In my experience most of us like to pare back our base routine over summer; heavy, sticky foundation and sweltering weather is nobody’s favourite combo. So, with the aim of wearing only feather-light bases throughout the warmer weather, a few months out from summer I focus specifically on crafting a skin-brightening regimen. I’m currently exfoliating every second night with Ole Henriksen’s Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner, a potent blend of AHAs that help nix acne scars and sun spots.
Next, vitamin C should be your port of call if evenness and reducing pigmentation is your goal, thanks to the ingredient’s much lauded brightening properties. La Roche-Posay’s Pure Vitamin C10 Serum and Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum are both intelligently formulated, offering solid levels of vitamin C at 10% and 15% respectively. La Roche-Posay’s also contains salicylic acid, while Ole Henriksen’s provides PHAs – both ingredients gently exfoliate to help further boost radiance.
Hydration is a year-long obsession for me but in the summer my focus shifts from rich, skin barrier-repairing balms, to light-weight products that still leave my skin feeling quenched. I’ve been through countless bottles of La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 Serum and see myself continuing in that vein for many years to come. Dehydrated skin immediately looks plumper upon application; I often even apply two layers for ultimate hydration, and it never pills under the rest of my skincare or makeup (an essential criterion for me).
I also get through loads of the iconic Weleda Skin Food year-round – for a heavy-duty night time moisturiser for even the driest and most sensitised of skins, it’s unmatched in my eyes for both quality and affordability. They recently created Skin Food Light, which is, as the name suggests, a less rich version of the original; it’s still aimed at drier skins but is more comfortable on nights where even sleeping with just a sheet still seems too much.
To further dial up the hydration, an overnight treatment is always welcome (and an often untapped beautifying opportunity). Drunk Elephant’s F-Balm Waterfacial drenches skin in ceramides (vital for skin barrier health) and antioxidants, guaranteeing a glowing complexion come morning.
It wouldn’t be a comprehensive piece on summer skincare without a reminder to be vigilant with your sun protection; to be frank you should be diligent 365 days a year (especially in Australia) but especially obsessive in the hot weather. Australian brand Ultra Violette has garnered very loyal fans thanks to its portfolio of elegantly formulated ‘skinscreens’.
To cheat a believable but entirely sun-free tan, Isle of Paradise’s Self-Tanning Drops are an effortless solution. Available in light, medium, and dark (which one you pick will depend on your skin tone and desired result), they’re a breeze to use: you just slot them into your existing routine by adding a few drops into your face serum or body moisturiser.
To set the foundation of your summer body care prep, I’d suggest before anything you start with some proper exfoliation, to slough off dead skin, and to ensure subsequent products actually absorb properly. Sand & Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Smoothing Body Sand seems made with summer skin in mind: its cheeky ‘bucket and spade’ packaging for the ‘sand’ inside certainly seems to suggest so. It features the brand’s signature Australian pink clay to purify, and coconut and macadamia shells for a thoroughly satisfying scrub. Then I like to reinject some moisturise with Leif’s deliciously scented Desert Lime Vanilla Orange Body Lotion: it contains sweet almond oil, which I love for moisturising my dry limbs, but sinks in in seconds – so no standing around post-shower for your moisturiser to absorb.
Mecca have recently embraced the ‘athleisure’ beauty trend with their chic Mecca Athletica range, which offer a host of ingredients usually reserved exclusively for facial skincare. And while they’re ideal for after the gym, they also perform impeccably in the summer. The range is comprised of a very effective deodorant, an AHA and PHA-rich body wash (for smoothing and helping to avoid body breakouts), and a body lotion filled with 5% lactic acid and peptides to firm and renew skin.