Your Ideal Summer Skincare

Your Ideal Summer Skincare

Posted by Sonia Bellini on

Sweat, sunscreen, chlorine and saltwater are practically unavoidable during the summer, so certain skincare steps, though essential year-round, become all the more important when temperatures rise. Even if you’re not coming in for regular facials, we want you to get the best out of your skincare. No matter where you are, we care about your skin. Our mission is to get the right products on your skin at the right time, which is why we are so dedicated to providing continual education on our blogs. Today, we want to talk about how to care for your skin during the summer. Let us welcome you to Bellini’s, wherever you are. 

Switching Out Products For The Season

Just like people switch up their workout routines, you will want to switch up your skincare. Think of using different products as a practice of exercising your skin. By using different skincare technologies, you not only provide multidimensional support to your skin, but you also have better skin long term as a result. Of course, this is not to say that you should use something new every day, or even every month. When you stick to switching products out for a season, you will be able to best curate the textures and supports you will need for the upcoming months. Each season has its unique set of challenges, and summer focuses on pigmentation, UV damage, and acne (as a result of clogged pores).

Everyone has different skin. Although there are many similarities, there are nuances in which products will work best for you. This is a combination of your skin type (oily, dry, normal), the thickness of your skin, and Fitzpatrick type, which all stay the same throughout your life. In contrast, your skin conditions (seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, acneic), age, diet, and season of the year will change what products will work best for you.

As a result, there is no one-size-fits all skincare routine. Even though some drugstore skincare can come in adorable little bottles and bright colors that make you want to collect them all, they are more decoration than skincare. Instead of spending your money on several different products or fads, you can invest your money in a single bottle of serum which will give you exceptional results and protection, as well as require less time spent on your skincare.

Addressing Seasonal Aggressors

Heat and Humidity

For summer and part of fall, the main seasonal aggressor is the sun. When it's very warm and humid, oily skin can become more oily. Sweat evaporates more slowly because of the humidity levels in the air, and sebaceous glands work overtime due to the heat. This combination of conditions leads to pores clogging and pimples forming.

The solution to excessive oil production is to hydrate and nourish your skin, as well as use products that help to balance the oil in your skin. For blemish-prone skin, we recommend picking a lightweight moisturizer designed to both hydrate and target blemishes (see our suggestions below). For an in-depth review about how acne occurs, check out our acne blog here. Check out our moisturizer suggestions further below.

UV Rays + Pigmentation

UV damage and pigmentation are closely intertwined, but they can be thought of as slightly different. UV damage causes pigmentation, but it also causes quite a few other less seen changes, such as skin cancer and glycation. You can read more about the different variants of UV damage in our skin cancer blog here.

Glycation is a key factor of intrinsic aging and occurs when extra sugar and proteins combine, forming A.G.E.’s (advanced glycation end products) that create rigid, brittle crunchy collagen. Having brittle and rigid collagen results in your not gliding smoothly, which results in many small yet apparent wrinkles on the skin. Part of the reason this occurs is because glycation separates the DEJ (dermal-epidermal junction) that connects the top and lower layers of your skin. Having a poorly connected DEJ results in the top layers of your skin being separated from the muscular structure, which causes what is called slackening of the skin. In addition to causing looser skin, having a poorly connected DEJ can result in uneven skin tone, because the melanin developing deeper in your skin does not make it to the skin in an even distribution. When you have a strong DEJ, you will notice your skin continues to be taut, has even color, and retains hydration much better than if you did not.

In addition to creating crepiness and slackening of the skin, glycation also cause degradation and pre-mature aging, a brown or yellowing skin tone, and dehydration. Compounding all of this results in an incredibly accelerated aging process that leads people to look older than they are. You can see the effects of glycation on your skin if you notice it is begin to fall and move to places it wasn't before, and that a superfluous and minute wrinkles across the entire face. The main visual difference between wrinkles from glycation versus age-related wrinkles is that glycation wrinkles are often excessive, and in crosshatch patterns, whereas traditional wrinkles follow the natural expression lines and contours of our face.

Each aspect of the skin is closely intertwined with others, so it can feel like everything is failing apart all at once. For example, UV-induced oxidative stress increases the speed and development of glycation, which both result in premature aging. While we often mention premature or accelerated aging, it should be noted that these are the effects one would see without proper skincare (or any skincare at all). When you come to Bellini's for guidance, we are helping you keep your skin at its optimal performance, so you don't have to fear external aggressors like UV.

Compared to skin cancer, other forms of pigmentation are not as serious of a health concern; however, they are still important to address. One form of pigmentation that is exacerbated by UV damage is called melasma. Melasma is a type of pigmentation that occurs typically around the high points of the face, including the forehead, cheeks, and around the mouth. If you have melasma, you will notice uneven skin tone and pigmentation that differs slightly from other sun damage you may have. It should be noted that melasma and UV-damage can appear simultaneously, as seen in the photo below. When someone is dealing with various forms of pigmentation, it can feel difficult to get results. Like any skin condition, the proper skincare products need to be used to prevent and reduce melasma. 

Since melasma is spurred on by a combination of UV and hormones, you will need to address internal hormonal issues in order to treat melasma long term. In the winter, we would suggest incorporating some chemical peels into your routine in order to lighten up the pigmentation. It is very important to manage this as you begin to notice it, as.. Although not physiologically harmful, many people have reported a significant negative effect on their quality of life and self-esteem as a result of melasma. When you work with Bellini's to treat skin conditions, such as melasma, you will feel more confident about yourself as a result.

 

If you have experienced any hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy, HRT, are taking birth control pills, or menopause, melasma is more likely to pop out and need to be managed. The difference between typical sun damage or PIH and melasma is that melasma typically covers more surface area, and can resemble the look of wearing a mask around the eyes. In contrast, other forms of pigmentation appear as more localized and circular spots.

Because anyone can experience melasma, it is important to protect yourself by using a vitamin c, wearing spf, and using hats for sun protection.  Just like any skin condition, melasma can return if you are not diligent with your skincare. Always use a vitamin c and spf to keep your skin protected from the negative effects of the sun. If you need help picking out a sunscreen, read our blog here which covers our sunscreen suggestions for each skin type, as well as by Fitzpatrick! When you take the steps to keep your skin even 

The occurrence of age spots, sun spots, or liver spots all are in part the result of UV damage. There are other factors at play that create this, such as having thin skin, inflammation, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which create an uneven distribution of melanin. You can read more about in our pigmentation blog here.

How To Counteract Seasonal Aggressors

    Now that we are acquainted with the seasonal aggressors, let’s talk about how we can use our skincare to counteract them.

    Swap Your Cleanser 

    It is important to get a cleanser that is suited for your skin, and not just whatever is at the convenience store. A cleanser that is too harsh for your skin type can cause breakouts by disrupting the skin’s natural protective moisture barrier and stripping away essential oils and moisture. Your skin’s protective moisture barrier also prevents bacterial growth that can cause blemishes, so if it’s disrupted, that bacteria can flourish. The wrong cleanser can also disrupt the naturally acidic pH of your skin, making it more vulnerable to infection and damage. On the flip side, using a cleanser that doesn’t do anything, well, doesn’t do anything. Many people think that since a cleanser is only briefly on your face, that it doesn’t really need to do anything.

    The purpose of a cleanser is obviously to clean your face from dirt, oil, makeup, and dead skin cells, but it also lowers helps prepare the skin for the rest of your skincare. During summer, you will want something lightweight that supports your skin and the results you are looking for. 

    You won’t want to use the same cleanser forever, and around the middle of the year we recommend switching to a lightweight cleanser appropriate for your skin type (see our suggestions below). You may consider swapping your gel cleanser with a foaming alternative, or your milky cleanser for a slightly sudsy (yet moisturizing) boost.

    In addition to using the right cleanser, using a proper cleansing device makes a world of difference. For normal to combination skin, as well as mature skin, we highly recommend cleansing using a cleansing device, such as QYK’s Zoe Bliss – a rechargeable cleansing and massaging brush. For oily skin or acneic and congested skin, try out Michael Todd's SoniClear device. This device oscillates to clean your face instead of turning 360 degrees completely. As a result, this cleansing brush offers a gentle exfoliation of  approximately 18,000 micro-movements per minute, resulting in seven times better cleansing than hands alone. See the image below to compare how effective a cleansing brush is compared to using your hands alone.

    Our Cleanser Suggestions

    If you have oily skin, try out Yonka’s Gel Nettoyant or SkinCeuticals LHA Cleanser

    If you have dry skin, try out Phytomer’s Doux Visage or Souffle Marine, or Yonka’s Lait Nettoyant

    If you have normal skin, try out Yonka’s Lait Nettoyant or Phytomer’s Perfect Visage

    If you have sensitive skin, try out SkinCeuticals Replenishing Cleanser Cream

    If you have mature skin, try out Vie’s Instant Cleansing Milk or Phytomer's XMF Cleansing Cream

    Reduce Chemical Exfoliants

    Chemical exfoliants can increase your sensitivity to the sun, so make sure to follow up with sunscreen whenever you use them in the day. Make sure to check the rest of your products to determine if there are chemical exfoliants in them. Sometimes, we accidentally use multiple products with BHAs or AHAs in them. Overusing any exfoliant will continue to thin out your skin, thus resulting in more uneven pigmentation. In the summer, where pigmentation and UV damage are at its heights, overusing chemical exfoliants is quite detrimental.

    You should only use manual exfoliants if your skin needs it - such as with extreme dead skin build up, and uneven texture. In general, you want to exfoliate one to two times a week.

    You want to be careful to avoid over-exfoliating or being too heavy-handed in your methods, as this can lead to redness, irritation, inflammation and hyperpigmentation, especially among those with higher Fitzpatricks.

    If you’re using a chemical exfoliant, you’ve probably been told to only apply the product at night, as it can increase sun sensitivity – especially if you’re using retinol, Tretinoin, or Accutane. This is true, and is also why it is extremely important to use a topical antioxidant and sunscreen if you use vitamin a. Even better, if you’re planning on getting sun exposure, don’t use a chemical exfoliant! If you’re trying to avoid pigmentation, back off the AHAs and retinols and move to a more gentle exfoliant.

    Aside from using chemical exfoliants when necessary, or dialing back how strong the chemical exfoliant you use is, another aspect of prevention is keeping the epidermis as thick as possible. As alluded to earlier, keeping the epidermis thick will maintain an even appearance. Imagine the epidermis as a blanket that is laying over a messy floor. The thicker this blanket is, the less likely you are able to notice any inconsistencies from underneath. The opposite is true if the blanket is thin like a cheesecloth. The skin is an interconnected organ, and if the epidermis becomes too thin it can lead to water loss and stubborn discoloration. The image above shows a thick epidermis on top versus a thin epidermis on bottom. The texture is visible on the thin epidermis, which allows for pooling of melanin to occur, as well as premature signs of aging. Just a reminder - our bodies are 70% water, our cells use this to live, and not being able to contain water in our skin leaves it fragile. At Bellini’s, our summer facials are focused on hydration, as well as infusing the skin with lots of antioxidants, lightening uneven pigmentation, and mitigating UV damage and inflammation. 

    Our Exfoliant Suggestions

    If you have oily skin, try out the Phytomer Citylife Flash Peel, SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense, SkinCeuticals Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser, or SkinCeuticals Micro-exfoliating Cleanser

    If you have dry skin, try out the Yonka Guarana Scrub, Yonka Glyconight 10%, Phytomer Emergence, Phytomer Citylife Flash Peel, SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator, or SkinCeuticals Micro-exfoliating Cleanser

    If you have normal skin, try out the Yonka Glyconight 10%, Phytomer Resurfacing Peel, or SkinCeuticals Micro-exfoliating Cleanser

    If you have mature skin, try out the Vie Night Peel, Vie Renewing Exfoliating Cream, Vie Glyco10, Yonka Glyconight 10%, or SkinCeuticals Micro-exfoliating Cleanser

    All skin types can swap their chemical exfoliant for a manual one if needed. Try out Yonka's Guarana Scrub, Vie's Renewing Exfoliating Cream, or SkinCeuticals Micro-exfoliating Cleanser (in place of your cleanser).

    Switch Up Your Moisturizer

    The biggest impact in your skincare routine is your moisturizer. It is what stays on all day and often provides the greatest treatment to your skin, compared to the rest of your routine. This is where you will want to pick a moisturizer that targets the season’s aggressors, as well as being suitable for your skin type and age.

    Sometimes, people stick with using a moisturizer for years that may not be as suitable now for their skin now. Why is that? As we age, our skincare should change as well. Each decade of your life provides a new focus for your skincare, starting at 15 years old (check out our detailed age-related skin processes blog here). By not properly switching your skincare for each season, you deprive yourself of optimal aging and care.

    Throughout your life, we want to focus on keeping your skin as thick as possible. The density of your skin is something you are born with, and overtime your skin will naturally begin to decrease in thickness and volume. When your skin thins out is where signs of aging become more apparent. While this may sound bleak, the truth if you have much more agency in how your skin ages than you might think. By using proper skincare, you are taking control of your skin and will continue to see the beautiful skin you have always had. At Bellini's, we are always working to thicken your epidermis. With a combination of proper skincare and regular facials, you will be able to defy the hands of time. Keeping your skin as thick as it was in your youth not only retains the natural volume in your face, but it also reduces the likelihood of uneven pigmentation, early-onset wrinkles, and helps refill any existing wrinkles. By switching up your skincare with the season and season of your life, you will age gracefully and with vibrancy in your skin.

    In addition to the internal changes that happen, you have to defend yourself from the external aggressors of each season. In summer, the primary focus is UV damage as mentioned earlier. At Bellini's, we are dedicated to getting the right product on your skin at the right time for this reason. We want to support your skin with everything it needs, and by combining our knowledge of how old you age, what season it is, and which seasonal aggressors to defend against is where we will see the best results with our skincare.

    you will maintain a youthful glow and keep looking as young as you feel.

    As a rule of thumb, anyone with oily skin will lighten up everything in summer. Just like we generally eat lighter meals in summer (as in, not eating heavy stews as often as we might in the winter), we want to lighten up our skincare product weights. If you feel like you cannot switch to a different moisturizer for a similar reason to one listed above, we highly suggest reaching out to us for guidance. If you are in the Portland, Oregon, area, you are more than welcome to stop by and speak with one of our aestheticians or book a facial for immediate skin recovery assistance. Otherwise, give us a call, an email, or text with your questions and we will get started from there.

    You will want to change up your moisturizer the most. Whenever you finish a jar or bottle of one, try getting new science on your skin when you restock. Because moisturizers are so specific to each age range, skin type, and condition, we have broken down some product suggestions below. Unless otherwise noted, these moisturizers are for both day and night.

    Our Moisturizer Suggestions
    Oily Skin

    Pick one product (or two for day and night) below if you have oily skin...

    And are between 15-25

    And are between 25-35

    And are between 35-45

    And are between 45-55

    And are between 55-65+

    Very occasionally, mature skin may still contain some oil. In these cases, you may prefer to try Yonka's Elixir Vital serum.

    Dry Skin

    Pick one product (or two for day and night) below if you have dry skin...

    And are between 25-35

    And are between 35-45

    And are between 45-55

    And are between 55-65+

    Normal/Combination Skin

    Pick one product (or two for day and night) below if you have normal skin…

    And are between 25-35

    And are between 35-45

    And are between 45-55

    And are between 55-65+

     

    An additional layer to consider is whether you want to incorporate a serum into your routine in order to compensate for what your moisturizer does not do, such as targeting pigmentation with SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense. If you are in need of assistance, reach out to us directly so we can guide you. 

    The Benefits of Summer Facials

    After everything we have talked about, you may be feeling lost about what to do next. If that's the case, we highly encourage you to stop by Bellini's in person for a detailed skin analysis and facial. The majority of our front staff are aestheticians and can guide you to make the right skincare changes that are appropriate to you. That means you will have more beautiful, healthy, vibrant skin, and slow down the aging process.

    Facials are not just for hydrating the skin. The purpose of our facials at Bellini's varies by client skin type, skin condition, and age, so we create customized routines every time we see someone. You can read a little bit about our Glamtox facials and the products we use during them here. Keep in mind that this is a general outline of what can be used in a Glamtox, but the exact products chosen will vary for each client based on skin type, skin condition, age, and results sought after. 

    For summer, our facials primarily focus on inundating the skin with antioxidants, which greatly helps reduce the UV damage of the season. After a treatment like this, you will walk out with glowing skin, and will feel relaxed and pampered. Not only will your skin be better protected against external aggressors, but you will see a more even skin tone and texture.

    Antioxidants are able to reduce the number of free radicals in the skin, which occur as a result of UV damage. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that steal energy from healthy cells, causing oxidative stress. You can see this on your skin overtime, as glycation lines and slackening of the skin begin to accelerate the aging process. As a result of UV damage, free radicals activate enzymes to break down collagen and damage the DNA of a cell which causes premature aging. An example of skin slackening that you can see for yourself is in the eye and mouth regions. Over time, the skin that holds your eyebrows up begins to droop - as a result of skin slackening. You can also see this around the mouth, with naso-labial folds becoming more prominent and the development of jowls.

    By flooding the skin with antioxidants, we are able to reduce the likelihood of slackening and uneven pigmentation occurring. In addition, antioxidants help protect the skin from pollution (which aids in accelerating the aging process). Besides contributing to premature aging, oxidative stress can contribute to skin cancer formation as well. Our summer facials help to prevent pigmentation, glycation, and mitigate existing UV damage. You will notice a tightening effect along your jawline and eyes, as well as a more toned neck. Slackening of the skin pulls the rest of your face down, which contributes to people looking older. We can reduce this skin condition with our facials, and you will notice a more youthful appearance as well as more defined contours over time.

    Another focus for summer facials revolves around keeping your skin healthy and vibrant. As mentioned earlier, the accumulation of oil, humidity, sweat, and dirt can contribute to clogged pores and acne. For the complete breakdown of how acne develops, read our article about acne myths here

    Regardless of the time of year, getting regular facials not only keeps your skin healthy, but it also keeps your face defined. Much like how people's curves are more defined when they get regular body massages, the contours of your face will be more defined over time with the help of facials. The word contours refers to any part of your body that has a curve to it, such as your cheekbones, clavicle, orbital bone (eye sockets), and waist. In recent media, a hot topic involving facial contours involves the rise of buccal fat removal surgery. This removes a layer of fat inside the cheeks to provide a more contoured cheekbone, and removes the fullness in the cheeks that contributes to a youthful appearance. If you want the best of both worlds - having bouncy, plump skin in addition to defined contours - you should definitely consider regular facials.

    Your face is what makes you uniquely you. We want to support your skin to help you to feel your most beautiful self, and we believe that proper skincare makes the biggest difference in the long term. While we certainly are not opposed to injectables, we believe they can be done in moderation when paired with proper skincare and education. We want you to love the skin you're in, no matter what age.

    Our facials also focus on stimulating the ATP in your cells, which is the energy your cells need to carry out any function - from dissolving fat to creating collagen fibers. One reason facials keep your features defined is thanks to keeping the lymphatic system moving. Regularly assisting your lymphatic system with drainage will result in your contours being more defined over time, and will reduce the likelihood that your skin will become dull, puffy, or lacking overall definition. Our sophisticated treatment protocols offer proven results from the first treatment and combine efficiency, profitability and technical sophistication.

    In addition to the techniques we use, we also use products that support your skin for your age. For example, the skin’s natural hyaluronic acid production begins to slow in the twenties and dramatically decreases in the forties. With this in mind, we make sure to use products that boosts hyaluronic acid levels in all skin types, which in turn improves the appearance of firmness, smoothness and facial plumpness. You can learn more about the difference changes that occur in your skin in our age-related skin processes blog here.

    Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you will be able to balance your skin easier with a more simple routine. When you introduce too many variables, or harsh extremes, your skin is working not only to address its inherent concern, in addition to potential concerns you are introducing. Don’t use a canon to kill an ant, then you’ll have to fill in the hole. Most concerns can be addressed with a simplified routine appropriate for your skin. 

    Even if you only stop by to restock, we want you to get the most value for your money out of your skincare - and that means it has to work. We know there is a lot of information online, and it is confusing trying to synthesize all of the information. Even as professional aestheticians, we go to several trainings a year just to stay up to date and fully versed in each product. Because there are so many nuances, these trainings are essential to maintaining the standards we believe in. We spend countless hours researching, practicing, and learning, so we can only imagine how much less information everyday people have access to. That is part of the reason why we are so explicit in our blogs about how and why things work, and for who they work best for.  

    Remember, you can always pop in for a free skin consultation at Bellini's Skin and Parfumerie!

    Epidermis image from https://histologyguide.com//slideview/MH-088-skin/11-slide-1.html

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