While you might still be basking in the glow of that post-vacation feel-good factor, your skin may not be in such a happy condition. It’s probably feeling lumpy, a bit bumpy, clogged and congested, and you may well be planning a visit to your favorite aesthetician. “Now is the time when clients book in, all wanting the same thing. They don’t know what’s causing it, but they all have congested skin,” explains aesthetician Michaella Bolder.
Whether it’s bumps along the chin, milia on the cheeks or dulling congestion, the cause is the same: a perfect summer storm of sun, regular top ups of SPF (the textures we use for the beach can be thicker, even stickier than those we use daily under makeup), plus the misplaced belief that we should exfoliate less in case we make our skin sensitive to the sun. Add in the juxtaposition of hot weather outside and air conditioning inside and you can see why your skin might need a reset. “[Differing temperatures] makes [skin] worse – it acts like a cryo/thermal treatment as the pores open in the heat then close in the cold, trapping sweat and sunscreen in pores,” says Bolder. And the more open pores, the more likely this will become a problem area.
Indeed, it’s such a regular annual occurrence that Bolder now has her own in-clinic clean, steam, peel, mask and massage treatment specifically designed to restore each client’s skin to its pristine pre-summer state. However, those who can’t get to see her can achieve similar results with her short skin-reset program. “It’s easy to just slot into your regular evening regimen for a week to 10 days. You don’t even have to do it over the whole face – you can just map out the areas that need treating,” she says.
Clean with steam
“You start with a double cleanse; the first removes makeup so the second lets you properly clean your bare skin. To work deeper, use a steamer – I love Sarah Chapman’s. You can do this daily or, if your skin is sensitive, every other day. Don’t sit directly above the steamer, though – just close enough to feel the warmth is fine. The steam lets you really work into the skin, so do it for about five minutes before removing the cleanser with a warm face cloth, which will give you more polish than using a muslin cloth.”
Follow with a mask
Calm with red light
Keep creams light
“You may be able to just use serums to hydrate. However, if you do need a cream, keep it light in texture – especially on the main areas of congestion.”
Switch it up
“Do the above for five to seven days, then for the next week, switch from using the daily peel pads to a grainy scrub (Huda Beauty’s Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub is great) or a microdermabrasion tool, like the PMD Personal Microderm Pro, twice a week. The acid peels loosen the bonds of the dead skin cells, while swapping to a scrub ensures you are lifting them away, revealing polished, unclogged skin. You can also do some home microneedling twice a week, as this helps to break up a dry, clogged surface.”