Heat Wave Beauty – 5 Ways to Survive This Unprecedented Sticky Spell


I was rather shocked by the picture of a certain young socialite looking beyond-bronzed in the recent press – aside from the serious implications in terms of skin health, from an aesthetic perspective, it just looked……well, dated. This heavily bronzed look circa Lancaster 1982 is about a million light years away from the modern ideal of dewy, luminous light-reflective skin.

From my experience, I think a lot of people still rely on a tan for concealment –whether its to hide blemishes, the pigmentation they leave behind or to mask scarring.  THIS. IS. NOT. A. GOOD. IDEA.  Sun makes dark patches darker, makes skin break out when you come back to cool climes and will give you wrinkles and sagging to worry about as an extra bonus.

Here are some tips to get the most from this mood-boosting time of year without sacrificing your complexion.

1)   Switch your usual sunscreen cream formulation to a lightweight gel; this simple tip is often much appreciated by my male patients, who simply can’t abide that sticky feel on their skin, which leads to them skipping it. I love Heliocare Advanced SPF 50 Gel and La Roche Posay Anthelios  Gel-Cream SPF50.

2)   Add in an antioxidant layer under your sunscreen – Silymarin is of great interest at the moment – you might have heard of its liver detoxifying properties. But it’s also a powerful photo-protector too. This milk-thistle extract is a polyphenol, which has potent free radical zapping properties and is great for hyperpigmentation.  Find it in Skinceuticals Face Balm – great for dry, sun-damaged skin.

3)   Boost your skin’s defenses from the inside – drink green tea after meals, make your own pasta sauce from fresh tomatoes slow-cooked in olive oil and graze on leafy greens.  All are rich in nutrients, which help block the chemical reactions that lead to sun damage.

4)   Skip powder. Powder and summer don’t gel well. A gooey mess quickly develops, and it becomes impossible to touch up through the course of the day and will cake, highlighting lines. Ick. Keep base sheer and light and only build coverage where you need it with concealer. Keep t-zone shine at bay with blotting papers, leaving cheeks naturally glowy.

5)   If you need bronze, fake it. If you’re breakout prone, don’t leave it on overnight and try to use non-comedogenic self tanner. Try Clarins Liquid Bronze and Neutrogena Build-a-Tan Gradual Sunless Tanning.

    • Helen Glover
    • November 22nd, 2013

    My husband has fingertips which constantly become dry and then split and bleed. He has tried everything prescribed by the doctor, including steroids, and nothing seems to help. It is distressing and worrying. Any ideas?

    • Hand care is key – its beneficial to carry your own, to avoid harsh foaming products in bathrooms at work. Try Dermol 500. Use moisturiser after every wash. And a steroid tape like Haealan tape can be brilliant – allows very localized steroid use.

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