Ah, summer. You’ve been a blast. Not the lockdown, obviously. But the weather? It’s been lovely. We may have been confined to our country — boarded up inside our borders for the best months of the year — but at least it’s been a scorcher. There have been (safely distanced) barbecues aplenty, the parks have brimmed with bubbles (both social and bottled) and we’ve turned ‘work-from-home’ into ‘work-from-garden’.
And yet, we’re starting to feel a little ropey. It could be the six-month lockdown milestone we’re approaching, or it may be the stark realisation that you won’t be jetting off anywhere exotic this year — but we’d wager it’s your scorched skin. That’s right. After a homegrown summer of endless tanning, you’re probably just feeling a little worse for wear. At least, that’s what Dr Firas Al-Niaimi, Consultant Dermatologist at sk:n, thinks.
“The summer months can often cause the skin to appear more aged,” he tells Gentleman’s Journal. “That is often shown with signs of dullness and wrinkles — as well as pigmentation which is due to UVA rays degrading our collagen production. It is also important to know that UVB is what causes burns to the skin which is the most common cause of skin cancers.”
So what’s to be done? We asked Dr Al-Niami for five skincare steps to help us recover from summer…
Invest in aloe vera products if you’ve been in the sun
Admit it. When the sun was blazing, you snuck a longer lunch-break than you were meant to. You whipped out the sun cream, whipped off your shirt and got your bronze on. But are those snatched hours sunbathing now coming back to bite you in your perfectly-tanned proverbial?
“There is actually no such thing as a healthy tan,” explains Dr Al-Niami, “as having tanned skin implies that the skin has had excessive sun exposure. If a tan has developed in the sun, the best thing to do is to keep the skin moisturised to help alleviate potential irritation such as sunburn. Aloe vera based products are great for soothing irritated skin due to their anti-inflammatory properties.”
Aesop Petitgrain Reviving Body Gel
Kiehl’s Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque
Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel
Find a serum-based moisturiser to combat dryness
Dryness. It’s one of the nasty side-effects of staying out in that lovely, lovely sunshine for too long (that, and all the rosé you drank). But how to hydrate — and bring life back to your skin?
“A great product to have in your skincare routine is a serum-based moisturiser that contains Hydrochloric Acid or Glycerine,” Dr Al-Niami advises. “These two ingredients help to bring moisture back into your skin as well as offer anti-wrinkle properties due to their capacity to retain large amounts of water, allowing the skin to stay moisturised and helping to prevent the development of wrinkles.
“If you find your skin is in need of an even deeper surge of hydration,” he adds, “it is always a good idea to increase the frequency of use throughout the day, or to even consider using a richer cream-based moisturiser that will hold on to moisture for longer.”
ClarinsMen Super Moisture Balm
Shiseido Men Hydrating Lotion
Gentlemen’s Tonic Daily Moisturiser
Don’t give up on SPF just because summer is over
Some of us were so desperate to get outside and tan this summer that we forewent sun cream altogether. This, Dr Al-Niami says, was a mistake — a possibly fatal one. And, although the sun isn’t shining as strongly anymore, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be shutting your SPF cream back in the bathroom cabinet. To help your skin recover, you should carry on wearing it throughout the year.
“Every day,” advises Dr Al-Niami. “No matter whether it is summer or winter. However, high SPFs aren’t needed so much in winter — so we can opt for moisturisers that just contain a low-level SPF to still adequately protect our skin. It is important to know that, as we enter colder months, the freezing temperatures leave our skin dry and agitated — which actually gives UV rays a better chance at damaging the skin.”
Clinique For Men Protect SPF 21 Moisturiser
Harry’s Face Lotion
Recipe for Men SPF 30 Face Cream
Look for a detoxifying exfoliator to declog your pores
Of course, there’s a limit to how many products you should be using. Your skin can only take so much, after all. And that means, after a summer of being bombarded with advice about SPF creams, moisturisers, hydrating gels and all manner of other products, your face may be feeling a little weary. Couple that with the grime and grease that comes with sweaty, sticky weather — and your pores are probably in need of a good deep clean.
“And the best way to unclog blocked pores is through exfoliators and cleaners. Try looking for ones that contain salicylic acid or glycolic acid,” says Dr Al-Niami, adding that sk:n also offer a detoxifying and deep cleansing HydraFacial treatment. “One or the other of these acids, or even both together, will help to act as a renewal treatment to remove stubborn clogged pores at home.”
Elemis Deep Cleanse Facial Wash
Lab Series Oil Control Clay Cleanser
Malin + Goetz Salicylic Gel
Vitamin C and Retinols will combat any signs of ageing
And so we come to that oh-so dreaded adverse effect of the sun’s glorious rays; ageing. For all the benefits the sun can bring us, stay out in its glare for too long and you’ll end up with leathery skin making you look old beyond your years. So, if you’re coming out of the summer months with a decade’s worth of new lines on your face, it may be time to remedy that. But how, we ask Dr Al-Niami, can we combat the signs of ageing?
“I’d advise introducing antioxidants into your skincare routine,” he answers. “Vitamin C serum is a great way to do this — as well as retinols, as they will help to regenerate the skin as it promotes collagen production to give you back that youthful brightening glow. SkinCeuticals Discolouration Defence Serum in particular is a great product for reducing the appearance of pigmentation that may have been brought out from excessive sun exposure — and will work to give a brighten and more even-looking skin tone.”
SkinCeuticals Discolouration Defence Serum
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
Medik8 C-Tetra Serum
Looking for more ways to revitalise your skin? Chemical exfoliants are the summer’s biggest grooming trend…
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