Protecting your skin after the heatwave

We have compiled a list of ways in which you can continue to support your skin following sun exposure this summer.

1. Always Wear Suncream

The heat witnessed this summer undoubtedly resulted in many people including sun cream as part of their regular skin care routine, yet what happens after the summer months? In reality, it is imperative that you continue to wear sun cream every single day whether it is raining, cloudy or sunny. Ultraviolet rays are constantly present independent of the weather, unfortunately they are also the leading cause of sun damage, which is responsible for producing and increasing visible ageing.

Up to 80 percent of the sun's UV rays can penetrate through clouds, even on heavily overcast days it is only visible rays, but not UVB rays, that are blocked. I have often treated people who have experienced serious sunburn on overcast days after they have spent significant periods of time outside without sun protection, honestly believing that in a gloomy climate sun cream is unnecessary. Even in the winter months, I advise you to remain conscious and cautious of sun exposure, snow for instance can reflect up to 80 percent of UV rays, increasing exposure.

The best way to protect your skin is to remain aware of the risk of sun exposure and incorporate sun cream into your daily routine all year round, not just in summer.

If you are now reflecting upon the tacky, sticky sun protections of your youth in disgust do not fear. Sun creams have advanced with time and there are extensive ranges available to suit all skin types, requirements and personal preferences.

Physical suncreams contain active mineral ingredients like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide and work by resting on top of the skin to deflect and disperse incoming UV rays. Physical suncreams are ideal for sensitive, acne prone or heat activated (e.g rosacea) skin because they are less likely to cause irritation.

Chemical suncreams contain organic carbon based compounds like oxybenzone or avobenzone, which penetrate the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin to create a chemical reaction and absorb UV rays before they can penetrate the dermis and cause damage. They change approaching UV rays into heat, which is later released from the skin. Chemical suncreams are generally lighter and appear less chalky, which many people find preferable.

Over the years we have personally tried innumerable sun creams, that are either very heavy, cause painful irritation or affect makeup application yet we can firmly recommend several brands. Please understand that this is not an endorsement it is merely an honest reflection that may save you the trouble of searching for suitable sun protection.

We suggest consideration of any of the JĀSÖN sun care range, these are very light but manage to maintain a relatively high SPF level. Additionally, dermalogica's protection 50 sport sun cream is another excellent example.

-Note that both of these proposals are vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free, as are all products used or recommended by us.-

Predominately, we propose that all clients wear SPF 50 sun cream everyday, even in cooler climates. Though this may sound rather radical a higher level of SPF is required for the face because the skin here is thinner and more delicate as opposed to skin on our body. The SPF level demanded varies greatly but is largely dependent upon the individual, their skin type and the heat of the sun. For example, fair skin can be affected within minutes of sun exposure, wherein SPF 50+ is advised, in addition to other precautions such as wearing a hat or situating oneself in the shade. People with darker or olive skin can often wear a lower SPF due to the higher melanin content in their skin.

Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin damage. When skin is afflicted by the sun visible ageing is caused and increased resulting in the emergence of fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, facial atrophy and loss of volume, in addition to other consequences.

In order to maintain healthy, wrinkle-free and youthful skin for years to come sun protection is the absolute best anti-ageing product you can use. Sun cream should become a lifelong habit to slow the ageing process and prevent sun damage and disease.

2. Hydration

Your skin is an organ, which unsurprisingly is made up of cells, which in turn are assembled from water. An absence of water is widely known to reduce skin performance and function.

If your skin is not acquiring a sufficient volume of water, the lack of hydration will present itself as dry, tight or flaky skin. Dehydrated skin overall has less resilience and is more prone to visible ageing in the form of fine lines and wrinkles.

As water is lost in large quantities every day it is essential that this is replaced. We have all heard the long exhausted recommendation of eight glasses of water per day, however, this truly is effective in removing toxins from both the body and the skin in addition to revitalising skin appearance.

Although, there still lies an unfortunate truth about drinking quantitive amounts of water, that water will always reach the other organs before it reaches the skin. Therefore, the significance of pairing the consumption of plenty of water with suitable skin treatment is paramount. Introducing water into the skin in the form of hydrating moisturisers or products containing hyaluronic acid is excellent for overall hydration, and may be applied following a shower or bath when skin is porous and able to readily absorb these products.

Following this advice, skin will display a visible difference in terms of hydration, whilst also aiding in wrinkle prevention. Results will not happen overnight but ensuring an adequate water intake should not be a temporary measure, rather a vital component that is incorporated into your lifelong skincare routine.

3. Exfoliation

Since summer is now behind us, these coming months generally witness a significant drop in humidity levels. This decrease in moisture is responsible for chapped lips, cracked hands, and dry flaky skin. Moisturising at this time of year is crucial, but it is essential to exfoliate regularly as well, roughly once a week.

Exfoliation helps to replenish the skin since skin cells dehydrate and die out faster in the colder season, therefore it is imperative that these dead cells are removed in order for new cells to emerge without obstruction. This results into a clearer complexion.

Additionally, exfoliatiating improves the effectiveness of moisturisers because dead cells if left untouched block moisture from the layers of live skin cells that actually need it. Therefore, following exfoliation your skin is in an ideal condition to effectually absorb such moisturises.

It is important to note that even as the chilly weather approaches, your skin will be dehydrated from two sources, the icy air outside in addition to the extreme dry, warm air indoors. This double hit can lead to a pileup of dead skin cells, which can make your complexion look dull, flaky and patchy.

4. Diet

What you eat affects the way your skin appears. A healthy diet results in skin which is smooth, youthful and revitalised. Likewise, a poor diet is obvious in symptoms such as oily, greasy skin or dull, pasty skin tone.

Eating a well balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, combined with protein, carbohydrates and modest amounts of fats but enuring that your consumption of salt, refined sugars,and saturated fats is limited is the perfect combination for healthy skin. This in addition to the aforementioned recommended 6-8 glasses of water per day.

Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. Consuming a rainbow of five colourful fruits and vegetables a day, like carrots or pumpkins which contain betacarotene or kale and spinach which contain lutein are all sources of antioxidants, which are crucial to cell development and healthy skin tone. Vitamin C in particular is an exceptional antioxidant that promotes radiant skin and aids in healing blemishes properly. Vitamin C is readily available in fruits like blackcurrants, blueberries, strawberries and kiwis and in vegetables such as broccoli, peppers and tomatoes. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen that strengthens the skin.

Another fantastic antioxidant which is essential in supporting the immune system is selenium, which can protect individuals against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots, found in brazil nuts, tomatoes and broccoli.

The nutrients found within a balanced diet are all required to support individual skin needs, for instance, zinc is involved in the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands, vitamin E protects skin from cell damage and supports healthy skin growth whereas omega-3 and omega-6 fats, essential fatty acids, encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

If you choose to amend your diet by no means should you predict immediate, over-night results. The rate at which visible benefits arise in the form of new skin emergence is considerable and customarily takes at least six weeks. Therefore, any such positive skin changes should not be expected immediately, nor should a balanced diet be adopted soley for a short time frame with a narrow purpose. Dietary changes should be incorporated into your lifestyle to display benefits across a range of areas.

5. Sleep

No beauty sleep in not just a cliché and we cannot stress enough the indispensable significance of sleep for healthy skin.

Failing to get an adequate amount of sleep or following a disrupted sleep pattern is often clearly evident in the condition of your skin either as dark circles under the eyes, pale skin tone or a generally exhausted appearance. When you are sleep-deprived the production of the stress hormone cortisol is elevated, which increases inflammation in the body, worsening conditions like acne. Moreover, an increase in inflammation can lead to an increase in the breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid, the molecules that support youthful, healthy looking skin.

A sleep routine whereby you go to sleep at a reasonable time and awake at an equally suitable hour, sleeping ideally for eight hours, following this pattern each day should decrease some of these negative symptoms. Skin produces new collagen when you sleep, which means skin is plumper and less likely to wrinkle. In comparison, sleep deprivation causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin surrounding the face, which is the cause of dull, pale skin.

If you have difficulty sleeping try to engage in regular exercise such as walking, swimming or cycling and ensure that you eat a healthy diet, limiting your alcohol and caffeine intake.

Though you may have heard these recommendations before the combination of their effects and the benefits to skin conditon truly are spectacular. It is of that utmost importance that we care for our skin in all of these ways in order to mainatin youthful, healthy skin and reduce visible aging. Undertstand that these alterations should be adopted in the long-term, there is no quick fix, it is consistent, dedicated lifelong care that produces the best results.