Restore your summer skin to health

Now that the summer sun is fading, your skin, hair and body will be in need of a boost. Sarah Brooks-Wilson shows you how to get your glow back.

Soaring temperatures, excessive humidity and too much beach time over summer can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. To get your fresh face back after all the surf, sun and sand follow these autumnal beauty fixes.

Dry skin

Dehydration is caused by a lack of moisture and affects all skin types, and the hot weather of summer only makes things worse. “Heat evaporates water from the skin, but on top of that you have the drying effects of the sun, salt and air conditioning, which is a real skin-shocker,” says Emma Hobson, Education Manager for the Dermal Institute. To get your skin moisture back, she recommends skincare with moisture-binding humectants like hyaluronic acid for rehydration.

Exfoliation is also key to smooth the surface of your skin and to help erase that dry flakiness. Make sure you exfoliate at least twice a week, and don’t forget your body, as it needs the same attention as your face.

Beauty saviours: Natio Dual Action Cleanser and Exfoliator, $16.95, Skin Republic Hyaluronic Acid + Collagen Face Mask Sheet, $9.99 and Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator, $75.


Breakouts

When heat and humidity combine, your sebaceous glands are stimulated, meaning skin with even a regular level of glow can quickly tip into oily overflow. Say hello to breakouts. And they don’t just happen on the face either. Your back and chest are just as prone to spots, especially as they’ve been loaded with sunscreen and body oils during the summer months. The biggest oily-skin crime, says Hobson, is stripping the skin, which then leads to dehydration. “If you take away all of the oils, your skin will just kick into protection mode and produce more oil, so you’ll make it much worse,” she explains.

While its fine to cleanse more often, the key is to choosing the right cleanser. She recommends gentle clay or gel-based cleansers, while the top of her no-list are formulations that feature a soap-base or SD alcohol, as both can be extremely drying to your skin. Other must-buys are mattifying, oil-free moisturisers, a good sunscreen containing micro-sponges to soak up excess oils and a clay mask which can be used weekly to target and dry out those overactive sebaceous glands.

Beauty saviours: Clarins Water Purifying One-Step Cleanser, $44, QV Face Oil Free Moisturiser, $16.30 and Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque, $72.50.


Redness and sensitivity

Ever wondered why your cheeks are so flushed? You can thank the extremes of summer for that. The combination of the heat, cold water, sun and all those extra Aperol Spritzers can leave skin hot and bothered.

Gentle anti-inflammatory skincare will help to soothe and calm the complexion. Switch to gentle cream cleansers and apply a soothing toner throughout the day to reduce redness and irritation. Hobson’s top cooling tip: “Pop your products into the fridge so they’re cool and extra calming when you apply them.”

Beauty saviours: Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser, $55.50, Paula’s Choice CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum, $43 and Jurlique Calming Blend Aromatherapy
Mist, $35.


Loss of radiance

You can thank the indulgences of summer for your lacklustre complexion. Too much beach time with an extra layer of sunscreen, too many late nights and alcohol leave your skin grey and tired. “Cleansing is the vital step to bring back skin radiance,” says Hobson. This doesn’t mean a quick wash at the end of the day. It’s time to get serious. She recommends double-cleansing morning and night, making sure your first cleanse is with a cleansing balm or oil to really soak off deep dirt and grime. Then you need to exfoliate twice a week to remove the dull, dry and tired skin. “Ideally with hydroxy acid exfoliant containing lactic acid to help brighten the skin,” she says.

Daily moisturising is the key to ensure you have a healthy, dewy, plump skin, with Hobson recommending a primer after moisturising to add luminosity to the skin.

Beauty saviours: Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm, $65, Hydropeptide Anti-Wrinkle Polish and Plump Peel, $125 and Revlon PhotoReady Brightening Primer, $29.95.


Pigmentation

Pigmentation patches, age spots and freckles are a common sun-induced skin problem. While the odd freckle may seem fine, over time these areas can grow so it’s best to act as soon as you see them. To start with, look for lightening and brightening skincare ranges. These over-the-counter buys contain ingredients such as vitamin C, bearberry, AHAs and BHAs, which can slow down melanin production, meaning fewer and more faded spots.

Professionals recommend investing in high-tech treatments for the best results, like lasers, peels and microdermabrasion which take off the top layers of skin where excessive pigmentation is stored, while intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) zaps away any cells with abnormal pigment. While these treatments are effective, they can make the skin sun sensitive, so even in autumn wear an SPF 50+ every day to prevent the problem getting worse.

Beauty saviours: Elizabeth Arden PRO Gentle Facial Cleanser, $69, Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum, $106 and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Lotion SPF50+, $16.99.


Lacklustre hair

Summer strips out moisture and natural oils in your strands, leaving hair brittle and causing the cuticles to lift, creating friction and split ends. Avoid breakages and repair dryness by using products that strengthen the hair from within the strand and surround the cuticle to give it more slip. Regular trims every six to eight weeks will keep split ends at bay and help to prevent that straw-like appearance.

Beauty saviours: Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner, $35.95 each, Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment, $29.95 and L’Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Instant Miracle, $7.95.