With Summer here, Dr Imogen Bexfield lets you in on her top tips to keep your skin looking its best.
As the sun comes out, we must be mindful that UV damage can not only cause serious health conditions including skin cancer but it can also result in pigment changes and exacerbate conditions like melasma – where brown patches can occur on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin.
This is why a sunscreen is so important, and the higher the SPF and the UVA star rating, the better.
A good non-comegenic (ie one that wont clog pores and cause pimples) sun screen factor 50 is essential. Make sire it has a good 4-5 star rating too.
It may also be worth adding in a 15-20% vitamin C serum to your morning routine which is wonderful at addressing light pigmentation and preventing more from occurring.
There are a variety of Vitamin C serums on the market but the important thing to look out for is the concentration and the packaging.
Ideally the serums should be between 8-20% in concentration and the pH should be somewhere around 2.5-4. A light proof and airtight container is best unless the vitamin C is encapsulated as it is unstable and oxidises quickly if it gets in contact with light or air. (If your serum has changed to a darker shade, this might be the reason and you should probably say good bye to it.)
The Filorga C Recover Radiance Booster is an ideal choice as it is formulated with freshness in mind – using a powder you combine with a serum to reduce the risk of oxidisation.
As we all know, retinol (vitamin A) is one of the most effective anti-ageing topical treatments as it increases skin cell turnover, combating fine lines and wrinkles. But, there is a flip-side.
Retinol will make your skin more sensitive to the sun but that does not necessarily mean you have to stop it completely in the summer months.
The ZENii Advanced Retinol Complex has the equivalent of 1% retinol in an encapulated form to reduce irritation. It also combines Vitamins C and E for skin repair and collagen production.
You can reduce the strength of the retinol you are using and also minimise your sun exposure, especially on the face, by covering up with a hat on sunny days.
If you’d like to try something a bit different, ‘bakuchiol’ is a retinol alternative which has burst onto the skincare scene over the last few months and evidence suggests that although the mechanism of action is completely different to retinol, the effects are similar and there is no increased sensitivity to the sun, so this might be the perfect alternative during the summer months.
Another common complaint as the weather gets hotter is that the pores become clogged and breakouts develop. Try adding in a salicylic acid facewash or a Benzoly peroxide cream to your existing regime to combat this, it can work a treat.
Lastly don’t forget that skincare comes from the inside out – keep hydrated and consider a daily collagen powder or drink to your diet. Some are formulated with extra vitamins and antioxidants that can help protect and repair the skin while supporting the collagen production process.
Dr Imogen Bexfield – founder of www.whiteswanaesthetics.co.uk