Triple S: Sun, Seasons, and Skincare
As much as we say it’s Spring, let’s face it, the weather is giving us the PTSD of summer and its unbearable heat. At night we still find ourselves reaching out for our comforter, but we sweat through it like a clogged shower. The erratic change in weather affects not only our clothing preferences but also our skin routine. We’re at a stage where winter moisturisers are heavy enough to make us sweat through them, but without them, it’s a face camouflaged as the desert.
Most people suffer through skin problems throughout their lives. The transition, be it from winter to summer or puberty to adulthood, is never easy. It requires a lot of attention and self-love that you might think you don’t have time for. Reality check, if you don’t give yourself time, no one else will.
Let’s start with a cleanser; while in winter, many of us with dry skin value hydration tend to stick to it no matter what. Oily or combination skin types may lean towards a normal foaming face wash and a moisturiser richer than a lotion. However, summer is the bane of their skin condition. Even a light moisturiser might feel too heavy. In this case, a gel cleanser would be ideal. Or any moisturiser that’s oil-free. It will easily absorb into your skin and make it feel, well, un-oily.
A chemical exfoliator once/twice every week would help to keep the blackheads/whiteheads at bay as it melts away all the dead skin cells and even helps to remove dirt from the skin.
Now, I know most of you think the next step is toner, but here’s the thing. Toner is more of a luxury item to amp up your ritual. To make it more satisfying and soothing. Fancy stuff. However, it’s not a must. Instead of using a toner, use a richer moisturiser and save money. Some toners do give a more matte finish, but it’s because it uses denatured alcohol and oh honey, that’s no good.
If there are certain aspects of your skin you want to improve, the next step is for you. Serum/Essences. You could honestly use anyone but be sure to check the main active ingredient. The last thing you’d want is to use Hyaluronic acid on your oily skin. You would want to use Niacinamide instead, just saying.
Always be sure to see if the active ingredient can be used with your other products because reactions are nasty.
So, cleanser→toner→serum→moisturiser. Are we done yet? No!
Last but not least, SUNSCREEN. You’re more likely to be exposed to UV rays rather than vitamin D, more likely to get skin cancer and lose skin elasticity than getting stronger bones. My advice would be to start with soothing, neutral sunscreens that give 50++ SPFs and work your way through your preference. Gel sunscreens are good for acne-prone skin and those of you who don’t want a white cast.
Do remember to double cleanse if you wear sunscreen because once does not get rid of it all. (suggesting Inkey List’s oat cleansing balm followed by their fulvic acid cleanser).
You can follow the same steps during morning and night, skipping sunscreen at night. Never go to sleep with makeup on your face; we’re all up for rebels, just not this.
How will we be able to follow a 5-6 steps skincare routine when we barely get time to wash our face, you say? The author thinks investing a little time in yourself is never a loss project. You can minimise the 6 steps skincare routine to a very minimal 3 steps with cleansing, moisturising, and applying sunscreen with occasional exfoliation and refreshing masks during weekends (completely optional).
The main gamble of skincare is that you have to keep exploring until you find the right products that suit your skin. It can be a tiring and time-consuming process that might even empty your wallet, especially now that Korean and Western Skincare companies are trying to level up their game every day. It won’t make sense until you find the right products. When you do, you will feel found. Until then, may the odds be ever in your favour!
Author’s note: Cruelty and fragrance-free products are more likely to suit your skin and soul better. It typically takes a minimum of 3 months for a product to actually work, so patience is the key.