As the summer draws to a close, it’s time to think about switching up your skincare. While you may assume you can use the same products all year round, there are benefits aplenty to adapting your skincare arsenal in line with the seasons. “Our skin never stands still. It constantly responds or reacts to its environment, either intrinsically with diet, hormones, medications and illness or extrinsically by pollution, sun exposure and heating,” facialist Maria Rylott-Byrd explained.
Post-summer is a great time to focus your efforts on upping your skincare routine, especially after many months outdoors. “We tend to accumulate some sun damage over the summer period, even if we are careful with sunscreen and sun avoidance, so the period after the summer tends to be a time to start the process of damage repair,” aesthetic doctor Dr. David Jack explained. Whether you’re dealing with sun-induced damage and pigmentation, dryness and dehydration or acne as a result of suncream, we explore the best ways to look after your skin ahead of the autumn.
After increased time in the sun, you might be suffering from pigmentation. Pigmentation is a natural defense against solar radiation. “Melanin is the pigment found in the skin that gives us a tan and skin color. Melanocyte cells are responsible for the production of melanin and are found in the upper skin layer. Melanin travels to the surface of the skin, where it accumulates , and pigmentation becomes visible,” skin specialist Sarah Hurst explained. The best way to tackle pigmentation at home? Vitamin C. “Vitamin C is one of the most studied, most evidence-based, and most beneficial molecules in modern active skincare products,” Dr. Jack clarified. “Concentrations of 5-15% in topical skincare are ideal for getting the antioxidant benefits but with low risk of irritation that you might get with higher concentrations,” he suggests. If you want to tackle pigmentation as we move into autumn, include a Vitamin C serum like C.E.O. Brightening Serum in your AM routine.
Apply a mask
When September rolls around, it can be ideal to invest more time into your skincare, especially if you are experiencing breakouts or congestion. “In the summer, increased heat and heavier products on the skin may lead to more follicular blockages and acne spots,” consultant dermatologist Dr. Emma Craythorne explained. This could have been intensified further by wearing a face mask (the Covid type). Look for masks that contain ingredients like niacinamide, zinc, and tea tree like Sunday Riley’s Saturn Sulfur Spot Treatment. Or use Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment as a mask. Apply 1-2 pumps to clean, dry skin, and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry.
Book an IPL treatment
If you’re dealing with pigmentation that won’t shift, consider booking in for IPL, the best in-clinic treatment for this skin condition. “IPL uses high energy light to fragment pigment under the skin, causing it to be removed by the body. It works on all types of sun-related pigmentation,” Dr. Jack said.
Hit the hydration
If your skin is feeling particularly sun-parched, it’s time to up the ante on hydration. As always, the hero ingredient here is hyaluronic acid. “Hyaluronic acid is a structural molecule found throughout the body that acts as a natural ‘humectant,’ meaning that it draws water to itself. Hyaluronic acid in skincare utilizes this humectant effect to draw water to the skin and act as a moisturizer,” Dr. Jack explained. Apply a hyaluronic acid-packed serum or moisturizer to your skin morning and night. We love Sunday Riley C.E.O. Afterglow Brightening Vitamin C Gel Cream
Invest in a facial
To really get your face feeling soft and glowing, it could be worth booking in for a facial. “As the season transitions from summer to autumn, the skin needs to be balanced and repaired in readiness for the cooler climate and the lower humidity caused by central heating. This is a great time to visit a skin professional for a hydrating facial,” Rylott-Byrd recommended.
Upgrade your body care regime
While we often remember to take care of our face, we often neglect the skin on our bodies. After a summer of showing more skin, this is the ideal time to change that. “Skin can often become very dry at the end of summer due to swimming pools, sea swimming, and more exposure to the elements,” Dr. Craythorne noted. Taking time to moisturize your body every day is very important. “Perhaps use a moisturizer that has some gentle acids for exfoliating. Look for emollients with lactic acid or ceramides in them,” Dr. Craythorne suggests. Check your shower gel isn’t stripping too. “Anything that makes your skin feel squeaky clean and tight is going to dry it out,” skin specialist Sam Marshall said.
Check your diet
A 360 approach to skincare is always important. After a summer of burning the candles at both ends, it can be nice to look at our diet and lifestyle once again when we hunker down for winter. Drinking lots of water, clocking in a good night’s sleep, practicing meditation, and filling your plate with fruit and veg are all going to improve the way you look. “Focus on having a balanced diet with omega 3s in it will keep your skin soft and supple,” Marshall said.
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