Summer Here We Come!
Does the transition from the short, cold, windy, grey-cloud- laden days of winter to the long, hot, glimmery, not-a- cloud-in- the-sky days of summer leave you staring blankly at your bathroom shelf wondering what your skin most needs as the seasons change?
Or as the weather is getting warmer do you find yourself wondering if the change in seasons truly necessitates a change in your skincare routine?
The truth of the matter is that the climate shifts throughout the year do affect our skin and its barrier function, necessitating we change things up as the weather changes. This might leave you wondering: If change is necessary, how much change is actually necessary?
I like to think about our seasonal skincare the same way I think about dressing for the weather, an intuitive process. In the winter we layer on clothing, with the lightest layers on the bottom and the thickest layers on top. The same goes for my winter skincare routine. I will start with a light hydrosol or toner, add on a layer of deeply moisturizing face oil and then finish with a thicker moisturizing cream to help protect my skin from the elements.
In the summer, we peel off layers of clothing and wear the lightest materials possible to allow our skin to breathe and regenerate. Even though we sweat more and our skin tends to produce more oil in the warmer months of summer, it is still important to feed the skin’s barrier function with nutrients and hydration.
Focusing on ingredients that are cooling and calming can help soothe sensitive skin that tends to react to the heat. For my summer skincare routine I follow the natural inclination to de-layer and set free by taking things down to the bare minimum, focusing on my hydrosol or toner and incorporating a lighter face oil. Although my daily face oil is lighter in the summer, sometimes in the evening I will find that I want to use a slightly heavier and more luxurious feeling oil, honoring the needs of my 40-year- old skin.
The thing I most like to stress to my clients is to develop an intuitive relationship and feel into your skin so that any given moment you will know exactly what your skin is asking for. For my daytime routine I love Apoterra’s Herbal Balancing Serum. For the evenings when my skin is needing extra love, I use the Rose Oil.
In winter and summer, as I mentioned above, I always pair my face oils with a toner or pure hydrosol, spritzing a bit directly onto my face and then combining two spritzes with a few drops of my face oil in the palm of my hand, mixing with my fingertips and then massaging into my face. If you’ve never blended your toner/hydrosol and face oil together, give it a try. Total game changer. And during the summer that hydrosol can be a nice pick-me- up throughout the day. Apoterra’s Neroli Clarifying Toner spray is my go-to.
No skincare routine would be complete without discussing face washing, exfoliating and masking. When it comes to washing your face, I often advocate for a once-a- day cleansing in the evening to remove the day from your skin. In the summer I like to double cleanse, first cleansing with a pure, single origin oil by massaging the oil into all areas of my face, paying special attention to those areas that are prone to congestion, including the nose, and then removing with a warm washcloth. For the second cleanse I use a very gentle face soap, like Apoterra’s Aloe + Rose Clay bar, to help double up on removing any impurities from my active
Once a week I exfoliate with a super gentle mechanical cleanser to help slough off the accumulation of dead skin to give my face that extra glow and keep my pores happy. Weekly I also use a clay mask which helps to detoxify, deeply hydrate and balance oil production. Depending on your needs you can choose a super detoxifying mask with charcoal or a more gentle mask with clays such as rhassoul, kaolin or french green clay.
Some final words of wisdom: In the summer it’s extra important to check the ingredient list of your products, looking for items that can cause photosensitivity such as essential oils in the citrus family, vitamin C and certain oils pressed from citrus seeds. During the sunny months of summer, it’s best to use these products in the evening when they can do the work they’re meant to without putting your skin at risk. When out in direct sunlight, adding in a sunscreen, reapplying often, and using a wide-brimmed hat will help protect your skin from the unfortunate effects of sun damage. If you’re curious about where to find a clean sunscreen, Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website rates sunblocks.
Holistic Aesthetician & Wellness Guide at The Karcher