Is your skin looking dull and lifeless? Are you suffering from blackheads, unexpected breakouts, and a lackluster face? Then you’ve got the summer clogged pore blues.
Summer is the worst time for clogged pores. We sweat, we use skin creams to protect ourselves from the sun, we spend a lot more time outdoors, we wear sunglasses, which mash the grime into our skin, and the environment itself is dirtier, as pollution is trapped by the hot summer temperatures. The result: our pores (which when they’re clear and clean allow the skin to breathe, absorb moisture and refresh itself) become like little tiny trash cans full of nasty grungy stuff. Skin loses that all-important moisture, which gives us the dewy sheen we all want to achieve. Combine this with the drying effects of the sun, and it’s no wonder our skin suffers in the summertime.
So, what’s the answer? Do we have to put up with skin that looks a lot less than its best, just at the time when we’re exposing a lot of it to the world at large? The answer is, as so often when we are talking about skin problems, to change our cleansing and moisturizing routines.
One of the most effective skin care helpers in the clogged pore armory is salicylic acid.
This gentle substance can be found in the best cleansing and skin moisturizing serums, and it acts like a little microscopic scrubbing sponge, which gets into the pores and clears out all the dirt, sweat, oil and grease that collect there in the summer. Once the pores are clean, salicylic acid actually works to tighten and shrink the pores, so that your skin has a finer, smoother and more beautiful texture.
Your summer beauty routine should, of course, concentrate on cleansing and hydrating. In the summer, skin gets dry because of lack of water (unlike winter, when the key problem tends to be lack of health-giving oils). So, focus on hydrating the skin, and that means paying attention to your diet, drinking plenty of water, and also eating light foods such as fruit, vegetables and salads. If you smoke, now is a great time to give up – smoking definitely makes your skin look dull, and the smoke that hangs around you gets into those pores too.
Hydration also means using lighter, moisturizing foundations and hydrating skin creams.
To help that greasy T-zone, use a clay mask on just that area alone once a week. Turn to natural products for a general skin mask. A mixture of goat milk yoghurt, honey and cucumber whizzed in a blender, smoothed onto the skin, and left for fifteen minutes is a great pick-me-up for the face.
Whole body cleansing wraps are a delicious summertime cleansing treat, but they can be a bit pricey. For a home-made remedy, make a large pot of the yoghurt, honey and cucumber mixture, and add a handful of fine oatmeal. Smooth this all over your body – even your hair, if you feel like it, – then shower off in tepid water with a very mild soap.
You’ll notice the difference in your skin right away.
Remember that the whole of your skin suffers in the summer. To really clear out those clogged pores, a traditional Turkish steam bath can’t be beaten.