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Summer-Proof Your Skin

Warm weather, picnics in the park and pretty dresses; there are so many things we love about summer, but the season is not without its problems when it comes to our skin, from pollen to pollution. We reveal how best to prepare for and treat some of the most common summer skincare problems…

Pollution

We have worrying levels of pollution in the UK, with more than 40 towns and cities at or exceeding the air pollution limits set by the World Health Organization. As well as health problems, living somewhere with excess pollution can impact your skin, especially in the warmer weather when combined with UVA rays and increased pollen levels. Unfortunately for us, the main symptoms include premature ageing and wrinkles, so it’s crucial to take care to look after our skin.

The easiest way to protect from pollution is to use drops, which you can mix in with your serum, moisturiser or foundation; our favourites are from Oskia and Dr. Barbara Sturm. Sensitive skin will love Dr Roebuck’s Tassie Anti-pollution Serum, which is full of pollution-fighting antioxidants such as blueberry extract and aloe vera and for on-the-go top ups – especially if you live in the city – try Verso’s Anti-Pollution Protecting & Strengthening Mist which can be applied over makeup.

UVA & UVB Rays

Perhaps the biggest concern when the warmer weather hits is UVA and UVB rays. While we recommend using a facial SPF all year round, you should be extra diligent during the summer as UV rays are stronger. UV rays can penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer, causing premature ageing, wrinkles, pigmentation and conditions such as skin cancer in the long term.

There are so many brilliant SPF formulas that protect skin while feeling ultra-lightweight. Bestsellers include Darphin Intral Shield SPF50, Eve Long Daily Protection SPF 50 and By Terry UV Base Sunscreen Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50, which doubles up as a great makeup base. Not into applying an extra layer of skincare? Try Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Sun Drops SPF 50, which can be mixed into serums, creams and foundations. If you feel like your skin has had a little too much sun and needs some damage control, try a soothing mask like Ultrasun’s Overnight Summer Skin Recovery Mask, which floods the face with hyaluronic acid to help restore moisture as you sleep.

Hayfever

For hayfever sufferers (around 13 million in the UK), spring/summer time means one thing: pollen. Itchy eyes, sniffly noses and scratchy throats are all symptoms, as are skin issues such as dryness and puffiness around the eyes. While we recommend stocking up on antihistamines, eye drops and nasal sprays for the main symptoms, there are things you can do to soothe your skin, too.

Target dehydrated skin with an arsenal of skincare saviours, such as masks and mists; Patchology’s Flashmasque Soothe calms down itchy, irritated skin while nourishing and leaving a layer of moisture, while This Works’ Stress Check Face Mask targets compromised skin with a botanical blend of neroli, lavender and camomile. Keep a refreshing mist on hand at your desk and in your bag for hayfever emergencies. For eyes, invest in an effective eye cream with a cooling roller ball applicator and keep both in the fridge to soothe puffiness; we like the Sisley Sisleÿa L’Integral Anti-Age Eye and Lip Contour Cream.

Sweat

It’s hardly glamorous, but summer sweat is a real problem for many, and can wreak havoc with your skin, causing breakouts and makeup slippage. Preparation is absolutely key to help prevent this problem, so begin by using a gentle exfoliating cleanser such as Tata Harper’s Purifying Cleanser, which contains papaya and pomegranate enzymes to reduce any excess oil which may cause shine before you’ve even stepped out of the door.

Next, opt for a matte-finish moisturiser such as La Mer’s, and follow with Ren’s Perfect Canvas, which creates a soft matte finish and primes skin for makeup. After makeup application, take one final step towards warding off excess shine by spritzing Cover FX’s Mattifying Setting Spray. Still suffering from sweat over your makeup? Stash the Cover FX Custom Blot Drops in every pocket and bag.

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