The Cooling Skincare Item Your Parched Summer Skin Needs

All moisturisers are not equal at this time of year.

It’s an oft-misunderstood fact that despite temperatures rising to sticky and sweltering and our complexion regularly responding with a glowy – okay fine, oily – slick, beneath the surface, skin can be distinctly dehydrated. 

“One of the less obvious challenges for skin in summer is dehydration,” says Linda Sharrem, skincare trainer at Caci. 

“Our skin can be oilier but still lose water with not only the heat, but those summer goodies and parties!” 

It means skin won’t react as it normally would, can be prone to breakouts, look dull and fine lines and wrinkles can be more prominent. Its protective barrier can also be compromised.

Sharrem says we should keep consistently moisturising in the morning and night regardless of how hot it is, but consider a seasonal texture switch from a rich moisturiser to lighter, water-based gel one. 

“Change your skincare regime to address the summer elements, adding in antioxidant-rich and tyrosinase inhibitor (pigmentation) serums, and more summer-appropriate moisturisers, lighter, water-based ones featuring Hyaluronic Acid rather than oils. We don’t want to use winter specific skincare as it can cause congestion and block pores.”

Thankfully a new-wave of sorbet-like cooling gel-cream textures free of thick, cloying butters and oils rise to the demands of summer skin. They are light and refreshing to apply, absorb quickly and won’t feel greasy or look overly shiny when your skin heats up. 

What’s more, loaded with quenching Hyaluronic Acid, a powerful humectant which helps regulate moisture levels, they’re like a tall drink of water for skin that’s seen an excess of sun. 

They also make a great base for makeup and wont cause foundation to go on patchy or pill.

Gel moisturisers work well for most skin types but typically their absence of oil and light feel makes them extremely compatible with oily and combination skin, not just in summer, but all year round.

Meet five of the best gel moisturisers:

Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, $79

Potentially the most well-known of them all, Clinique’s lightweight pink gel is the perfect daily product for anyone that doesnt like the feel of regular moisturiser, including many men we know.

Syrene Aqua Intense Cream Gel, $110

A slightly more nourishing version perfect for evening use, Syrene’s cream contains seaweed extract to increase elasticity and native NZ Kawakawa to soothe and calm troubled skin.

La Mer Moisturising Cool Gel Cream, $545

Want to dial up the luxe factor? This contains the brand’s famous algae extract Miracle Broth that heals and speeds skin’s renewal process, but in a much lighter formula than the original Crème De La Mer.

Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel, $119

This cools upon application and absorbs beautifully with no residue and contains a number of vitamins, minerals and peptides to strengthen the skin’s barrier and maintain its plump, youthful-looking appearance.

Kiehl’s Calendula Water Cream, $72

Inspired by Kiehl’s best-selling soothing Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner, this water cream is perfect for anyone prone to redness because it contains concentrated calendula to even skin tone and boost radiance, while gently calming flushing or irritation.

The Best Hydrating Facials to Quench Parched Summer Skin

Need a pick-me-up to return skin to its plump, glowy best?

Even if you’ve been admirably committed to a multi-step skincare regimen, summer can still do a number on your complexion.

Long days spent outdoors – whether you’ve been careful with SPF or not – as well as a significant amount of celebration and not enough water intake can play a part in dehydrated, tight-feeling skin.

There are plenty of at-home masks and cooling gel moisturisers that do the job for a quick hit of hydration, but there’s nothing quite like the level of plump, glowing skin achieved in the hands of an expert. They’re like magic for quickly transforming a lacklustre-looking complexion into an enviably radiant and healthy one.

What’s more, given you don’t have to do anything but lie there, you’ll quickly hit peak relaxation as well. 

So where do you go for the best hydrating facial options? Read on:

Sothys Hydra3Ha Hydrating Intensive Treatment at selected Sothys salons

Parisian skincare brand Sothys has been creating effective salon treatments for decades, combining a luxury experience with visible results, which is the recipe for a desirable facial in our books. This treatment, available at a number of clinics and spas around NZ, follows a cleanse and enzyme treatment with application of high-grade Hyaluronic acid in two molecular weights to treat all levels of skin with a hit of lasting hydration. The final step is a smoothing, plumping mask to lock it in.

Murad Express Hydrating Facial at Caci

Because sometimes you don’t have time to spend hours in a spa in the pursuit of great skin, for a quick complexion reset, Caci’s 30-minute Murad facial is absolutely ideal. Using nourishing Murad products, flaky, dry, or tight skin is gently cleansed and brought back to life quick-smart with the application of salon-strength skincare. Or upgrade to a Sonophoresis skincare infusion which uses a small metal handpiece and sound waves to infuse antioxidants and hydrating skincare ingredients deep into skin.

Votary Wellbeing Facial from Spring and East Day Spas

On the other hand, if you’re in the mood to be indulged, being slathered in UK brand Votary’s pure plant-based luxury oils is a great way to pass 60 minutes. The products are chosen to suit your skin and the process is incredibly relaxing, plus, there’s just something about the very specific glow you get from the combination of lightweight, antioxidant-rich oils and gentle circulation-boosting facial massage. Their therapists are known for incredible euphoria-inducing head or hand massages too!

Osmosis Repair & Glow facial at Haven Skin Spa

Using a unique handheld device called an Osmosis RevitaPen, the brand’s advanced repairing and revitalising serums are encouraged to penetrate deep into the skin. The RevitaPen’s tip is made from stainless surgical steel with tiny conical tips that create micro-channels for exceptional absorption but do not break the skin like microneedling does, so it’s non-invasive and gentle but will rejuvenate skin and increase circulation and hydration.

The Bespoke Facial at The Facialist

You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole, and similarly, facials using pre-defined products aren’t always going to get the most from your skin, so going bespoke means you’ll get a tailored response that will deliver for you personally. Here, a Facialist therapist cherry-picks the best products from its considered range of skincare brands depending on what’s going on with your skin prior to, and on the day of your visit, including customised actives, intensive masks and massage. This salon truly knows how to deliver an amazing all-round facial experience, so if you’re picking a facial as a gift, it’s a sure bet.

Hydrafacial from selected clinics

A treatment picking up hype internationally for its all-rounder approach and celeb cred. A handpiece offers a deep cleanse via a spiral tip with a suction process, de-gunking pores and regenerating skin cells in a manner similar to microdermabrasion but with a more gentle technique, while simultaneously infusing a hydrating serum containing antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic into skin. You can have it even if you have sensitive skin and it can be customised to treat your specific issues, including acne, lymphatic drainage to take down allergy puffiness, pigmentation and fine lines.