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How to get your skin ready for summer

When it comes to your skin, a little pre-planning can make the world of difference, especially before facing up to the detrimental effects of sun, sea and air travel. NEWBY HANDS shares her tips on what to do now to ensure a healthy, glowing complexion later


Pull back on peels…

…as well as retinols, strong scrubs and anything that constantly degrades the skin’s protective surface barrier. That said, summer skin is usually drier than normal, which makes it look dull and ‘flat’, so for healthier, fresher-looking skin, swap to a gentle (sting- and tingle-free) peel or peel pad, but use it no more than two-to-three times a week. Even better, look for a PHA-based peel (containing polyhydroxy acids), which gently polishes your skin and helps to hydrate it. This approach means your skin looks bright throughout summer without causing any damage.

Take vitamin F

Confusingly, there is no official vitamin F, but it is the new name given to a blend of essential fatty acids that can help provide a stronger membrane to our skin cells. This means vitamin F is key for healthier and more hydrated skin (stronger skin cells and skin barrier reduce moisture loss), especially in the summer, when skin becomes parched from a combination of sun, air travel, air-con, seawater and pool chlorine. While you do find it used in skincare, vitamin F can also be taken as a supplement, which helps to provide your skin with the omega oils it needs when new cells are forming. Much as it’s a good idea for everyone to take vitamin F during summer – aesthetician Sarah Chapman always ups her intake pre-vacation – if you have dry, flaky skin all year round, taking a daily vitamin F supplement can be a long-term game changer. Also, it’s good to know that, while fish oils are the most popular choice, opting for the newer algae oils also makes sense, as fish get their omega oils from eating algae.

Up the antioxidants

No matter what the beauty companies may say, there is no single antioxidant ‘star’, so we need serums that offer a cocktail of protection. Use them morning and evening and, within a few days, your skin will build up an internal ‘reservoir’, which means it is protected both inside and out. Plus, as no SPF gives you 100% guaranteed coverage, using antioxidants daily ensures your skin is protected from the UV that invariably penetrates skin.


We see nothing wrong with stepping onto the sand just as you are, but if you feel like you are in need of some extra beach-ready confidence, let these targeted body buys come to your rescue…

BEST FOR PRE-SUN Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Body Cream

This zesty and invigorating lotion was designed to do one thing: ready the skin for the sun. It’s laden with antioxidant vitamin C, which has been shown to boost the skin’s defenses against UV rays, and it has the added benefit of making skin feel silky-soft. Use it daily in the run-up to your vacation.

BEST FOR HYDRATING Uma Oils Absolute Anti-Aging Body Oil

If the skin across your shins feels tight and itchy, it is almost certainly lacking in moisture. This luxurious oil has the ability to transform super-dry legs. It’s blended with protective antioxidants and, thanks to its neroli and sandalwood oils, it smells incredible. Massage it into damp skin after showering to see the best results.

BEST FOR A FAUX GLOW La Mer The Face & Body Gradual Tan

La Mer’s gradual tanner is the easy way to gradually build up a natural-looking honeyed glow – no sun necessary. Apply it to exfoliated skin daily for about a week before your vacation, and then top it up every few days while you’re away. It’s one of the most convincing faux glows we’ve tried.

BEST FOR EXFOLIATING Legology Exfo-Lite Leg Exfoliator

If ever there was a time for a thorough top-to-toe exfoliation, it’s pre-beach. Legology’s exfoliator contains a combination of sea salt and pink Himalayan crystal salt, which is abrasive enough to slough away dry and dull cells without stripping the skin of moisture. We like to use it all over the body (not just on legs) – one sachet contains enough to do a thorough job all over.

BEST FOR PERFECTING SKIN Lancer The Method: Body Nourish

If bumpy, uneven skin texture (often found on elbows, knees and upper arms or thighs) is an all-too familiar state of affairs, you need this in your life. It contains 10% glycolic acid so it really packs a punch, smoothing uneven texture and brightening skin. Use it every day for two weeks before your vacation (though don’t use it once you’re in the sun), and you’ll be amazed at the transformation.

The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.