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How to do a pre-summer skin care detox
Summer in Australia is inherently associated with silly season, which while fun means a few crucial things change for your skin – more time outdoors means a higher chance of sun damage, as well as other lifestyle changes such as an increase in alcohol (frosé) consumption and a diet that is less nutritious than you would’ve hoped. We spoke to Emma Hobson, expert from the Internal Dermal Institute and Dermalogica to learn how to keep our skin on track this silly season.
Feed your face
"The skin is a reflection of the internal health of the body," highlights Hobson. "Vitamins and minerals play an integral role in the maintenance of healthy skin as they are necessary for hormone production, many enzyme reactions and collagen formation," she explains. Poor nutrition not only leaves you looking lacklustre, it can also manifest in skin conditions like irritation, dehydration, breakouts and even lines.
"The essential building blocks for the skin are essential fatty acids, which keep the skin soft and supple and help to prevent dryness," says Hobson. "Vitamins A, C, E and panthenol [vitamin B] all help the skin perform at its optimum level, zinc assists wound healing, magnesium is good for healthy cell function, and proanthocyanidins are a form of flavonoid, a powerful antioxidant.
"Fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly red and purple ones, which are high in vitamin C and proanthocyanidins, are great for giving you a brighter outlook."
- Green, white and red tea
- Blueberries and cranberries
- Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables
- Green, leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale
- Nuts, especially walnuts, seeds, beans and legumes
- Oily, omega-rich fish such as tuna & salmon
- Processed foods
- Added sugars
- Coffee & caffeinated drinks
Topical top up
"Lifestyle factors such as stress plus processed foods, coffee and alcohol can lead to less vitamins and antioxidants than we need being consumed and absorbed by the body," says Hobson. "The skin is also often one of the last places [these nutrients] reach, so applying them in skincare products targets your skin for maximum results."
For a direct antioxidant and vitamin hit bh loves: Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Serum, Ultraceuticals Ultra C10+ Serum, Skinceuticals C E Ferulic (find it at adorebeauty.com.au), Alpha-H Multivitamin Super Cream
While a balanced diet and nutrient-rich products help remove internal toxins and replenish neglected skin, regular masks draw impurities from the murkiest depths of your pores. "Clays, seaweeds and muds are great for purifying, detoxifying and re-mineralising the skin," says Hobson.
bh loves: Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Pore Refining Face Mask, Glam Glow Super Mud Clearing Treatment (find it at mecca.com.au), Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask (find it at sephora.com.au), Frank Body Glow Mask (find it at mecca.com.au)
We lose more than two litres of water every day through perspiration, excretion and breathing. To replenish the body, it’s recommended the average woman refuel with 8-9 glasses of water a day. Food also provides around 20 per cent of your daily fluid intake – fruits such as watermelon and cucumber are abundant sources of hydration.
Hydrated skin is healthy skin. An adequate water level is not only essential for flushing away toxins, it promotes healthy cell function and keeps skin plump, velvety and soft. Drinking up is paramount, but Hobson emphasises a daily moisturiser is also vital. "It protects the skin's natural barrier, which in turn protects the skin from invasion of bacteria and irritating substances.
"All skins benefit from a moisturiser, even oily ones," she says.
Hyaluronic acid is counted among skin care's most hydrating heroes. Commonly found in hospital burn units, it can hold 1000 times its own weight in moisture binds water within the cellular structure and is perfect for all skin types.
bh loves: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum (find it at sephora.com.au), Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream, Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Moisturiser, La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Moisturiser
Regular exercise is as essential for healthy skin as it is for a fit body. Manually moving your muscles also whips your face into shape.
"Facial massage has so many benefits," explains Hobson. "It increases microcirculation, getting blood and all the nutrients we need to our skin cells, it assists the movement of lymph fluid, which is our secondary waste disposal system, and helps rid [the skin of] toxins.
"Facial massage also has a toning effect on the muscles and a fantastic revitalising effect on the skin," she details.
Are you guilty of falling into bad skin care habits come silly season?