How to tweak your skincare routine to avoid heatwave-induced breakoutsJuly 14, 2022
Written by Daniela Morosini
It’s rather hot out there. Whether you’re stuck at home or ricocheting between an intensely humid commute and an air-con-filled office, Stylist reveals how to protect your skin from summer’s extremes.
This is not a nation designed for a summer heatwave: the average UK flat is single aspect (meaning it has windows on one side only, so light can only enter them from that side) and a snug 46 square metres, while poor ventilation on public transport sees some journeys reach up to 35.5°C. Even looking at a freshly mown lawn sets off sneezing and watering eyes, and attempting anything more than a light jog in the gym can get seriously sticky – and dangerous when the weather inches above what’s safe. And don’t even mention the make-up slippage.
If you are someone who has regularly returned to the office, there’s no doubt you practically weep with joy to be safe in the air-con. But while the release – and being able to sit down without your thighs sticking to the chair – does feel incredible, these extremes in temperature can wreak havoc with your skin.
And with very, very warm weather set to continue across most of the UK (not to sound too much like a Met Office announcement), it’s often disrupted by rainy spells and some chilly breezes – just when you thought you had this heat thing pegged.
Perspiring through your Rixo or Réalisation Par dress for 40 minutes will make your skin oily and greasy – then, spending eight hours under a vent can further throw your natural moisture balance off-kilter, leaving that same skin feeling tight and irritated. And as for those of us sweating it out at home, switching between a stuffy living room and a sweltering park offers our skin no relief either.
“Any moisture produced under your make-up will make it slide, but overzealous air-conditioning can dehydrate the skin because it’s just cold air with no humidity,” explains aesthetic doctor Dr Maryam Zamani. “It increases the rate of water evaporation, even though you’re cooling down.” That means, for those who travel to work at least, while your commute might take your make-up from Degas to Dalí, your day in the office will likely make your complexion patchy and dry.
Your products can’t be fairweather friends in these conditions, so we’ve put together an edit to target every concern, from oil control and hydration to heavy cleansing and longevity. Heatwave, you will not beat us.
8am: no sweat
Body heat, poor ventilation and wearing a mask on your commute all result in increased sweat production. Adopt a two-pronged approach to keeping your make-up intact: the light texture of Origins Original Skin Pore-Perfecting Cooling Primer, £27 will give you some breathable hydration, while a spritz of Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, £26 over your completed look will help to lock it in.
Staying at home? Swap make-up for regular SPF application and pop your favourite face mist in the fridge for hourly cool-downs.
Origins Original Skin Cooling Finishing Primer
Shop Origins Original Skin Cooling Finishing Primer at Marks and Spencer, £27
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
Shop Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray at lookfantastic, £26
10am: stay fresh
“Hot weather calls for lighter formulations with in-built SPF,” says Dr Catherine Borysiewicz, consultant dermatologist at The Cadogan Clinic. Or use a mineral-based powder to help keep oil at bay. Try BareMinerals SPF25 Mineral Veil in Original, £25, a translucent powder that absorbs excess oil and protects against the sun’s rays. Not bothering with make-up? Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Papers, £13 throughout the day to keep shine at bay.
BareMinerals SPF25 Mineral Veil
Shop BareMinerals SPF25 Mineral Veil at lookfantastic, £25
Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Papers
Shop Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Papers at Harvey Nichols, £13
12pm: cold comfort
By lunchtime, your skin will be feeling the harsher effects of the air-con. Refreshing though it may be, it saps moisture levels, which can leave your skin feeling dry and your make-up patchy. Replenish both by spritzing your face with Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist, £21. It’ll reinvigorate skin and leave it feeling refreshed. And don’t forget: lips need SPF too. We love Ultrasun Lip Protection SPF30, £8. If working from home, may we suggest a surprisingly satisfying lunchtime shower?
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist
Shop Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist at Boots, £22
Shop Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist at Boots, £21
Ultrasun Lip Protection SPF30
Shop Ultrasun Lip Protection SPF30 at lookfantastic, £8
4pm: outdoor security
Safeguard your afternoon snack run from the four horsemen of the hayfever apocalypse (that’s watery eyes, sneezing, itchy nose and coughing for the uninitiated). Applying Neal’s Yard Remedies Soothing Skin Salve, £7 will soothe a sore, red nose. It’s also worth keeping a mini bottle of Kérastase Discipline Fluidissime Spray, £23.40, in your bag to protect hair from humidity.
Neal’s Yard Remedies Soothing Skin Salve
Shop Neal’s Yard Remedies Soothing Skin Salve at Neal’s Yard Remedies, £7
Kérastase Discipline Fluidissime Spray
Shop Kérastase Discipline Fluidissime Spray at lookfantastic, £23.40
7pm: hello hydration
It’s hard to stay hydrated in this weather, when even a walk to the shop makes you sweat. Dry skin types will benefit from a dab of soothing La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume, £20 over any bothersome parched patches.
La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M
Shop La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M at Boots, £20
10pm: clean slate
Whatever your day involved, it’s important to wipe the slate clean each night to get rid of the day’s make-up, grime and SPF. Paula’s Choice Pore Normalising Cleanser, £17 mops up oil while glycerin soothes dryness. Add a layer of Murad Nutrient- Charged Water Gel, £50 to keep skin hydrated. Packed with peptides, vitamins and minerals, it’ll help strengthen your skin’s barrier, too.
Paula’s Choice Pore Normalising Cleanser
Shop Paula’s Choice Pore Normalising Cleanser at Cult Beauty, £17
Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel
Shop Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel at Cult Beauty, £54
Main image: Getty
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