Here comes the sun…

10 easy-to-follow steps to summer-ready skin with Mellow Skincare

summer holidaySpring has finally sprung and we’re suddenly hurtling towards the summer months and the promise of some sun. As exciting as it is to pack away your winter coat and jumpers and rediscover your summer dresses, the potential of exposing your arms and legs may also leave you with a sense of dread, especially if your skin has suffered over the winter.

So, what can you do to get your skin summer-ready? Our Summer skincare tips make it easy!
Exfoliate
 

Exfoliating massage barDead skin cells can build up and this surface debris makes it harder for your daily toner and moisturiser to do their job. By exfoliating, you can get rid of those dull dead cells and give your skin a smoother, healthier glow. It’s even more important to exfoliate regularly over the summer to stop the build-up of sunscreen and oil in your pores. Exfoliating products that use ingredients such as apricot kernel offer a gentle way to brighten up your skin for summer.

Moisturise

Shea Body Butter SouffleBy gently exfoliating your skin two or three times a week, your moisturiser will be better able to penetrate your skin and keep it supple and hydrated. Use a gentle, light moisturiser for the best results.

Banish breakouts

When we wear lots of layers during the colder months of the year, we can end up trapping sweat and oil against the skin. Mix this with dead cells and bacteria in your pores and suddenly you’re on a fast track to spots and outbreaks on your back and chest that can leave you feeling self-conscious during the summer months. Summer can be equally bad for your skin (60% of people report that their acne gets worse as the weather gets hotter) because our skin produces more oil that can clog up our pores as temperatures rise. Natural skincare products that contain citrus fruits can be great for helping you tackle acne.

De-fuzz

While you may have got away with hairy legs over the winter, the chances are that you want your legs to go bare at some point during the summer. However you choose to de-fuzz, it’s important that you look after your skin. If you prefer to shave your legs and underarms, it’s best to let your hair soften in a steamy shower for at least three minutes. Use a hydrating shaving cream or gel rather than soap because soap will dry out your skin. If you would rather use depilatory creams and foams for long-lasting results, make sure you moisturise your legs well afterwards and that you follow the instructions for use carefully. If you’re going to wax, try to let the hair grow to about a quarter of an inch long before you do it. This will give the best results.

Hydrate

glass of water stay hydratedDuring the summer, the higher temperatures and time spent out in the sun can mean we get dehydrated quickly. As well as affecting your skin, it can leave you suffering from dizziness, headaches and concentration problems. Try to drink eight 8oz glasses of water a day to keep your body and skin hydrated. Remember too that caffeine can dehydrate you, so you will need to keep up your water intake if you’re drinking tea or coffee.

Prevent sun damage

Although there are significant benefits to exposing your skin to the fresh air and some early morning sunshine, it is essential that you protect your skin from sun damage, which can lead to discoloration, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles and much more. These days, it’s possible to get a safe bronzed glow thanks to self-tanning formulas that are on the market, although we’d recommend looking carefully at the chemicals in some of these products. When you are out and about, reapply sunscreen every two hours – SPF 15 to 30 is fine for a regular day. If possible, stay out of the midday sun from 10am to 3pm, and keep your skin covered up with lightweight fabrics. Don’t forget to wear a hat and sunglasses

Eat more fruit & veg

Adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet can give your skin an amazing boost for the summer. Colourful fruits and veg are loaded with antioxidants and tend to be associated with improved skin tone and appearance, as well as preventing the signs of ageing. Drink lots of water to flush waste products through your body. Eat oily fish high in omega-3 fatty acids and opt for the healthy fats found in avocados, flaxseeds and olive oil as these will all help your skin stay supple and glowing. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are good for your skin too.

Exercise

Finding the time to exercise regularly has proven benefits for your skin. It will increase your muscle tone to give your skin a firmer appearance. It can also give you a healthy glow by increasing your circulation and bringing vital oxygen and nutrients to your skin tissue – this encourages new skin cells to form while toxins are removed from your body as you sweat.

Look after your feet

After a season of stomping around in boots or warming up in fluffy slippers every evening, your feet may be suffering. It’s not unusual for our feet to be dry, flaky or even cracked as we head towards the summer.

In this month’s newsletter, we featured a 30-minute do-it-yourself pedicure. In case you missed it, you can find it below:
  1. Remove any existing nail polish. Soak your feet for 5-10 minutes in a foot spa or bowl of warm water to which you have added three drops of peppermint essential oil (to revive feet) or three drops of lavender essential oil (to soothe them) or some already blended foot bath.
  2. Dry your feet thoroughly with a towel, including between the toes.
  3. Use a foot file to buff away any dead skin, or massage in a foot scrub. Ensure this is washed off thoroughly afterwards.
  4. Trim nails straight across and not too short. File nails using long, smooth filing strokes so that they are very slightly rounded.
  5. Very gently push back cuticles with a hoof stick and massage in a very small amount of cuticle cream.
  6. Massage feet with a rich foot cream or lotion.
  7. Before applying nail varnish, wipe moisturiser from your nails with a polish remover which cuts through any greasy film or residue from foot soaks or creams. The polish will not adhere otherwise.
  8. Apply a base coat and two coats of nail polish, allowing sufficient time in between. Finish with a quick drying top coat.
  9. To keep your feet feeling as refreshed as possible, we also recommend applying a lightweight foot lotion to soften your skin each morning.
  10. You could also try soaking your feet in Epsom salts or a special foot bath for 10 minutes every evening.
  11. Once your feet are dry, apply a generous slather of foot cream and pop on a pair of cotton socks.
Pay special attention to problem skin

If you suffer from Keratosis pilaris, summer can be particularly challenging. Keratosis pilaris is an inherited condition – sometimes called ‘chicken skin’ – which means you have small red bumps, often over the backs of your arms and your thighs. This is a result of dead cells and excess keratin build up around your hair follicles. Moisturisers, washes and lotions containing Carbamide (urea), glycolic or lactic acids can all work well for this condition because they remove dead skin cells and help your skin absorb moisture.

If you have a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema, check out our recent article for tailored advice.