As the sun rises earlier and the evenings get longer, the anticipation of the approaching summer begins. It’s time to stow away winter jackets and boots, then crack out the sundresses and sandals. And just as you change the clothes you wear, it’s time to switch over from your winter skincare routine. Here are some useful tips for a beautiful, glowing summer skin:
Choose a natural exfoliant for summer
There’s a good reason to increase exfoliation during the warmer months of the year.
During summer, your skin is more likely to develop blocked pores from a build-up of sweat, sunblock and excess oil. So bring out your skin’s natural glow by sloughing it away with a natural exfoliator. When choosing a scrub, opt for something that isn’t too harsh, because you won’t want to strip your skin of its natural oils. Our Bamboo Beads Face Scrub and Brown Sugar Body Scrub are natural favourites to keep your skin smooth and clear. Avoid using a scrub just before heading out into the sun though; sometimes a good buff can leave your skin sensitive immediately afterwards.
Switch to a lighter cleanser and moisturiser
Generally, summer air is more humid, so it’s not as drying as in the chilly winter months. Because of this, the heavier cleansers you use in cooler months can be shelved for a while. But make sure your switch to a lighter cleanser doesn’t cause problems with the natural pH level of your skin, or you’ll be asking for trouble. Our Apple Juice Foaming Cleanser is a great way to cleanse away the daily build-up of bacteria, oil and dead skin cells with no nasty ingredients.
As with cleansing, a lightweight moisturiser makes sense in summer. But you also want a cream that contains antioxidants, to protect your skin from free radical damage during summertime. Okana Natural Vegetable Day Moisturiser absorbs into your skin quickly and leaves you with a soft, non-greasy finish that’s perfect under sunscreen and makeup.
Slap on the sunscreen
With summer comes events and social gatherings aplenty. Whether you’re playing beach cricket, socialising at a bbq or grooving at a festival, applying sunscreen is imperative. As soon as you step outside you’re exposing your skin to the harsh UV rays of the New Zealand sun. Over time, UV exposure breaks down collagen and leads to premature aging, not to mention melanoma. Combat these risks by using a sunscreen with a rating of at least SPF30 on any exposed skin – and don’t forget your hands, feet, ears and lips. Reapply more sunscreen if you’re in the sun for a long period of time, or in and out of the water. Remember to check the expiry date on the bottle - throw away anything past its use-by date.
Stay undercover when you can
Staying out of direct sunlight is a strong recommendation from dermatologists. Take shelter from the damaging effects of the sun under an umbrella or a wide-brimmed hat, or avoid going outside during peak burn times. Wearing sun-protective clothing, hats and sunglasses is also highly recommended. Regular clothes often only provide minimal protection, about the equivalent of 4-6 SPF. Clothes specifically designed for sun protection generally have an SPF of 50, which is much more effective at keeping those harmful rays off your skin.
Keep showers short
As summer’s temperatures get higher and sweatier, many of us opt for two showers a day. While you’ll certainly feel fresher, you need to keep the showers short (aim for under five minutes) and not too hot. Over-showering and high temperatures can strip your skin’s natural oils and lead to dry skin, inflammation and even summertime eczema. Also, back off on the amount of soap or shower gel you use. Fresh water alone is often enough to freshen you up.
Use pore-friendly makeup
Makeup can be another pore-clogging culprit during summer. Have a look at the products you’re using and make sure they’re non-comedogenic, which means they don’t contain ingredients that can cause congestion in your pores. These are often mineral-based and oil-free products - a bit of light research can help you identify suitable options.
Drink more water
Getting enough hydration is essential for your health and maintaining healthy skin. In summer, you need to increase your water intake by as much as a third. Sufficient hydration helps flush toxins and ensures your skin’s natural barrier is at its strongest, resulting in higher cell turnover and collagen production. Throughout your day, try to drink at least eight glasses of water. If you’re at the beach or running errands in the car, take a water bottle with you.
See our guide to 'natural glass skin'