Plus, one of Manchester's top skincare experts reveals the best alternative to foundation
Effortless bronzed goddess – it’s the enviable summer look that I try to emulate every year come the warmer months. Makeup free, naturally beautiful, glowing with summer-holiday smugness… and sweaty as hell.
Whilst rocking a natural look in the summer in theory always sounds like a walk along the beach, in reality my genetic makeup means that come summer I'm often more sweaty swamp monster than glowing goddess.
But, according to some of Manchester’s top skincare experts, my not-so-stunning summer skin could in fact be due to an ill-place skincare regime.
In the hotter months, try to exfoliate twice a week
"Just as you would swap out your wardrobe as the seasons change, you should apply the same rules to your skincare routine,” explains Dr Vikram Rajkomar, a top Consultant Dermatologist who specialises in the treatment of skin diseases and skin cancer at Pall Mall Medical.
“In the hotter months, try to exfoliate twice a week and follow with a hydrating moisturiser. A high SPF plus UVA protection is a must if you’re heading out in the sun. Remember to cleanse your face in the morning and evening, as you perspire more in the summer you will pick up dirt and debris throughout the day.”
“Your skin tends to be drier in the winter, so you will likely need richer face creams and body lotions. But you can swap these out in the summer months for something lighter to avoid excess oil and blocked pores. A water based facial cream or a lightweight serum is ideal, especially if you have oily skin."
The most important thing anyone can do for their skin is invest in SPF50
A foundation-addict since puberty, I was eager to know – is it really so bad for your skin to wear a full face in the summer?
“During the summer, with the added heat and humidity my advice would be to step away from makeup and let your skin breathe,” explains Dr Vikram. “But if you must wear makeup, swap your heavier foundation for a lightweight CC cream or choose a mineral based formulation which is less likely to clog your pores. CC creams are more hydrating compared to foundation, and contain ingredients that even out the skin tone.”
Dr Vikram suggests some of the most popular CC creams include IT cosmetics CC cream SPF 50 (£30), Clinique moisture surge CC cream SPF 30 (£30) or for a more affordable alternative try L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique CC cream SPF 20 (£10.99).
Whilst many of us would flock to the high street for budget options for summer skincare essentials, Dr Nyla Raja warns that when it comes to quality beauty products, you get what you pay for.
“Skincare on the high street is too generic,” explains Dr Nyla, founder and Medical Director of Medispa Wilmslow. “It’s not bespoke and the ingredients aren’t very strong, as they’re trying to cater for everyone. It’s essentially saying that everyone’s skin is the same – you either have dry skin or oily skin etc. But nobodies skin is the same. That’s why bespoke treatments are so important.”
Dr Nyla continues: “But, if your budget does only stretch to the high street, then an SPF moisturiser is key.
“You can pick up a decent SPF for as little as £10-20. The most important thing anyone can do for their skin is invest in SPF50 and always wear it under makeup. SPF is the biggest thing that will prevent ageing.”
If you’re planning on investing in your skincare routine ahead of summer, then Dr Nyla recommends Mesotherapy – a vitamin-rich facial designed to boost the skin – or Hyaulorinic acid injections with co-enzymes to hydrate and plump the skin. Skin tightening treatments are also popular choices for those who wish to reduce fine lines on the skin and avoid crepe-like skin post-tanning.
Celebrity Dermatologist Dr Nyla Raja lists model Abbey Clancy, former Atomic Kitten singer Natasha Hamilton and Real Housewives of Cheshire star Tanya Bardsley amongst her clientele and says that one treatment in particular is proving popular.
“Celebrities are obsessed with Universe skincare,” explains Dr Nyla. “It’s a serum-based treatment that is designed to mimic the makeup of an individual’s skin. So, say you’re prone to thread veins or want something anti-ageing – we can mix bespoke ingredients in the clinic for you to apply at home so you have a serum tailored to your face. Celebrities love that it is catered to their individual skincare needs.” Prices for the bespoke treatment at Dr Nyla’s Cheshire clinic start at £150 for a three month supply of serum.
“I’ve noticed chemical skin peels have blown up in popularity, as more celebrities are sharing their experiences,” explains Dr Vikram. “Chemical skin peels help to regenerate the skin by improving its tone, texture and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It works by deeply exfoliating the top layer of skin to reveal a fresher and brighter complexion.” The sought-after treatment is on offer from consultants at the Pall Mall clinic from £95 with a free consultation.
So, what is the number one skincare tip that dermatologists want you to know this summer?
“Drink water and lots of it!” Recommends Dr Vikram. “Staying hydrated is imperative in the summer heat and will make your skin appear plumper and brighter.”
Dr Nyla agrees: “The main thing I would make sure I do in the summer is to hydrate my skin to get that natural glow effect. Aloe vera is a great natural product you can use. And always wear SPF50 suncream.”