Essential summer skin care

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 June, 2012, 12:00am


Here are my top tips

Keep it clean

Just because you're on holiday, there's no excuse to relax your skincare regime. Wash your skin twice a day, morning and night, with a gentle clarifying cleanser to keep your pores clear and oil-free, and hopefully those spots at bay.

Steer clear of hand soaps

If you run out of cleanser, don't even think about using that bar of hand soap or, worse yet, washing-up liquid. It's better just to rinse your face with water!

Our skin has a pH level of around 5-5.6, which means it's slightly acidic. Soaps and detergents are strongly alkaline, with pH levels of 8-10. Washing your face with these harsh substances will dry your skin out completely. You might think this is the perfect solution for oily skin, but while it might initially seem to work, your skin will eventually become so dry and dehydrated, you'll end up with fine lines and wrinkles before you're 20.

Don't forget to moisturise

Use a lightweight moisturiser during the summer months. This will keep your skin nourished and prevent fine lines from forming.

It's best to apply body cream just after you've bathed - lightly pat your skin dry - as the steam opens your pores and the moisture will sink in.

Put up a screen

To prevent sunburn and reduce your chances of skin cancer, slap on a generous amount (5-6 teaspoons) of broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Rub it all over your exposed body parts, including your lips, 30 minutes before you leave home.

Apply sunscreen even when it's cloudy, since up to 80 per cent of the sun's rays can penetrate the clouds. Keep a tube handy in your bag and re-apply every couple of hours, after swimming or if you've been sweating heavily.

Exercise exfoliation

As part of your summer skin routine, use a natural scrub a couple of times a week to get rid of dead skin cells. Your body sheds dead skin cells constantly. Getting rid of this accumulated layer of dead cells will help keep your skin glowing and looking healthy.

Homemade face scrub

1/2 cup oatmeal

2 tablespoons honey

1 ripe banana, peeled

Mix all the ingredients together to form a thick paste. Massage it all over your face, avoiding the eyes. Leave for 10 minutes before washing it off with a face cloth and warm water. Pat your skin dry. Don't forget to moisturise afterwards.

Homemade body scrub

3/4 cup table salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix all the ingredients together to form a thick paste. Using a circular motion, gently rub the exfoliator all over your body. Rinse off thoroughly with warm water and dry gently with a towel. Apply moisturiser afterwards.

Beware of tanning pills

While a tan can make a lot of people look healthier, some methods of browning can be very bad for your health. Some people take tanning pills. Some contain high levels of beta carotene, a form of vitamin A, and canthaxanthin. High doses of these chemicals can lead to eye and liver damage, so avoid these pills at all costs.