The best summer skincare routine

It’s important to protect your skin from the harsh summer sun, so we asked Cocoona to share their best summer skincare routine.

How can we prevent dryness in the summer months?

Summer and the heat that accompanies it may cause some people’s skin to be oilier. However, for those with naturally dry skin, summer sometimes is no better. One would think the sun would add more moisture to the skin, due to the increased sweat production. But in actuality, the rays can dry the skin of its natural oil. For some, this leads to an increase in sebum production, making the skin oilier. For others, it leads to drier skin. Dehydration can easily occur during summer and state of dehydration in the body can reflect on the skin. It is important to use an appropriate oil-free moisturizer.

One should avoid moisturizers which are occlusive such as those containing mineral oil, silicones, petrolatum, lanolin and beeswax. These are greasy, cosmetically unacceptable and occlude the pores and cause acneiform eruptions. Instead, choose products containing emollients such as cholesterol, squalene, ceramides and humectants such as propylene glycol and hyaluronic acid. Humectants act by absorbing water from the environment making them ideal moisturizers in humid summers.

For those who enjoy swimming, chlorine in swimming pools melts the skin’s natural protective sebum, causing moisture loss and leaving the skin quite dry. Using a shielding lotion before stepping into the pool is a good way to protect the skin’s natural barrier. Your air conditioner pulls humidity out of the air, thus triggering dry skin. Use a humidifier to reinsert moisture into the air.

If someone burns easily what do they need to watch out for?

If you blister easily on exposure to the sun you might be having a skin type of I to II (Caucasian skin). As your skin contains less melanin it is prone to sun damage. Melanin is the agent that absorbs harmful UV radiation thus protecting the skin from Skin cancers (melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma), Photo ageing and other UV induced dermatosis. You need to look out for the change in size, shape and colour of your moles. Visit your dermatologist for routine mole mapping and any new growths or lesions seen over the body. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 and reuse it every 4 hours. In addition, use physical protection like broad-rimmed hats and sunglasses at beaches and other areas with excess sun exposure

Is it best to use sunscreen before or after moisturiser?

Sunscreen is recommended on after your moisturiser. If you mix it in with your moisturiser, you’re diluting your sunscreen and its ability to protect. Sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can be a little bit drying. So, if you add your moisturizer first, you won’t be left with the sticky or gritty residue. Many dermatologists recommend using sunscreen before moisturizers. While there is no consensus on this, all would agree that using sunscreen, with both physical and chemical agents and appropriate SPF and PA rating and sufficient quantity is mandatory in summers.

Do we need to moisturise oily skin?

Moisturisers are required for oily skin as well. Oily skin is caused by excess secretion of sebum or oil by the sebaceous glands and is often linked to hormonal changes. A moisturizer increases water content in the skin and prevents further moisture loss when infused with natural humectants.  These will attract moisture from the air keeping skin moist and supple throughout the day.  Moisturizers also smooth skin and will actually aid with skin cell turnover.  By slowing evaporation of moisture on the face, sebum-producing cells shut down, thus reducing the overproduction of oil.  To clarify, oily skin is not hydration but a reaction to a lack of it.  Plus, if you are using acne products which tend to dry the skin, this is taken care of by the moisturizer.

How can we keep brown spots from becoming prominent?

Brown spots could be freckles or the beginning of melasma or post-inflammatory pigmentation from previous acne. It is important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Ideally, a Sunscreen should be a mixture of physical and chemical agents. Physical sunscreen block all wavelengths of light by reflecting the light. While chemical sunscreens act by absorbing specific wavelengths. Sunscreens should have a minimum SPF of 50 and should have a PA+++ rating. It should be applied 20 to 30 minutes before stepping out in the sun and reapplied every 4 hours. There are specific treatments available for brown spots depending on the type ranging from chemical peels, laser and skin lightening creams such as arbutin, kojic acid and alpha hydroxyl acids.

How often should we exfoliate?

The skin should be exfoliated two to three times a week for normal and combination skin, and once a week for sensitive skin. Exfoliating every day can strip the skin of its natural oils, which can cause breakouts. It can also cause irritation because you’re removing the top layer of skin before it can heal. Over time, it can actually thin the skin and cause it to wrinkle more easily. Plus, the skin sheds dead skin cells on its own; if we exfoliate too often, it can actually slow cell turnover. Over-exfoliating can cause chronic skin irritation and inflammation, which can lead to accelerated ageing. Exfoliators can be chemical (containing alpha and beta hydroxy acids) or mechanical (those that remove dead skin cells from friction)

What products do you recommend that will not harm the skin?

Skincare must be chosen according to skin type and concerns. Choose an appropriate cleanser. Normal skin PH is acidic, around 5.5. Choose a cleanser in keeping with that of the normal skin.  Cleanser with alpha and beta hydroxyl acids may be ideal for oily acne-prone skin. Many foaming and gel cleansers made today are formulated with an ingredient called sodium laureth sulfate, or ammonium laureth sulfate. This ingredient is a surfactant, a cleansing agent that cuts oil from the skin. Choose either cleansing lotions or gel cleansers that avoid the harsh ingredient, as it will effectively deep-clean the pores but will not rob the skin of much-needed water. Moisturizer is absolutely necessary irrespective of the skin type. Choose a moisturizer that is free of occlusive agents such as oils petrolatum and waxes. Those containing humectants such as propylene glycol are preferable.  Sunscreens is another mandatory product. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with physical and chemical agents which is oil-free. It is also beneficial to add antiageing product such as retinol or vitamin C. Retinol in addition to being an antioxidant, also increases the cell turnover thus reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

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For more advice and help with combating skin problems contact Cocoona or call them on +971 4 3884589