Who doesn't love summer? There's nothing better than flying off to exotic destinations, basking in the sunshine (when there is any!) and throwing your jumpers and black tights to the back of your wardrobe. But, there are a few downsides to the warmer climate. My biggest issue in summer, is that I struggle to find a balance with my skin. Naturally, skin gets oilier and less flakey, but it can easily feel the effects of strong sunshine and start to show signs of dehydration, all at the same time. That's when it's time to call on products which will hydrate and plump, without overloading the skin or leaving it greasy.
Of course, drinking plenty of water, topping up on sunscreen and protecting the face from the sun will all aid in preventing the skin from drying out. But, it's also important to lock moisture in from the outside, by keeping on top of a thorough skincare routine. As always with skincare, what works for one person, may not agree with another. So, although these products all work well for me, they are simply recommendations. So, make sure to try samples of these products before purchasing where possible, just in case your skin reacts differently to them.
To keep dehydration at bay, even before there's a hint of it, I like to treat my skin with moisturising masks a couple of times a week. Origin's Drink Up 10 Minute Mask is one of my favourites for a quick, but effective, burst of moisture. With a silky soft, cream-gel texture and mouth-watering, apricot scent, it's such a joy to use and really leaves skin feeling plumped and so juicy. You can rinse it off with water, but I like to just tissue off the excess after use and leave a slight residue on my skin overnight, for even more of a boost.
Specifically designed to hydrate the dry areas that need it, without over-saturating oilier areas, the Clarins Hydra Quench Cream-Mask is a genius product. Containing that hydrating hero, Hyaluronic Acid, along with other, effective ingredients to reinforce the skins natural barrier and prevent further dehydration, it works wonders. You know when your skin is parched and starts to feel irritated and sore? This is the mask to turn to, as it instantly soothes and comforts the skin, leaving it feeling so soft and supple.
If you don't make sure to exfoliate the skin and get rid of any dead cells on the surface, then any moisturising products you apply on top of them won't be able to penetrate deeply and will be rendered useless. Personally, I find scrubs that contain beads or rough particles too harsh for the skin, let alone bad for the environment. Instead, I prefer to use chemical exfoliants in the form of toners, that harness the power of natural acids. By far the best of any that I've tried, is the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner. This is the only one that leaves my skin totally smooth, without stinging, causing a bumpy rash, drying my skin out or leaving it red raw. Whatever products I use after this absorb so quickly and I always find I need to use a lot less of them, per application.
On the same note, I love using the Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray either as a toner or facial mist throughout the day during summer. On flights, when the recycled air sucks every last bit of moisture out of the skin, this spritz is a lifesaver. A lot of face mists don't tend to do much for the skin and actually exacerbate dehydration when they evaporate, but this is actually more of an oil-free, liquid moisturiser. There's no essential oils, fragrance or mineral oil in there, either, so it shouldn't cause any issues with sensitivity or blemishes and it can be used over makeup, too.
Another product I adore from the Clarins Hydra Quench range, is the Clarins Hydra Quench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase. Although this packs a punch in the moisture stakes, it's also light and non-greasy in texture. As you only need the smallest drop of serum for an entire face application, the small bottle size isn't as bad value as you may first think when opening up the box. From first use, this serum infusion made my skin feel like velvet and, with continued use, it looks more and more luminous. Just remember to thoroughly shake the bottle before pumping out the product!
Moving on to moisturiser, although my skin craves heavier creams in winter, I need something lightweight in summer. My parched patches require an intense dose of dewiness, without leaving my T-zone drowned in moisture. Just like the Clinique facial mist, I'm such a fan of the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel-Creme from the same line. Absorbing instantly, this gel feels so fresh and relieves that tight sensation that comes with dehydrated skin, straight away. I love how it gives my skin such a radiant glow and acts as a smoothing primer when I apply makeup over the top of it.
Another lightweight option, but an oil-free lotion instead of a thick gel, is the Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion. Offering SPF 15 and PA ++ protection, this emulsion helps to safeguard the skin from the sun and both UVA and UVB rays, which in turn stops it from drying out thanks to overexposure. Benefit's emulsion feels totally weightless, yet keeps the skin feeling just hydrated enough without tipping over into being too dewy or shiny, which those with an oilier skin will really appreciate. One important things to note with this moisturiser, is that is is quite highly-fragranced. So, if perfumes often irritate your skin, that's a factor to bear in mind.
If your skin has really taken a beating whilst on holiday or during an unexpected heatwave, then oils are the perfect remedy to repair a sun-scorched complexion. They're also amazing for balancing oily/dry skin. Made from 100% pure plant extracts and zero preservatives, the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil is lovely. A purifying formula for oily/combination skin, it really helps to hydrate, refine skin texture and tighten pores. It's also a natural astringent, so really helps to banish break-outs without making the skin sore and sensitive like lots of blemish fighters often do. Personally, I can't stand the smell this oil, as it's far too botanical for my taste, but I can totally put up with it for how clear and comfortable it leaves my skin.
I've recently been using a few samples of the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate and I'm just gutted that I hadn't listened to the rave reviews of everyone else and tried it sooner. A nourishing elixir that works overnight to replenish the skin with a blend of essential oils, fatty acids and squalane, this silky oil/serum blend is made up of 99.8% natural ingredients. For me, this is the perfect product to use in the evenings when I've been slathering suncream on, which can often cause a surge of break-outs on my face. Miraculously, this product seems to stop spots in their tracks, reducing the size, pain and inflammation of them, even before they've come to the surface. I've definitely noticed a difference in my skin when I've skipped using this luxurious liquid, so I'm so happy that a full-size bottle is currently on its way to me!
Which hydrating products do you always turn to, during summer?