Which is exactly why we decided to ask the undisputed queen of skincare her advice on how to have the best skin of your life this summer.
"There can be some confusion when it comes to summer skincare" so says Dublin-based skincare expert Ciara Darcy.
"Should you change your usual routine? Are there any ingredients that are unsafe to use during the summer months? With so many brands on the market and so much advice online I understand that it can seem so confusing.
"Healthy skin happens when you have a consistent skincare routine in place. That's not to say you'll never get the odd breakout after a few glasses of wine, we are only human."
Ciara's recommends the following summer skin regimen:
- A cleanser depending on your skin's needs (dry, oily, combination – more on that here.
- Vitamin C – the most powerful antioxidant to prevent free radical damage. It is a key ingredient to prevent pigmentation and to help produce collagen. Vitamin C is unstable, however, meaning when it is exposed to air it will oxidise, it is then useless to the skin. Vitamin C should be a pale straw colour.
*Dear Derm Recommends: Alumier Everactive C&E - 15% L-Ascorbic Acid. The only Vitamin C on the market that the powdered L-Ascorbic acid is kept separate to the peptide gel. To activate you mix the two together, once opened it will stay fresh for one month. It is sold in a three month supply, a fresh bottle each month to mix and open, with a pipette for application. It has won countless skincare awards!
- Broad Spectrum SPF (sunscreen) – the sun is responsible for 90% of visual ageing. The number one product to prevent premature ageing, pigmentation, depletion of collagen and elastin is a high factor SPF. A physical barrier to bounce rays off the skin instead of them being absorbed. SPFs have come a long way from the sticky, greasy products they once were. An oil-free one will prevent breakouts and is perfect for oily/combination skin. For dry skin look for an SPF containing Vitamin E.
*Dear Derm Recommends: Heliocare Broad Spectrum SPF 50 / Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50. UVA (A = Aging) rays travel through glass and are present all year round. UVB (B = Burning) rays pose a greater risk for sun damage. HEV (High Energy Visible Rays = Blue Light) emitted by your smartphone, laptops and other screens.
- Double-cleanse to remove dirt and grime.
- Use a serum depending on your skin's needs (more on that here).
- Retinol / Vitamin A. Think of it as an upside-down exfoliator. This encourages your skin to produce collagen and elastin while also gently exfoliating the surface. Start with a low percentage, introduce it slowly, only use at night, always cleanse in the morning and apply SPF. It truly transforms the skin and the benefits are endless; it prevents premature ageing, mops up excess oils for acne-prone skin, removes texture gently for smooth skin and stimulates collagen and elastin production for healthy firm skin.
*Dear Derm Recommends: Alumier 0.25% Retinol Resurfacing Serum, this product uses microencapsulation to drip feed the product into your skin through the night. It's gentle but super effective. If pigmentation, premature ageing, breakouts or rough texture are a concern, this one is for you. A skin consultation is always recommended before purchase."