Hardly has the glow of summer holidays faded from our cheek when… oh no! Blemishes are back. How did this happen? As we shall see, it turns out that the sun is no true friend to blemish-prone skin.
On the rebound
Dermatologist Joelle Sebaoun explains what she calls the “summer rebound effect”: “It’s a fact that the sun’s rays dry up blemishes and make the skin look clearer. But UV rays also thicken the epidermis and block the free flow of sebum. Consequently, sebum accumulates deep in the pores and clogs them. When dead skin cells and bacteria get into the mix, you have a recipe for a blemish.”
Get with the programme
Lesson learned! Sun protection is a vital component of summer care for blemish-prone skin. As for our post-holiday skincare regimen, we spoke with pharmacy skin specialist Loubna Id Said. Loubna is a firm believer in a global approach to treating oily and blemish-prone skin. The plan she recommends consists of proper cleansing, a targeted moisturising product and the right makeup.
- Cleanse: “When you see blemishes, you may be tempted to scrub away at your skin. Resist that temptation! Aggressive cleansing will only make things worse, especially if your skin is sensitive.” Why? Over-zealous scrubbing simply prompts the skin to produce even more sebum. Instead, Loubna prefers the use of a gentle, non-irritating cleanser specially formulated for oily skin, such as a soap-free gel or a micellar solution.
- Treat: Skin that is free of debris is less likely to break out. “Choose a moisturising cream that contains the active ingredients salicylic acid or glycolic acid. These exfoliating agents slough off dead cells, unclog pores and encourage the production of new cells for healthy-looking skin.” And though it may seem counterintuitive, oily skin needs moisture, too: “Pick a light-textured, oil-free product specifically formulated for blemish-prone skin. Look for the words `hypoallergenic`, ‘tested on sensitive skin’ and `24-hour hydration` on the packaging.”
- Makeup: You want to boost your glow whilst taming shine. “Look for a long-wearing foundation that addresses oily-skin concerns. For example, a product with extra-fine pigments won’t clump together in the presence of skin oils. Even better is a foundation that allows oils to evaporate, leaving only pigments behind. Ask your pharmacist or skincare specialist for guidance.”
Bottom line: those of us with oily skin can trump the summer rebound effect. We just need to know who our “true friends” really are – and stick with them!