Uh oh. How to rescue your face from post-summer skin issues

Article by NEXT

Sun damage can be reversed with the help of these products

Concerned your fun in the sun has done your skin a disservice? Fear not! We know how to turn back the clock.

If you’ve been out and about this summer, chances are the sun, sand and surf have wreaked havoc on your skin. And you know what that means – you’ll look like you’ve aged a few years overnight. Good news, then, that we know the best face savers to solve your post-summer skin issues. You’re welcome.

For afternoon face fatigue
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror at around 4pm and thought, ‘Why do I look so tired?’ Appearing ancient in the afternoon can be because during the day your skin works hard to ward off damage from sun, stress and pollution, and by the afternoon it can look duller, drier and possibly a bit wrinklier than it did when you woke up.

Luckily for us, Kiehl’s came up with its Daily Reviving Concentrate, $98. The lightweight oil contains ginger root essential oils, tamanu oil and sunflower seed botanical oils that absorb quickly and work to improve the skin’s ability to combat aggressors over the following hours. The result? Refreshed, healthy-looking skin all day long.

Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate and La Mer The Renewal Oil,

Also try: La Mer The Renewal Oil, $360. This infuses skin with sea-sourced actives that work to make its natural barrier more resilient. The repair process is also supported, giving you back that healthy glow. It may be pricey, but if you soaked up the rays over summer and spend your days in air-conditioning, it could be just the thing to return your skin to its former glory.

For stressed skin
When you hear the word ‘probiotics’ , chances are you think of those yoghurt drinks that are supposed to contain the bacteria essential to digestive health. Turns out they’re also pretty good for your skin, especially when you’re under pressure.

The theory is that the more stressed you are, the more the balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut can get out of whack, which can lead to anything from sensitivity and rashes to allergic reactions. Probiotics are thought to help calm the skin, which is why there has been a surge in beauty brands using them in their products.

Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief CreamTry: Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream, $100. The probiotic technology in this formulation helps to soothe the skin while colour-correction counteracts flushing, blushing and minor flare-ups.
Also try: The best part about topical probiotics is they can be found in your fridge. That’s right – if you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive fix, smooth some plain Greek yoghurt (which is packed with probiotics) onto your skin twice a week as you would a regular face mask. Alternatively add: Kombucha tea, miso soup, sauerkraut and kefir to your diet.

For skin that needs a serious mid-summer boost
You’ve had your whole skincare regime sorted, but it’s just not working as well as it did last season. Sounds like you could be in need of an essence. If you haven’t heard of them before, take note: they’re the latest craze from the beauty mecca that is Korea.

Essences appear watery, and possibly like they won’t really do much, but trust us, they’re worth it. They’re packed with high doses of active ingredients that they deliver deep into the skin, and they’re ideal for those with a dry complexion. Look for formulas that include hyaluronic acid and glycerin to keep your skin soft and hydrated. Though essences may look like toner, resist the urge to apply yours with a cotton pad; they’re designed to be patted onto your face with your fingertips.

Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion and Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence

Try: Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion, $120. This delivers a concentrated serving of micro-nutrient bio-ferment to the skin, which works to nourish and energise it.
Also try: Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, $60. Iris florentina root extract is known for its deeply nourishing and anti-ageing abilities, so it’s no surprise it’s the star ingredient in this product.

For skin that’s starting to sag
As we age, gravity forces the skin around the cheekbones and jaw to sag, causing jowls to develop – and long days in the sun don’t help to halt the process! Once upon a time, the only way to combat this was to have surgery, but these days, creams and serums have been developed specifically to sculpt and tighten the face. Think of it as a scalpel-free face lift. You may not see results straight away, but with repeated use, you’ll notice less sagging.

 Clinique Smart Night Custom-Repair Moisturizer, Dr Brandt Laser FX Lift Serum and Estée Lauder New Dimension Expert Liquid TapeTry: Clinique Smart Night Custom-Repair Moisturizer, $115. Incorporating ‘smart hydration’ technology, this encourages the skin to attract and retain moisture while helping to lift and tone.
Also try: Dr Brandt Laser FX Lift Serum, $125. Ingredients including sweet pea and flowering herb Acmella oleracea are combined to minimise the breakdown of collagen fibres and support natural tissue generation to help keep the contours of your face defined. Alternatively, regularly applied dollops of Lancôme Rénergie Multi-Lift, $183, should give your skin a firmer feel.
Quick fix: Estée Lauder New Dimension Expert Liquid Tape, $124, won’t stop your face from sagging long term, but it will give you a momentary lift. The serum can tackle problems such as sagging skin around the eyes. The clear liquid ‘pulls’ up the skin, giving you an instant eye lift – without the pain or cost.

For menopausal skin
As estrogen production declines, wrinkles can appear to be deeper than they once were, and the skin can take on a crêpey appearance. Interesting research is being conducted into the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), traditionally taken in pill form, applied topically in face creams. The British Medical Journal reported those using topical estrogen therapy saw their collagen increase by a whopping 48%. And a study by the International Journal of Dermatology found six months of topical estrogen therapy made subjects’ skin firmer and decreased wrinkle depth and pore size.

Hormones in skincare is nothing new; however, these days synthetic versions have been superceded by phytoestrogens derived from soya, wheatgerm, flaxseed and other plants. These ingredients replicate the effect of natural estrogen on skin cells. Another ingredient being added to skincare products is calcium. Most of us know menopause is associated with decreased calcium absorption that affects our bones, but did you know calcium decreases in your skin too, which impacts cell turnover, leading to drier skin? Thankfully, it’s thought applying a face cream containing calcium may help lessen this.

Murad Intensive Age-Diffusing Serum and Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle and Pore Reducing Cream

For HRT, try: Murad Intensive Age-Diffusing Serum, $165. Packed with phytoestrogens derived from oats, clover, wild yam and soya, this is designed for dealing with menopause-related signs of ageing.
For a calcium hit, try: Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle and Pore Reducing Cream, $98. The potent combination of Kiehl’s copper PCA and calcium PCA works to reduce wrinkles, smooth the texture of your skin and minimise the appearance of pores, which can sometimes become more visible with age.

Words: Sarah Murray
Photos: Getty Images, iStock images, Supplied and Bauer Media Studios