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Skin Health Q2 2022

Four easy steps for your summer skin routine

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Sophie Shotter

Aesthetic Doctor and Trustee of The British College of Aesthetic Medicine

Summer is a time when we want to let our naturally beautiful skin shine through. These simple steps can help to achieve that, regardless of your skin type.

1) Exfoliate to remove dead cells

Dead skin cells accumulate on the surface of our skin, making it look dull. This can become more problematic as we get older as the cell turnover slows down. Exfoliation is key but avoid physical scrubs – they may feel great, but they can traumatise the skin.

Stick to chemical exfoliants – AHAs, BHAs and PHAs. AHAs are a great choice for many skin types – glycolic, lactic and mandelic acid are examples. The most common BHA is salicylic acid which is excellent for oily and acne prone skin. PHAs are the gentler cousin and are a great choice for sensitive skin and include gluconolactone and lactobionic acid.

Both AHAs and BHAs can cause sun sensitivity, so you must be vigilant with sunscreen use. A chemical peel is a great choice of in-clinic treatment to help provide more dramatic results.

2) Vitamin C, the glow giver

Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant, which through the summer months will help to protect the skin from sun damage. A good quality vitamin C product will even help to make your sunscreen more effective. It is an excellent way of getting a glow quickly and will make your skin look more radiant.

You must be careful choosing a vitamin C product if you have an oilier skin type, as it could make breakouts worse. If this is you, then choose a water-based product which will provide protection whilst not exacerbating breakouts.

Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant, which through the summer months will help to protect the skin from sun damage.

3) Quench your thirst

Hydration is crucial to having smooth glowing skin. Drinking plenty of water is one part of this but using hydrating skincare products is as important. This should include hyaluronic acid to help your skin hold water within the skin.

Most skin types also need barrier-replenishing lipids like ceramides which will minimise evaporation of water from the skin. Make sure to choose non-comedogenic products.

4) Fake It

Everyone looks healthier and more radiant with a tan but sunbathing or sunbeds are not a safe way to get there. There are some amazing fake tan products available now, and also many which can be added as drops to your skincare products to give you a subtle and natural glow.

With a natural tan comes dehydration and cellular damage, which can lead to accelerated ageing and in a worst case scenario skin cancers.

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