With the first real peep of the sun comes all the lovely stuff that if we’re lucky – will see us through to September. Eating al fresco and swimming dans Lido and late afternoon boozing sur l’herbe (not to mention sweating your ollies off on the tube) all mean dehydrated skin. Here are a few tips for a wet hot summer…
words John William
photography David Oldham
Hyaluronic acid is the natural sponge in your skin. I’m calling it ‘The Mary Poppins Bag Molecule’ because like the nanny’s tardis-ian accessory, it really is a hold-all. But rather than a spoon full of sugar and the kitchen sink, a Hyaluronic acid molecule holds 1000 times its own weight in water. Hyaluronic acid is what makes skin look full and juicy and when used as an injectable filler, it plumps up the skin to reduce lines and scarring. When used on top the skin in a cream, the molecule is too large to get into the dermis (so it doesn’t inherently change wrinkle structures) but it acts as a fantastic welcome mat for hydration: drawing moisture in from the air rather than from your own deeper layers of dermis. This is the first step of Sisley’s Hydra-Global Serum Anti-Aging Hydration Booster, launched today. To say it does what it says on the tin is a bit of an understatement. Hydra-Global is about “autonomous hydration” – retraining the skin to take in water and circulate it deep down in the layers of your skin.
Blue agave yeast and carob bean are the actives in Sisley’s serum, promoting the production and renewal of ‘The Mary Poppins Bag Molecule.’ Wild pansy extract (the active ingredient used across the Hydra-Global range) helps with the transportation of water through the skin and the carob bean (along with edelweiss extract) help retain this boosted, circulated moisture making the skin watertight. Hydra-Global Serum is best used before a moisturiser or SPF and because of its focus on hydration (rather than moisturising the surface) it is great for oily or pimple prone skin, feeling nice and light with a watery texture. I’m the sort of person who can’t stand to wear anything in the heat (never mind a face cream) and this one feels like your face is going commando.
Another product launched this year with hydration at heart is Chanel’s Hydra Beauty Micro Liquid Essence. What the hell is a micro liquid? Well basically it looks like a Prosecco jelly in the bottle: thousands of miniature bubbles frozen. These are “micro-droplets” that hold pure camellia (cold-extracted stem cells from the flower’s petals) that pop all over the skin. 5 drops massaged into the skin in the morning are a great start to the day – offering hydration and protection. This is another product that feels great on the skin especially for my fellow facial nudists. To combat seasonal dehydration (same as the Sisley serum) you could just shove a bit of this on and go, or start with it then layer on top your daily moisturiser. The jelly contains antioxidant blue ginger which paired with the camellia bubbles made my skin feel brightly awake, and after a hot day running around town in and out of ubers and up and down tube escalators … my skin felt far less stressed out than usual.
Something for the end of the day, great for skin that feels a bit frazzled is Sensai’s two step cleansing products from their Saho range. Inspired by the etiquette of the Japanese tea ceremony, Saho is about doing the right things with the right way in the right order (double cleansing, double moisturising and double application.) Sensai cosmetics use Koishimaru Silk which helps with the production of hyaluronic acid – so fantastic for hydration. The Silky Purifying cleansers are soothing but unlike a lot moisturizing cleansers (the sort that are often pearlescent with a texture more like Pantene shampoo) my face felt thoroughly cleaned rather than coated in a layer of product. The different steps come in a range of textures – oils, creams, mud soaps; but I have been using the Step 1 Cleansing Cream, that gets rid of make up, sun tan lotion and oil (Step 1 only necessary in the evening) and Step 2 Milky Soap, that cleanses the dirt, sweat and dead cells. Nourishing, effective and not at all drying.
Remember hydration is not about moisturising the surface, it is about getting water deep into your skin. So this summer when you are enjoying your Jackie Collins, Lageritas and lilos make sure you’re still chugging back at least two or three litres of water a day.