Photo: Bridesmaids 


Heatwave beauty SOS: how to lighten up your skincare

Balms too heavy? Moisturisers too sweaty? Here are four breathable solutions to try instead

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By Elle Turner on

Oh, summer. You’ve been good to us. Shone your rays like they were going out of fashion and blessed us with some truly sizzling weather. The problem is, we’re hot. Too hot. Me? I’m even thinking of switching from midi skirts to minis. Madness. But what about our faces? What more can we take off? Can eyebrows sweat? Yes, yes they can. But there are a few simple switches we can do within our skincare routine to lighten it up, and take us from hot and sweaty to cool, calm and clam-free. Here's how.

Swap thick cleansing balms to cooling micellar waters

A hot cloth cleanse is probably the last thing most of us want to do when we're boiling. Ditto, spreading a thick, balmy cleanser across our face. That said, a thorough clean is needed to zap away sweat, pollution and make-up, and for this, micellar water is especially effective. Tiny spherical micelles suspended in water act like a magnet to dirt and grime, drawing them away to leave skin super clean. It helps that there's very little manual labour involved – all that's needed is a couple of sweeps of a cotton pad. And it's lovely and cooling, too. My favourite is Bioderma, which, unlike many other micellars, uses medical-grade purified water rather than thermal water (which can contain bacteria that our skin doesn't recognise and cause irritation). By making sure all their ingredients are similar to those already found in our skin, it's extra soothing for sensitive and inflamed summer skin.


Use a toner

If you’ve always written toners off as a glorified face mist and a bit of a waste of time, now's the time to reconsider. They're especially brilliant when it’s so hot you feel like sticking your face in the fridge. Instead? Stick your toner in the fridge. That way, when you get it out and spritz it on, it will feel extra cooling. Liz Earle’s Instant Boost Skin Tonic is one of the best (pick up the spray version). Not only is it instantly refreshing, it's alcohol-free, which means it won’t dry your skin out, plus it’s packed with aloe vera to hydrate, cucumber to soothe and geranium, lavender and sweet orange to make it smell fantastic. It's also suitable for all skin types.


Switch your moisturiser to a serum

Our skin loses a lot of moisture in summer through sweating, so it's important to keep it topped up. That said, there's no real need for heavy creams and lotions – they're too rich and they'll just sit on top of our skin like a big, thick coat anyway. Serums on the other hand, are ideal for hot weather. Lightweight, comfortable to wear and better at absorbing straight away, they do the job without feeling too clammy. Choose a hydrating version like Pai's Back To Life Hydration Serum. It's proven a hit with the beauty team in the office, due to its ability to quench, plump and soften, before sinking in, in record time.


Find a non-thick SPF

SPFs are perhaps the most uncomfortable of all summer skincare products thanks to their thick, claggy texture. It's particularly tricky to find ones that feel nice to use and offer a really decent amount of protection (both UVA and UVB). I've tried lots, but my favourite is Darphin's Intral Environmental Lightweight Shield – lightweight being the focus here. It comes out a peach colour but blends away to a clear, radiant, skin-perking glow. The texture is thin and silky, it smells clean and, crucially, it disappears into skin quickly without leaving behind a sticky film. 



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Photo: Bridesmaids 
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