We’ve all been there - miraculously rested, tan skin, a healthy glow that no amount of green smoothies can conjure up back at home. There is hardly a woman out there who doesn’t like her own reflection in the mirror while on holiday. But back at home we may notice the odd nasty surprise, like a sudden inflammation, visible pigmentation, and sometimes an increased appearance of fine wrinkles. For those of us residing in colder climates year around, a long relaxing beach holiday might in actuality be damaging our skin.
Increased pigmentation is perhaps the most common after-sun effect. Prolonged sun exposure can disrupt melanin production, hence the quality of the skin becoming a bit rougher with darker patches. The sooner you start to address these, the better. The most powerful weapons against pigmentation (but also most aggressive, containing hydroquinone or retinol) should be postponed until late autumn - they are totally incompatible with any daily sunlight exposure. A better option for now would be a Serum with Vitamin C, such as Vitamin C Ester Serum, by Perricone MD (3), which normalizes the production of pigment, brightens and evens out the complexion. An excellent effect is also achieved using acids - try The Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel from Philosophy (4). Pads soaked with a combination of almond, azelaic and phytic acid are also great to use on the entire face, but if you have very sensitive skin, focus only on the pigmented areas. Acids can gently whiten the skin’s surface, remove dead skin cells and stimulate regeneration. This procedure is sufficient to carry out 1-2 times a week before going to bed.
For a slightly sun-damaged skin it is particularly important to protect it against UV-rays. It’s a good idea to use a day cream with SPF of at least 30 daily. To help hide pigmentation patches use products that provide a little shimmer and even out the skin tone, such as Mega-Bright SPF 30 from Origins (1). Also effective are make-up bases, which not only camouflage the sun spots, but also provide extra hydration and nutrition. We prefer products with antioxidants, vitamins and mineral filters, such as No Foundation Foundation Serum, by Perricone MD (2). This base is ideal for a natural makeup, just apply a little mineral powder or bronzer on top.
The Great Drought
Under the influence of UV-rays most skin types become a lot drier, which leads to a decrease in elasticity and the appearance of surface wrinkles. To combat this problem intensifying your moisturizing regime should normally do the trick. Additionally, for a quick effect serums and concentrates,which reach the deeper layers of the epidermis will also work well. Try Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum by First Aid Beauty (1): a serum with hyaluronic acid and collagen peptides aims to restore moisture balance, combat fine wrinkles and make the skin supple, while improving its barrier function. Combine the serum with a cream, ideally also containing hyaluronic acid and preferably a complex of antioxidants - they neutralise the UV-exposure and prevent cell damage. Proven to work quite well are blackberry extract and black tea enzymes, such as the Black Tea Age-Delay from Fresh (2). And at night it’s a good idea to step up the nutrition factor in your regime, using something a little richer, like the overnight Restorative Cream from Algenist (3), with a polysaccharide complex and vitamin E.
So Fresh and So Clean
While a light tan can hide bumps and redness initially, often with extended exposure these issues are only aggravated. The sebaceous glands are forced to work more actively, thus clogging pores and causing blackheads. Often this is accompanied by skin dehydration. So the treatment should be two-pronged: on the one hand, the need to moisturize the epidermis, on the other - to normalize the sebaceous glands.
First of all exclude anything aggressive and drying, especially containing alcohol. Salicylic acid, which is a great tool to fight spots, should only be applied locally. Very useful in this regard are tinted sticks, such as Acne Treatment Concealer Murad (1) with salicylic acid, soothing green tea extract and vitamin complex. For day and night care pick lightweight hydrating cream textures. Vitamin Plus by Ole Henriksen (2), for example contains extracts of aloe vera and Korean ginseng - relieving irritation and improving microcirculation. If by noon you tend to get an oily shine, use mattifying products - ideally with zinc oxide and extract of willow bark, which regulate the sebaceous glands.
A crucial step in the fight against inflammation is thorough skin cleansing. For a daily routine something lightweight like a foam or gel will do, we love the one by Eisenberg Paris (1). And make sure you keep micellar water as a makeup remover only. Another helpful must-have for a deep cleanse is a clay-based mask. These can deeply cleanse pores, remove dark spots and even out skin texture, like the Supermud Clearing Treatment from GlamGlow (2). (However, tread with caution of you have sensitive skin!)