It's dress season, hooray! But after months of staying indoors with the heating cranked, our skin can feel dry and dehydrated. So before grabbing your shades and heading to the nearest beach, it's time for a bit of summer skin TLC.
We all know the benefits of the sun, but did you know that the warm air and harsh UV can actually cause problems for your skin, especially after a seemingly never-ending winter?
Preparing your skincare routine ahead of time is essential, so you are ready when the hot summer days hit. The good news is that your summer skincare routine does not have to be rocket science, as long as you include a few simple steps into your skincare routine.
The danger of summer sun for darker skin
The hot air, UV rays, and harsh sunlight can cause problems for any skin type, especially darker skin. Sun exposure is the number one reason skin ages before its time; it can cause hyperpigmentation and increase the chances of skin cancer.
Here are the main problems of the summer sun on darker skin:
One of the main dangers of the summer sun is hyperpigmentation, which is caused when too much melanin is produced by skin cells. Hyperpigmentation does not cause any pain, but it does cause spots or patches different in colour compared to the rest of the skin. They can appear as black, dark grey, or brown spots.
It is a common misconception that melanin-rich or dark skin cannot get burnt. It can. Granted, like most old wives' tales, there is some truth; melanin does provide a little extra sun protection, but it’s not enough to stop you from getting burned.
You’ve been warned :)
Oily skin and breakouts
In the summer months, you may experience an increased production of oil that causes pimples, acne, and other wild and wonderful things our bodies bestow upon us at the most unfortunate times.
You know the drill; sundress on, you’re ready for your date in the park, and — boom — you're hit with an oily outbreak. Fortunately, with the right skincare routine, you can say goodbye to opportunistic breakouts and get on with enjoying the sun.
An easy four-step summer skincare routine
To get the most out of your summer skincare routine, you should follow these simple steps:
- Cleanse to buff away pollution and impurities.
- Gently exfoliate to give your skin a radiance boost.
- Moisturise to keep greasy skin at bay.
- Religiously apply sunscreen.
Let’s find out more.
Step 1 — Cleanse
In the summer, we all love to spend more time outside, but naturally, this increases the amount of pollution, pollen, and other impurities deposited on our skin. By incorporating cleansing into your summer skincare routine, you can get rid of the free radicals in pollution and other nasties. This removal of impurities reduces inflammation, helps prevent hyperpigmentation, and reduces excess sebum production.
A gentle cleanser like our Green Bae - Clearing Gel Cleanser will eliminate impurities and excess sebum without drying your skin.
Step 2 — Exfoliate
The extra sunshine helps to boost the skin metabolism, accelerating the renewal of cells faster than during the winter months. Doing a gentle chemical and enzymatic exfoliation at least once a week during summer times will give your skin an extra radiance boost, keeping hyperpigmentation at bay.
Our To Be Clear Resurfacing Exfoliant Mask is excellent for melanin-rich skin and reactivates cell renewal while calming and soothing your skin.
Step 3 — Moisturise
In the hot summer months, don’t fall for the myth that you don’t need to moisturise! If you don’t moisturise in the heat, your skin can produce excess sebum to cope with the dryness — in other words, hello, greasy skin.
In the heat, switch to a lighter, but still nourishing moisturiser, and moisturise in the morning and at night. Make sure to keep a spray bottle with water or essence to replenish your skin during the day.
Our Day Hack moisturiser is perfect in the morning before you head out and take on the world if you have darker skin.
Step 4 — Apply sunscreen
Sunscreen is your number one weapon against hyperpigmentation, burnt skin, and other issues during the summer. Adding sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher into your skincare routine during the summer is one of the most important things to protect your skin. Before heading outside, apply sunscreen to your face, neck, back of your hands, and feet.
How to care for sunburnt skin?
Darker skin does need the sun to synthesise Vitamin D, which is crucial for bone and skin health. However, never leave your skin unprotected. Allow your body to get sunlight for 20 minutes, then apply sunscreen to your body.
Sunburn might be harder to see on melanin-rich skin, but if you’ve got sunburn, you will know about it! Whether or not you can see the sunburnt, if you’ve sat unprotected in the sun for too long, assume the sun has done the worst to your skin and take the following easy steps to help it repair:
- Apply aftersun moisturiser to soothe the skin.
- Double down with a moisturiser free of drying ingredients like denatured alcohol.
- Apply Aloe Vera if you have sensitive skin.
- Until your skin has fully healed, avoid further exposure and wear sun-protective clothing.
Is your skin summer-ready to be sunkissed?
While beach days are inviting and hard to say no to when the ocean is calling, remember to use enough sunscreen to avoid sun damage, moisturiser to replenish your skin, and exfoliate to keep your complexion as fresh as the weather.
It’s the time of year we’ve all been waiting for, but without the correct skincare routine, the summer months can be rough on our skin, and you’ll have to deal with the damage during the fall and winter months which are already tough on darker skin tones. If you’ve got melanin-rich skin but are unsure how to protect it from the sun, get started by analysing your skin at 4.5.6. Skin.