Skin expert Abigail James tells us what to do to achieve healthy glowy summer skin.
Who doesn't love sunshine? As well as letting us eat, drink, and play outside, it boosts our mood and even encourages strangers to smile at each other. However, as temperatures rise, so do levels of pollution and harmful UV rays.
So, if you want to enjoy the pleasant weather, it's time to be more vigilant with your skincare. 'This means a little more than applying SPF when you're sunbathing,' says skin expert Abigail James, 'It is imperative to properly protect your skin and make sure that you are cleansing correctly.'
Safeguard your skin
Not just for the beach. Sunscreen is just as, if not more important, in the city and Abigail advises how you can stay protected at all times.
Use a broad-spectrum
'The acronym SPF relates to the protection factor your product has against UVB, which means you might not be protected from other damaging rays like UVA. So always check the packaging properly to make sure it covers A as well as B.'
Make it your last step
'After you've cleansed and toned your skin, place on your serums and then apply your day cream. And always finish with sunscreen for your final layer of protection.'
'When you want to wear make-up, it can be tricky to top up your sun protection every two hours. But as long as you're not exposed to direct sunlight all day (which includes windows), you shouldn't have to remove it to reapply. Just pat on a lightweight lotion or spray, 30 mins before you head outside.'
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Perfect for sensitive skins, this is fragrance-free and rich in natural antioxidants. It is also made up of 84% certified organic agricultural ingredients and doesn't contain any silicones, emulsifiers, or artificial fragrances.
Enriched with organic grape water, this is kind to both your skin and to our oceans. Just like Green People's range, this sun protector contains no harmful chemicals and prides itself on being safe enough to wear in the water.
Rituals The Ritual of Namaste SPF50 Daily Sun Protection drops, £29.90
One for the city, this is light enough to apply on top of any moisturiser and is superior at defending your complexion against UV rays and environmental aggressors. It is also oil-free, so won't create excess shine or cause make-up to slip and the formula contains saffron flower as well as holy lotus, to smooth and brighten.
Make sure you are cleansing properly
In addition to causing our skin to sweat. When temperatures rise, so do pollution levels. And this not so friendly combination can encourage a build-up of dirt on our skin.
Plus, that extra thick layer of SPF that you should be wearing is also slightly harder to remove.
This means that in summer, it is imperative to have an effective cleansing routine in place if you want to avoid pimples and irritation.
Abigail says, 'Use Rituals The Ritual of Namaste Micellar Water, £4.90, as a pre-cleanse to pick up all the muck from the day. This is the world's first natural Micellar and is excellent for removing make-up. Micellar should always be used pre-cleansing and not after.'
'Apply a generous amount to a dry cotton pad and then work methodically outwards from the middle of your face, so you don't forget any areas.'
Then go in with a second cleanse, 'I love to use natural Willowberry Nutrient Boost Cleansing Balm, £27.95, at night time. It is a soothing 100% natural formula that nourishes your skin with a beautiful cocktail of vitamins and powerful antioxidants.'
Smooth on the balm and then take a warm damp cloth and gently sweep it away, leaving the skin completely clean and cared for.
Up your antioxidants
It is natural for most of us to increase our intake of refreshing fruit and vegetables in the warmer months and making wise choices like snacking on berries or opting for salad-based lunches will heighten the number of antioxidants you have in your body.
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While this is hugely beneficial for your overall health and skin, Abigail suggests that increasing the amount in your creams and serums, is also a good idea.
To counteract the higher levels of free radicals and environmental aggressors we have in summer, Abigail suggests, 'When choosing skincare, I would always look for natural ingredients that are high in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.'
'I love Trilogy Rose Hip Oil, £19.50, it is a cult beauty product that I've used for years and it is 100% organic and rich in natural antioxidants.'
'Apply as your last step before bedtime to help repair the skin's barrier and soothe stressed-out complexions.'
Words: Lydia House