-skin situation. But following simple skincare and make-up steps can ensure you glow for all the right reasons when the mercury‘s rising.
CLEANSING Since air conditioning is a necessary evil when outdoor heat is unbearable, your skin not only has to battle with extreme temperature changes and dryness, but excess oils (caused by dehydration) and bacteria (from inside AC units). Wash twice a day with a gentle cleanser that won’t strip your skin of its essential oils – anything too harsh will simply encourage it to produce more oil to compensate for the loss, which will make your skin even greasier.
Morning cleansing helps to remove the oil and dead skin cells that build up while you sleep, while cleansing at night dissolves make-up residue, perspiration and pollutants, clears dead skin cells and stimulates natural cell turnover. It also allows your skin to better absorb serums and moisturisers, so you can get the most out of them.
Since you’ll be sweating a lot more than usual, a lightweight moisturiser is your first defence in combating dehydration. Unless your skin is extremely dry (we’re talking lizard-like here), ditch heavy daytime moisturisers in favour of a lightweight gel cream, which will give your skin all the essential moisture it needs without overloading the pores and making it too greasy.
Don’t neglect your nighttime skincare regime. Your body goes through a natural restorative cycle at night, and since you shouldn’t be worrying about having a shiny face while you’re sleeping, it’s the perfect opportunity to deeply hydrate your skin with a heavy-duty moisturiser loaded with antioxidants and anti-ageing properties.
Mattifying products are essential weapons in the fight against shine excess. Look for lightweight formulations designed specifically to control excess sebum, and layer your kit of oil-controlling skin savers for your best shot against glowing for all the wrong reasons.
According to London-based Mac Senior Artist Rebecca Butterworth, “The secret to staying immaculate in the sun is all in the prep and your product choice.” First things first; you need an oil-controlling primer under your foundation – although these reduce shine like mattifiers, primers may also hydrate or add a dewy glow, depending on the formula. Best of all, “They make any foundation or tinted moisturiser infallible,” she says.
Ditching foundation completely is, according to Butterworth, the best way forward in the sun. “Switch to a tinted moisturiser, BB or CC [colour control] cream will control oil, moisturise, smooth fine lines and stay put all day.” And contrary to popular belief, we shouldn’t be topping-up with powder during the day – “Instead use blotting papers,” says Rebecca. “They absorb oil and sweat without moving or overloading make-up like a brush with powder would.”
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