Just because a few changes to our usual lifestyle can wreak havoc on our skin over summer – which you can read about right here – it doesn’t mean that there aren’t steps we can take to mitigate unwanted skin damage and get glowing skin all festive season long. Award-winning doctor, author and pioneer in cosmetic medicine, Dr Catherine Stone of the Face Place says that being conscious of the impact that your lifestyle can have on your skin a great place to start. “Using the appropriate antioxidants and nutrition on your skin – such as good, medical-grade skincare – and in your body – in the way of health food and supplements – can be helpful during these times,” she says.
“As can choosing to practice moderation and listening to your body when it wants to rest and recuperate,” she adds. “Keep in mind that free radical damage is one of the key causes of ageing and disease, and work with your skin therapist and/or nutritionist to tailor the solutions that might be best for you, whilst still having a great time celebrating,” she suggests. “Add in some extra antioxidant to your skincare regime and if you are feeling dehydrated plenty of essential fatty acids, water and throw in an antioxidant/hydrating mask.”
In a Tight Spot
It doesn’t matter what age you are, blemish-prone skin is particularly susceptible to skin problems that can arise due to lifestyle changes. Stone says that it’s important for those who suffer from breakouts to keep you with their active skincare regimen throughout the festive season. “Try not to skip this when you’ve had late nights; it really does make a difference.” Treatment wise, Stone says regular peels can help clear up breakouts; LED lights, in particular, red and near infra-red, are anti-inflammatory and work well on reducing pustules; and skin needling or The Face Place’s Vampire Facial Plus can help soften scarring while boosting overall rejuvenation.
Kerry De Villiers, product research and compliance manager for Trilogy, is a big proponent of great cleansing habits where blemish-prone skin is concerned. “Increased daily water intake combined with good cleansing habits is the aim of the game for blemish-prone skin during the festive season where late nights and overindulging become the norm,” she says. She explains that keeping blemish-prone areas clean is important and that the build-up of excess oil and skin cells need to be removed to keep skin looking healthy and radiant.
“Twice a day is ideal, but the general rule is always to cleanse at night even if you’re not wearing make-up,” DeVilliers says looking for a cleanser that works for your skin is important too. “If your cleanser is too harsh it will disrupt the skin’s protective mantle, leading to a vicious cycle of excess oil production and uncomfortable surface tautness.” She recommends Trilogy Very Gentle Cream Cleanser which uses a blend of pure plant oils and calming natural actives to help rebalance skin.
Clean Up Your Act
It’s not just blemish-prone skin that needs to take extra care to cleanse skin over the summer months, with a hectic social schedule it’s not uncommon to end up wearing a little more make-up than usual. And while it can be tempting to slide into bed at the end of a long night without removing it, it’s certainly not a move your skin will thank you for. “Nighttime cleansing is essential for nutrients to absorb and nourish the skin,” says DeVilliers. “If you don’t cleanse your face before bed, not only do you leave on the grime from the day, clogging your pores, dulling the complexion and encouraging unwanted breakouts, you also miss out on essential skin nutrition.”
Even if you don’t wear make-up, cleansing is vital if you want radiant, healthy skin. As the temperature heats up over the summer months, we tend to sweat more which can clog pores and lead to breakouts. “Cleansing your skin at the end of the day is essential for better skin, regardless whether you wear makeup or not,” says Sheryll Puku, national training manager for Elizabeth Arden. “Everyone’s skin gets dirty from dust, sweat, makeup, sebum and impurities in the air. If you do not cleanse, your pores will become clogged and your skin will start to look dull,” she adds. Puku’s quick tip for removing make-up when it’s the last thing you feel like doing before crawling into bed is to try using a cleansing oil. “Cleansing oils are an extremely effective way to cleanse skin and remove makeup for all skin types, including oily skin. They are often formulated to be used to remove lip and eye makeup too, so are efficient and travel-friendly,” she explains.
Up Your Skincare Game
Taking extra care with your skincare routine and adding a couple of extra steps here and there will go along way to helping you achieve your radiant summer skin goals. Both Puku and DeVilliers recommend exfoliating if you want to undo some of the effects of a hectic lifestyle and get your skin glowing. “There’s no better way to quickly banish tired skin to help it look and feel health and radiant for the festive season,” says DeVilliers. “A consistent routine which includes regular exfoliation and effective hydration will help give you a beautiful healthy natural glow,” she says. Puku recommends adding a chemical exfoliator such as an alpha hydroxy acids to your pre-festive season routine for more radiant and even-toned appearance. Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage Progressive Renewal Treatment is perfect for those who want to get skin glowing for a special event. The at-home peel system gradually builds up the strength of the chemical exfoliators used over a period of four weeks to gently but effectively resurface skin for a more luminous, even complexion.
And even though we often reach for our favourite foundation to hide some of the lifestyle-induced imperfections that can show up on our skin, regular exfoliation, as DeVilliers points out, means not only will make-up sit better on skin, but you’ll also need less of it to cover up with. For an added pre-party skin boost, DeVilliers suggests following your exfoliation with a mask that will rejuvenate, energise and purify skin. Vitamin C is another star ingredient that will help transform your skin, get it party-ready and banish some of the damage done by the festive season. In the lead up to a special occasion, consider adding a treatment product such as Trilogy’s Vitamin C Booster Treatment to your routine. “It’s a freshly activated two-week intense brightening beauty treatment packed with high-potency natural vitamin C powder in its freshest and most active form,” explains DeVilliers. “The intense two-week beauty treatment is designed to be used twice daily for two consecutive weeks to boost the skin’s natural glow and to help improve the overall appearance of pigmentation and dull and tired-looking skin.”
Investing in skin treatments can be a great way to get skin in tip-top condition for summer. Stone says that treatments should be always be tailored to the individual’s skin concerns and needs by an experienced skin therapist. “But nutritional ’peels’ (light to medium peels that help to ’feed’ the skin with nutrients, such as lactic acid and Vitamin A), and LED Light treatments such as Omnilux and Healite are great options to get your skin glowing for the party season,” she says. “An LED light course is a magical way of fast-tracking the skin to health by charging up the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria. This is responsible for producing energy for the cell to function, and repair,” Stone explains. LED instantly reduces inflammation, increases hydration and boosts skin regeneration, plus there’s no prep or downtown required. “If you have been using good medical skincare, and your skin is ’prepped’ and healthy, you might consider skin needling or (even better) a vampire facial plus, to really get your glow on,” Stone adds.