During the summer months my skin can be all over the place... Some days it is oily from the heat and other days it feels dried out (especially in the evenings). The past few weeks Vancouver has been experiencing a heat wave, and it has taken a toll on my skin.
Curious to find out how to deal with the stress on my skin, I spoke with Kimberley MacEachern, Esthetician with Suki's (South Granville). Kimberley shared her top tips on how you can care for your skin this summer.
How to care for the skin during summer, hot months?
Summer skin is simple: it requires moisture and SPF. Keep your moisture light: look for lecithin, cross-linked hyaluronic acid, cucumber, arnica and aloe, and never leave the house without broad spectrum SPF protection (a minimum of 30 SPF).
Same question for mature skin?
Nothing ages the skin more than sun exposure and dehydration, so you will want to use a high SPF (50 would be ideal) to protect yourself. Exfoliation is a key component of any skincare regime and remains important throughout the summer.
That being said, exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells and exposes new ones, so exfoliate moderately during the sunnier months. One to two times per week with a chemical exfoliant like lactic or salicylic acid will keep your skin fresh, remove dry flakes and improve your skin's absorption of moisture (never exfoliate sun burnt skin!).
Antioxidant vitamins when applied topically to the skin, block free radical molecules and reduce environmental damage, so find a moisturizer with SPF and Vitamins A, C, E to keep your skin fresh and damage-free.
When the cooler weather returns look for deeper exfoliation treatments like microdermabrasion, peels, IPL and the use of micro-encapsulated Retinol (Vitamin A). But until then, protect yourself from the sun and keep your exfoliation light.
Is it necessary that your skin care to include a cleanser, toner and moisturizer, etc.? Or is soap enough?
I hear this question all the time and my response is usually the same. What is the "soap" designed for? Is it hand soap, body wash, or a foaming facial cleanser? Products for the face are not just a gimmick; the skin on your face is more sensitive, thinner, and ages the fastest. Irritating and sensitizing ingredients to avoid include: lanolin, SD alcohol, perfumes and dyes.
Traditional soaps are alkaline products and are harmful because they disrupt the naturally acidic PH of your skin. However, the same could be said about many products designed specifically for the face. Look for facial cleansers that do not disrupt your PH levels.
A toner may follow cleansing for further purifying or hydrating benefits, but should not contain SD alcohol (be wary of products that promise to shrink your pore size, they likely contain dehydrating ingredients!) After you have cleansed, apply your serums and moisturizers onto damp skin (which better absorbs moisture). If your favourite moisturizer does not contain an SPF of 30 or higher, apply your sunscreen as a final layer before heading out the door.
What is the shelf life of skin care?
Most products are good up to 12 months after opening. Check product for changes in smell or consistency of product, discontinue use if any irritation occurs from an old product, all SPF products have an expiration date printed on the package and should not be used past this date as SPF protection cannot be guaranteed.
I will be using these tips to keep my skin beautiful this summer. Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to enjoy life to the fullest. Let's have the very best 2015!
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