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“I suffer from dry, flaky skin year-round, but it’s especially bad in the summer with the combination of heat waves and air conditioning. What should I do?” - Mike via email
Oh, sweet summertime – the season of tan lines, mosquito bites, and sunburn. It’s a trying time for skin, and it’s made even more complicated by the abrupt temperature changes whenever you switch from indoors to out. The humidity should, in theory, help your skin lock in moisture, yet cold blasts of AC always offset it, leaving your skin dry and flaky, as you’ve mentioned. Fortunately, you can provide your skin with consistency through the right skincare practices and products. We spoke with Steven O’Neil, co-founder of The Grooming Clinic, to get his top tips for combatting dry skin in the warm-weather months, to reclaim the glowing, moisturised mug you deserve.
You should really be consuming water regularly all year, but summer is the most crucial time, as rising temperatures increase your chances of dehydration, and as a result, dry skin. “A large percentage of the skin is water, and when the body is dehydrated, it will pull water from the skin to accommodate hydration in more vital areas,” Steven says. Needless to say, drink up.
You should stay out of the sun as much as possible to avoid drying out your skin or burning it, but when unavoidable, lather on the SPF. “Although you should be using this year-round, SPF will help to keep you safe in the sun and prevent premature, sun-induced ageing,” Steven says. “Use a moisturiser with SPF – this will stop the skin from burning and becoming dry and flaky.” Anthony’s Day Cream is equal parts hydrating and sun-protecting.
Cleansing your face should be a habit, but it’s especially important in summer. “SPF coats the skin in a very necessary coat of armour,” Steven says, “but at night time, you need to remove this to give your skin a chance to breathe and to allow your hydrating skincare products the best access to the skin. For best results, clean your face each morning and night.” Bulldog’s face wash is gentle to even sensitive skin thanks to its aloe vera, which locks in moisture.
Another skincare habit guys tend to neglect is exfoliating, but it’s one of the most effective ways to remove the inevitable dead skin that builds up during the summer. “Whether you use a chemical or grain exfoliant, you really should be exfoliating twice weekly to slough away dead skin cells and prevent build-up around the nose and within the pores,” Steven says. Baxter of California’s contains walnut shells to shift any gunk. “Be gentle with it though. We’re not sanding a piece of timber here; we're gently lifting dead skin and build-up from the face, so very light circular motions is all you need.”
“When not absolutely necessary, turn your air conditioning off,” Steven says. AC strips the air of its moisture, which can wreak havoc on your skin, so when it’s not actually necessary to keep you cool, avoid it. It will prevent your skin from drying out and give you the chance to open the windows and enjoy some fresh air.”
In addition to SPF, there are a couple essential products you should be using to give your skin the necessary hydration during the warmer-weather months and beyond. “Apply a facial oil,” Steven says. “These coat the skin in a veil of hydration and help to stop the skin from drying out. Also apply a decent serum, preferably one that features hyaluronic acid to boost hydration levels. It will deliver a potent shot of goodness to the skin. A vitamin C serum will also work to brighten the skin and bring your skin back to its pre-summer glory.”
Words: Allison Pavlick
Illustration: Ryan Gillett