Summer: the sun is shining, the living is easy and you’ve been bathing in rosé for the last month or so. But how is your skin looking? Ironically, at this time of year when many of us are at our most relaxed, our skin can get itself into a bit of a state. Sun, sea and humidity can all take our skin out of its comfort zone (those piña coladas don’t help either), but don’t let burns, blemishes or blotchiness ruin your fun. Get smart with your summer skincare prep and protection and say bon voyage to bad skin with Get The Gloss writer Anna Hunter’s guide to the best products to see you through the sunny season.
Beauty expert and industry insider, Anna Hunter of Get The Gloss, gives us an exclusive insight into her summer beauty arsenal this month; revealing the hero products she can’t live without. From game-changing new launches, to renowned cult classics, each tried-and-tested staple will solve any beauty conundrums you may have. Think of it as your trusty go-to guide for sun-kissed skin in need of a helping hand.
Anna Hunter of Get The Gloss
The techie cleansing tool
Swiss engineered and designed by dermatologists, Clinique's Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, £79, will clear the cobwebs like nothing else. Dirt, pollution, sunscreen and makeup don’t stand a chance against the 35,000 bristles of this nifty cleansing device (I didn’t count, but I’m told they're there).
The state-of-the-art SPF
Gone are the days when greasy sunscreen dripped into your eyes and left you looking more ghost-like than glowing. Estée Lauder's DayWear Advanced Anti-Oxidant & UV Defense SPF 50, £34, is a back-to-the-future beauty multi-tasker that not only provides broad-spectrum UV protection, but also safeguards skin from pollution and free-radicals thanks to a hefty dose of antioxidants. It hydrates, won’t clog pores and slips onto skin like a dream. Wear as a super powered primer under makeup or au naturel on the beach.
The super CC for summer in the city
Full-on foundation can feel a bit much on the commute to work come August, but the alternative doesn’t have to be going bare faced. A new generation of fresh bases are lightly airbrushing away imperfections and signs of fatigue, while also protecting us from environmental damage; my current favourite is Lancôme’s City Miracle CC Cream, £27. Lightly textured and offering SPF 50 UVA and UVB protection, it makes you look remarkably bright eyed and bushy tailed thanks to its tinted formulation and illuminating mineral pigments.
The bespoke bronzer
If self-tanning your face is a daunting prospect, let me introduce you to Clarins' Radiance Plus Daily Glow Booster, £18. It was with more than a little trepidation that I tried these tanning drops, but I’m glad I did, as this novel, nifty little product is like no other self-tanner I’ve come across. It’s the future, both for lifelong tan fans and scaredy-cat pasty people like me. You need just a few drops mixed in with a moisturiser or night cream to transform your skin from grey to glowy. There was no tell-tale DHA stench, no streaky tidemarks and no dramatic shift in skintone - just a radiant, lit-from-within warmth.
The protective eyewear
No, not sunglasses, but an SPF eye cream rich in nourishing omega 3 extracts. Ole Henriksen's Total Truth Eye Crème SPF 15, £41, firms and brightens the under eye area thanks to micro algae and tripeptides, while the brilliant little omega 3s get your circulation going to banish dark shadows and plump out wrinkles. This crème isn’t carte blanche for leaving your Ray Bans at home, but it certainly helps to combat summer squint.
The lip liberator
The Eight Hour Cream collection has been soothing chapped skin since the 1930s - and garnered a cult following along the way - so Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream Nourishing Lip Balm SPF 20, £18, comes with some serious kudos. Lightweight and non-sticky, it adds a healthy looking sheen and works well when applied over lipstick. Offering protective UVA and UVB broad-spectrum defence, along with an instant hit of vitamins, omegas, calcium, zinc and iron; this luxurious lip salve works double duty as a cuticle softener and general saviour for parched patches.
The portable air-con
Not so much air-con as water-con, Vichy's Thermal Spa Water Spray, £7, will cool and soothe even the most sensitive of skins. Keep it in your glove compartment / handbag / immediate vicinity for meltdown moments - its high mineral content makes it one of the purest hits of hydration around and it will pep-up rather than mess-up makeup. It’s also handy for lowering body temperature on scorching summer days.
The mask that mends
Whether you’ve overdone it on the sun lounger or simply want to do everything within your power to preserve your tan, Thalgo's Sun Repair Cream Mask, £22.50, is just what the doctor ordered. It feels comforting when first applied and does a great job of softening parched skin and bringing down redness. Leave on for ten minutes, relax, then remove with a warm cloth. The result is less lobster, more luminous, but if you still don’t feel like you’ve sloughed off the grease and grime, facialist Caroline Hitchcock recommends booking in for a deep cleanse and hydration treatment post-holiday to decongest blocked pores from sunscreen and reverse the effects of sun damage.
The serum that fights age spots
A light serum that suppresses melanin production and lightens pigmentation effectively, Medik8's White Balance Click, £45, is best applied under sunscreen. Packed with potent actives, it absorbs easily without leaving a greasy film, making it especially appealing on sticky days. If freckles, melasma, sun damage or pigmentation are your chief concern, this reparative, brightening vial of brilliance will come to your rescue.
The blemish buster
Heat, sweat and some sunscreens can all contribute to blemishes rearing their ugly heads in the summertime. Clinique's Anti-Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel, £14, will put paid to imperfections almost overnight - spot apply (...sorry) to problem areas and when you wake up blemishes will have dried out and shrunk quite considerably. This topical spot fighter does contain quite a bit of alcohol though, so go easy and don’t forget to moisturise.