6 Summer Skincare Mistakes To Avoid, According To An Expert

Skipping SPF isn't the only skin sin

One of the testing things about skincare is that as soon as you manage to nail the right recipe of acids, serums and creams in your routine… the weather changes.

And just like you wouldn’t wear a winter coat to Bondi Beach in 40-degree weather, your skincare wardrobe should adapt to the season and the new environmental challenges facing your complexion.

“Everyone is affected in summer differently depending on their skin type,” says Dr Naomi McCullum, The Manse Founder and Cosmetic Doctor. “Acne sufferers may [experience a] worsening of acne, while redness sufferers may experience [further] redness, flushing and inflammation.”

But never fear because Dr Naomi has shared with us the most common skincare mistakes to avoid in summer, so you won’t have to spend the rest of the year reversing the damage.

1. Easing up on exfoliating

Although winter is known for dreaded dry and dead skin, skipping your exfoliation step in summer isn’t always beneficial. In fact, Dr Naomi says, “patients with acne might need more exfoliation and anti-inflammatory ingredients.” When dealing with acne, in particular, a BHA like salicylic acid will keep sebum production under control as well as promoting new, healthy skin cells.

murad aha/bha

MURAD AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, $62 at Sephora

paulas choice bha

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, $38 at Paula’s Choice

2. Getting active outdoors

If you’re all about an outdoor workout in summer, be warned that getting your sweat on in the sunshine might not be doing your skin any favours. “Pigmentation is the number one summer problem, and this can be triggered by heat and sun,” Dr Naomi tells marie claire. “Be careful of outdoor activities, swimming [and] make sure you reapply sunscreen as advised.”

“Hot activities like hot yoga can also trigger melasma, so be careful and stay cool.”

3. Booking post-beach skin treatments

If you’re looking to undergo any kind of skin treatment during the summer, you must be committed to wearing hats and SPF, as well as keeping in the shade or staying inside. While Dr Naomi says The Manse is happy to perform treatments throughout the season, it’s only if a patient is sensible with the sun that they can complete any procedures with a risk of hyperpigmentation, such as laser resurfacing.

4. Letting sweat get the better of you

If you dread summer for the sweat it brings, you don’t have to put up with such intense levels of perspiration; there are treatments that can help. “We use muscle relaxing injections,” says Dr Naomi. “They are very popular at this time of year, for excessive sweating of hands, underarms, or feet. We also offer a procedure on the face called Aquagold, which injects a cocktail of botulinum toxin, skin booster and PRP, which is great for sweating, redness, pore reduction and general skin texture improvement.”

5. Using brightening ingredients after summer

Rather than waiting until it’s visibly permanent, Dr Naomi says we should be addressing any post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation spots with brighteners straight away. This means upping our dose of “antioxidants, including vitamin C and definitely a vitamin B (also known as niacinamide).” If you’re using a vitamin C serum, this is best applied in the morning under your SPF to provide extra UV protection and prevent hyperpigmentation from occuring in the first place.

medik8 vit c

Medik8 Super C30 Potent Vitamin C Antioxidant Serum, $89 at Adore Beauty 

alpha h vit b

Alpha-H Vitamin B, $69.95 at Adore Beauty

6. Not taking sun protection seriously

If the anti-ageing benefits aren’t enough to convince you to be savvy with your sunscreen, the idea of melanoma should. Dr Naomi has had one recently removed herself and tells marie claire, “I wasn’t expecting it as I’m the first in my family to have one. It made me face my mortality, which was scary.”

And though her life has been held up a lot in the past year due to the skin cancer treatments, she’s mostly just relieved to have “got it early.”

“As much as I’m into aesthetics, I’ve always had this idea that scars were cool, so the new big melanoma scar on my face doesn’t worry me. It’s history on my face.”

“I’ve changed my habits and wear a wide-brimmed hat every day now, even though I find it annoying to do so,” she says. “Because it’s so preventable.”

“I hope others can learn from my stupid sun sins.”

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