Summer has officially started in the Northern Hemisphere, and this means that your calendars will soon be bursting with beach dates, pool parties and summer barbeques. But to complement your perfect summer 2012 wardrobe, you need to pay some attention to the canvas of your ensemble – we’re not talking about your beach body, but your skin. After the dry and dreary months of winter, the skin demands a good dose of hydration and a vitamin boost. The chief enemies of summer – harsh rays of the sun, chlorine from pool water and humidity – can add serious damage to the skin cells. And especially, if you plan to spend the entire summer on a grainy patch of sand – beach anyone? Having a proper skincare regimen is vital to attaining that glowing summer skin, but you must remember, it’s more than merely using soap and cream on the face. Unlike the rest of the body, washing the face in the shower and slapping on some moisturiser afterwards isn’t going to qualify for being a routine, especially in summer. You might be able to camouflage certain aspects of the face with make-up, but if you’re aiming for an au natural, no make-up look for this season, be ready to make an effort and follow the skincare steps below. Exfoliate “Exfoliation states the underline base that you start off with. It’s like creating the foundation for a pretty building. Know your skin type and exfoliate about twice a week,” says Sydney-based dermatologist, Dr. Sue Ng. Do keep in mind that facial skin can be sensitive, so pick a scrub that contains hydrating ingredients like shea butter and avocado oil to balance out the scrubbing elements. On your body, use an exfoliating glove to scrub off dead skin cells, especially if you’re self-tanning this season. Remember that colour clings to dry spots on skin, so scrub really well prior to tanning. Dr. Ng says ingredients such as “sea salt, almonds, walnuts, and sugar are body scrub champions”. “You can even create your own scrub for the summer. Have a moisturising and hydrating ingredient as base and then add either Himalayan salt or organic powdered green tea for the scrubbing elements.” Burt’s Bees Honey & Shea Sugar Scrub has the essential minerals that’ll help nourish and condition the skin on your body, while Sodashi’s Face Polish poses to be a great option for the face, as it’s infused with orange and lemon rind. Sodashi Face Polish Burt’s Bees Honey & Shea Sugar Scrub Fight the Wrinkles The skin tends to get drier in this new season, after its encounter with the cold weather. Dr. Ng says it’s more prone to lose collagen in summer than winter. “We lose 1 percent of skin protein after a certain age, so adding a good quality serum to the skin would counter-act and improve the supplements of the skin,” she suggests. Pick a serum for the skin that is light textured and contains hydrating ingredients. Dr. Ng suggests looking for glycerine and PFA in the ingredient list. Chanel’s Hydra Beauty Serum is fitting for all skin type and feels like velvet on the skin. Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum Moisturise Put your winter body butters and thick creams away, as summer calls for light and floral scented creams that will provide all essential nutrients for you skin without coating a layer on it. Dr. Ng suggests for oily skin, try a water-based face cream, as that will hydrate, without adding any oil to the skin. Zelens’ Matrix Energy and Moisture Face Cream is packed with hydro-energising ingredients that will uplift dull skin. And if you wish to feel like Cleopatra, this summer, Chanel Hydra Beauty Crème will do the job. Its application is close to rubbing flower petals on your skin; it even smells like cucumber and Camellia. Zelens Matrix Energy and Moisture Infusion Chanel Hydra Beauty Creme Sunscreen Whether you’re planning to go out in the sun or not, sunscreen is like a lifeline to your skin for the coming three months. Donning a sun-kissed complexion is almost every woman’s dream, but be wary of the harmful UV rays it boasts, as they can cause premature age spots, wrinkles and skin cancer, in the long run. “Even though the sun is not that strong in the Northern Hemisphere, people should be mindful of its harmful rays. Wearing sunscreen under your make-up is the safest and best option,” Dr. Ng recommends. Pick a sunscreen that has broad-spectrum UV protection, including resistance towards both UVA and UVB. It’s also very important to top up the sunscreen every two-three hours, especially if you’re outside on a hot sunny day. Invisible Zinc SPF 30+ Environmental Skin Protector and Clarin’s SPF 50+ Wrinkle Control Cream can both be worn under a thin layer of make-up, during the day. If these appear to be too oily for your skin type, then pick a tinted moisturiser with SPF protection; don’t go for anything under SPF 20+. Invisible Zinc SPF 30+ Clarin’s SPF 50+ Wrinkle Control Cream Hand and Nail Cream Nothing stays under cover in summer; so don’t ignore the digits on your fingers and toes. If a monthly manicure and pedicure doesn’t fit the budget, introduce a nightly routine of coating your hands in a rich cream. Have a tube of cream on the side of the bed, so you remember to pamper the hands and nails. Give them some love! Molton Brown’s Rose Granati Hand Lotion lets your fingers dive into a garden of senses, with pomegranate, cardamom, ginger and rose being the chief scents. Molton Brown Rose Granati Hand Lotion Night Cleansing Dr Ng says cleansing is not limited to one particular season, as it should be routine for all year round. “Cleansing removes the top cells of the epidermal cells that envelop the skin over time. Instead of using harsh soaps on your skin, use a gentle cleanser to wash all unwanted residues off the skin,” says Dr. Ng. Kiehl’s Ultra facial cleanser contains plant-based oils that stop the skin from feeling tight or prickly after a wash. However, if you’re looking for a product that performs 2-in-1 duty of removing make-up, while also toning the skin right before bedtime, then Qsilica’s Remove make-up and grime cleansing gel needs to be in your bathroom cabinet. Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser Qsilica Remove Make-Up and Grime Cleansing Gel Tips: Always check the ingredient list when buying a product off the shelf. Ensure that you’re not allergic to any ingredient that might cause a rash or breakout. A common ingredient found in skincare products are nuts, and some skins are prone to rejecting nuts in their external form as well. You can use as many hydration products as you like, but nothing will make the skin glow as much as the consumption of still water. Your skin will glow and look hydrated when your skin cells are bursting of water from within. Top that glass! This might be considered cheating, but use brightly hued make-up to make your skin stand out. A watermelon lipstick clashing against cobalt blue nail paint is a serious celebration of summer!