Subscribe

How to Keep Your Skin Healthy & Radiant Throughout Summer

‘Tis the season we’re all in search of healthy, glowing, youthful-looking skin. But for many of us, the festive season is also the time when a hectic social schedule can start to show on our skin. We chat with the experts and discover how to combat the skin side effects of a busy lifestyle and keep skin glowing right around the clock.

It’s an all-to-common conundrum come summer: you’ve exfoliated, moisturised, worn sunscreen every day and followed your skincare routine religiously throughout the year only to have the madness of the festive season show on your skin once December rolls around. A couple of late nights here, indulgent meals there, perhaps making the biggest beauty mistake possible – forgetting to take off your make-up before bed – and soon all these lifestyle changes can start to show up on your complexion as lacklustre, tired-looking skin. “The festive season can bring about changes in our usual routine and may include drinking alcohol and eating out more, often at irregular times and ‘burning the candle at both ends’,” says Sheryll Puku, national training manager for Elizabeth Arden.

“Alcohol, late nights, poor sleep, possibly an increased sugar intake, and often an increase in sun exposure during the festive season can all contribute to the free radical damage of not just your skin, but all the cells in your body,” explains award-winning doctor, author and pioneer in cosmetic medicine, Dr Catherine Stone of the Face Place. “Your skin is often just a reflection of what is happening in your body,” Stone says. Kerry De Villiers, product research and compliance manager agrees and says that our lifestyle choices have a huge impact on our skin’s health. The likes of a poor diet, lack of sleep, stress and smoking can affect the flow of oxygen to the skin which slows the supply of nutrients and removal of waste she explains. “It can result in the skin’s appearance looking dull and lacklustre and in turn, can speed up the signs of ageing.”

Stay Sun Smart

Nothing quite goes together like a festive season soirées and a good dose of vitamin D but Stone says that when it comes to the Kiwi lifestyle it’s really no surprise that it is the sun that does the most damage to our skin. “We are an active country who love to get outdoors, and coupled with our high levels of UV due to the lack of ozone layer, many of us will age faster than our Northern European equals,” she explains. Stone says alarmingly, research has suggested that if we had no sun exposure, we wouldn’t start developing the skin signs of ageing, such as wrinkles until or seventies or eighties. Not only will skin contribute to the appearance of lines and wrinkles, Stone says that excessive UV exposure is also a major contributor pigmentation, brown flaky spots called actinic keratoses, and skin cancer. “It’s important to avoid excessive sun exposure, and when you are out in the sun, wear sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen,” she advises. “Daily SPF is crucial all year round, not just in the summer months,” adds Puku. “UVA is prematurely ageing our skin every day no matter what the season.”

Watch Your Diet
But it’s not just exposure to skin-ageing UV rays that tend to take a toll on our skin once summer arrives. While many of us enjoy the odd tipple in the sun over the summer break, overindulging will give you more than just a sore head the next day. “Excessive alcohol consumption can have a negative impact on your sleep, your hormones and your mood, as well as your skin,” explains Stone. Stone, who recently co-authored Grow Younger with Great Food – a guide to healthy ageing inside and out, with The Face Place’s own in-house wellness expert Jessica Giljam-Brown, is passionate about the fact that when it comes to healthy skin, what’s on the inside is just as important. “The skin is the last organ in our body to receive nutrition from the food we eat, and is the first organ in our body to lose that nutrition (through exposure to sun, pollution, wind and the environment), so it’s important to replenish it from the inside (with good nutrition, supplements and lifestyle) and the outside (with good skincare and medical skin treatments),” she explains.

Clockwise from top left: Trilogy Age-Proof Overnight Mask ($49.99); Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel ($159 for 10); Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Mask ($26 from Mecca) ;Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask ($72 from Mecca); Elizabeth Arden Prevage Progressive Renewal Treatment ($299); Environ Focus Care Youth+ Tri BioBotanical Revival Masque ($105); Trilogy Age-Proof Overnight Mask ($49.99)

An increase in how much we drink over the festive season is just one of the diet-related changes that can have an impact on skin health. “You might find your skin breaking out more, as the alcohol puts pressure on your body’s normal detoxification systems,” explains Stone. “It also damages your DNA through the increased production of free radicals,” she adds. “The World Health Organisation recommends a ’low risk’ alcohol intake as no more than 2 standard drinks per day, with a minimum of 2 alcohol-free days a week.” Alcohol – or pepping yourself up with an extra cup of coffee after a late night – can lead to dehydration explains Stone. “Dehydration means our cells can’t function properly or communicate effectively with each other, and you are more likely to build up toxins in your body as you are unable to flush them out.” She suggests alternating a glass of wine or coffee with a glass of water to reduce the impact the two have on your hydration levels. “And always have a glass of water when you wake up in the morning.”

Make the Right Lifestyle Choices
Smoking is a big no-no for many health reasons but as Stone explains it’s terrible for our skin too. “Skin becomes dull and sallow as the micro-blood supply via the capillaries becomes compromised,” says Stone. Puku says that while the early skin damage that is caused by smoking is hard to see she explains that the more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more skin damage and signs of ageing you are likely to see. “Smoking can speed up the normal ageing process of your skin by releasing free radicals,” she says. “In addition, repeated facial expressions you make when smoking, such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke may contribute to wrinkles.”

Get Your Beauty Sleep
Burning the candle at both ends often results in a lack of quality sleep which in turn can result in skin that looks both dull and tired. “It’s called beauty sleep for a reason,” says DeVilliers. “Our skin, like our entire body, has what is known as a circadian rhythm: a certain pattern of functioning over a 24-hour period,” she explains. Fail to get an adequate amount of shut-eye and it is likely that your skin will suffer. “Sleep is the time where our body gets to repair and recover,” says Stone. “If you are not getting enough sleep, then your body is less able to repair any damage you’ve created during the day, from sun exposure, alcohol consumption, poor diet, over-exercising or smoking. Our skin is our largest and most obvious organ and will reflect our state of health, rest and wellbeing.”

 

The Best Dressed at the Critics’ Choice Awards 2020

Last week all of our favourite celebrities paraded a plethora of head-turning looks onto the red carpet at the Golden Globes. This week, all of the A-listers from Hollywood and beyond flocked to Santa Monica, California to attend the 2020 Critics’s Choice Awards.

According to insiders, the Critics’ Choice Awards are often a good indication of who might scoop up an Oscar come February. As well as giving us a bit of a clue as to who might take home an Academy Award next month, there’s always plenty of must-see red carpet looks.

Discover our favourite looks from the Critics’ Choice Awards in the gallery below.