Aloe sunshine: skincare routines for summer

Until recently I thought I had a skin-care routine but apparently splashing water on my face twice daily doesn’t count. My most glamourous housemate almost fainted when I told him I used a cosmetic wipe ‘when I was feeling fancy’. Since then, I’ve been exploring affordable skin-care products available at local drug stores – these recommendations range between £0.99 – £5.99. While I’m clearly no dermatologist, I hope both naked faces and those brave enough to battle foundation in 30 degree heat can read this and find something worth trying… or at least learn from my mistakes.

It turns out sunscreen is a daily necessity during the summer months, even if it’s breezy and cool outside you are still going to burn. In fact, harsh winds can contribute to painful burns on your skin so it’s important to find a factor that works for you and apply it religiously. The importance of sunscreen will be obvious to most people, but I learnt it the hard way last summer after a breezy day at Hunstanton Beach. I tried Savlon and Aveeno cream but neither soothed my angry skin. My saviour was Banana Boat Aloe Vera Gel. It cools burns, offering instant relief and softens skin to kickstart the healing process. It’s a great alternative if you don’t own your own aloe plant at home.

I avoid exfoliating face-masks in summer. Yes, exfoliants leave skin feeling soft and the fruity ones smell amazing, but sun-damage puts pressure on your skin and the extent of it isn’t always noticeable until the next day. It’s not a great idea to aggravate your skin in general and doing so in hot weather is only going to make you feel more uncomfortable. Try a cooling additive mask instead – Manuka honey is a firm favourite of mine as my skin dries easily in hot weather and honey is a fantastic moisturiser. You can buy a range of peel-off masks from Superdrug, all of which are cruelty-free.

I’m a very light sleeper, especially in hot weather so I’m always open to ideas on how to cool my skin before bed. My friend recommended I buy a ‘jade-roller’ facial massager. The jade is supposed to have its own spiritual connotations, but if you’re not into crystal healing I can ascertain that it does seem to have had a positive effect on my under-eye swelling. There’s no way it’s so incredible that charging £40 for one is justifiable, but it does feel lovely and cool on my skin. Mine was £3 from Tiger. It didn’t come with a Goop branded drawstring bag, but hey-ho.

I often use my jade-roller with facial wash and pretend I’m fancy enough to know what it’s like to go to an actual spa. It forces me to take the time to properly clean my skin, rather than reach for a cosmetic wipe and leave the bathroom before the word ‘self-care’ enters my head. I use the Pink Grapefruit facial wash from Superdrug’s tea tree skin-care range. It’s long-lasting, gentle on sensitive skin and smells great as it foams up. I’m filling my bathroom cabinet with fruity masks and gels to get excited for summer and my skin has never been so happy!


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Anna Deas

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January 2022
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