The passing of the solstice, the scent of nearby barbecues, 9.30pm sunsets, bronzed limbs, bikinis, road trips, and the ritual switch from lattes to iced coffee makes summer official; along with which comes the necessary seasonal skincare revamp. Allow winter's heavy-duty serums and moisturisers to join your thick-knit sweaters and 'layering only' vests at the back of your wardrobe; to be replaced with such inherently summery pieces as lace bras and face mists.
Whether you substitute entirely or simply supplement your standard routine with some seasonally appropriate bolt-ons, may the following inspire you to give your skincare routine the sunshine treatment.
Occasionally you want something lighter than your regular moisturiser, without sacrificing the benefits. Well, you're in luck: Aēsop's super hydrating gel alternative to cream and oil based hydration presents a sleuth-like injection of moisture to rival any dedicated night cream. Despite being labelled a serum, this is hydrating enough to use in place of a moisturiser, should you wish. It absorbs efficiently, leaving only a slight gleam and stickiness, which, it being designed for overnight use, is forgivable. Its primary ingredient is aloe vera so this is perfect for calming redness and irritation and for soothing sunburnt skin - you can slather on the SPF, hide under parasols, and make good use of the season's penchant for a visor, but chances are you will still pick up some incidental UV exposure this summer - this is your antidote, of sorts.
Prevention is the first form of defence, and no summer skincare routine would be complete without its prerequisite bottle of sun protection. Super protecting but light enough to use comfortably on a daily basis, this is SPF at its best. If you suffer from blemish-prone skin, you'll no doubt be aware that SPF is a notorious spot-causer [and should be removed with the same attention to detail given to effective makeup removal in order to prevent breakouts]. This one however, is [like all La Roche-Posay products] specifically formulated to be 100% hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free, so is perfect for sensitive and blemish-prone skin. As well as high spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, it contains a pigment reducing formula and a high dose of La Roche-Posay's thermal spring water to soothe stressed skin. All boxes ticked.
Beautiful packaging isn't the only benefit of this lightweight oil-free serum - it also replenishes and plumps, whilst soothing and hydrating summer-stressed skin, relieving redness and promoting an even skintone - wholly suited to use in warmer climes. Rich in hyaluronic acid, a moisture-binding ingredient that draws water into dehydrated skin and restores elasticity, application results in the kind of all-over glow that makes you look suitably fresh-faced and summery sans makeup. It also serves as an excellent makeup primer, creating an even finish and preventing piling. Not only a suitable substitute for moisturiser on particularly humid days, it's also an excellent topical treatment for dry patches of skin, and is gentle enough to be used on the delicate eye area. You won't even feel it upon your skin, but you'll notice the difference.
Like a dark horse of the skincare world, Nars' oft-overlooked skincare line boasts products formulated with breakthrough technology and highly sophisticated ingredients. This refreshing gel-textured moisturiser balances the skin to keep it healthy, refined, radiant - and not at all greasy. The extensive ingredients list provides antioxidant protection, prevents moisture loss and promotes collagen and elastic production, but the star of the show is undoubtedly the inclusion of Nars' Light Reflecting Complex, which adds a visible luminous glow to the complexion. Leaving skin with a soft matte finish, specifically designed to improve foundation application, wear this both day and night for skin that truly glows. You don't see much by way of hype regarding this product, but online store reviews point to a loyal legion of fans who swear by it to get them through the summer months. I'm quite the convert, expect this to pop up many more times before I've scraped the last from the tub.
For me, hot months and facial sprays are inseparable; I need light, refreshing formulas that I can apply on-the-go and without a mirror, rely upon to keep my makeup in place, and spritz with wanton abandon come the onset of August's oppressive and overpowering heat. Caudalie's bestselling offering is an instant hit for soothing sunburn, dryness, or the not-so-beneficial side effects of having fallen asleep on your sun-lounger. An aromatic blend of mint, rosemary, grape, and orange blossom, which promises moisture and radiance. Like everything required on a hot summer's day [grapefruits, mojito mixes, and non-gloopy nail polish] I keep this in the fridge for optimal enjoyment and efficacy.
The versatility of beauty products is highly covetable, but at no time more so than the summer, when travel calls for those dreaded words, 'pack light'.
A deep cleansing oil designed to suit all complexions, the delicate dry consistency allows for effective lift of all traces of dirt and makeup, whilst simultaneously feeding the skin with a moisturising blend of avocado and grapeseed oils. Within the myriad of flowery, fruity ingredients [inc. also chamomile and eucalyptus] is a cocktail of antioxidant vitamins, providing the ultimate protection and acting like a shield against free radicals for your face. In a tight situation this will serve as makeup remover, cleanser, and serum combined; a commendable versatility if your travel skincare collection must err along the lines of capsule.
Something of a serum/toner hybrid, this lightweight, soothing lotion provides an extra step of hydration and treatment without overloading the skin. In the style of an essence, it has the same silky slip of a toner, but contains a higher dose of active ingredients, designed to deliver deep into the skin. A cocktail of fruit extracts [citrus peel, bilberry, apricot, lemon, and orange] alongside hibiscus and rose extracts, it provides gentle exfoliation, and nourishment whilst strengthening the skin's barrier, improving elasticity, and leaving the complexion notably brighter and smoother. Application is in equal parts refreshment; dispense four pumps into the palm of your hands before gentle pressing over your face in upward movements and inhaling the uplifting scent of orange and ginger. N.B. RMK offer four different takes on this product, each suited to a differing skincare concern, but all a more than appropriate addition to a fine-tuned summer skincare lineup.
An intense skin-quenching moisture boost is just the ticket for a dehydrated complexion. With a gloopy gelatinous consistency, this draws upon the power of two uniquely formulated moisture complexes to improve water retention and prevent future moisture loss by repairing the skin's barrier. It almost feels like you're wearing a very light and comforting sheet mask when you pat this into your skin. As nighttime is when the body repairs skin and replenishes moisture levels, I often use this in substitute of a night cream for a long-lived dose of hydration; my skin always looks noticeably brighter, and my makeup applies beautifully the morning after.
How do you switch up your skincare routine for summer?