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5 ways to stay healthy and radiant on your summer hols

Before you head off on your trip, make sure you know how to care for your skin

5 ways to stay healthy and radiant on your summer hols

It’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when packing for your trip: you’ve got your factor 30, your favourite sunnies and eco-swimwear, so you’re sorted, right? Wrong! It’s so important to care for your skin, particularly in the sunny destinations where we spend our summer getaways. Luckily, Dr Mervyn Patterson, Cosmetic Doctor at Woodford Medical (, has shared five things to bear in mind when packing your products…

1. Antioxidants

We all know we need to wear sunscreen, but look for ones that contain ‘biologicals’; antioxidants that protect against both UVA (ageing) and UVB (burning). Antioxidants help to absorb unwanted free radicals and prevent harmful inflammation – this helps to keep the skin youthful. The best way to prevent sunburn is by applying one or two layers of broadspectrum SPF50 sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapplying every two hours.

2. Hydration

Aside from applying SPF, it is also extremely important to keep skin hydrated. Packing moisturiser for your holiday is necessary to keep it from getting dry due to UV exposure. And remember to drink the recommended two litres of water each day, if not more, when exposed to the sun for long periods.

3. Multi-use products

Many people switch to a lighter moisturiser in the summer as it soaks into the skin quickly without leaving a greasy residue. Having a heavy, thick moisturiser (like you would use in the winter) can get uncomfortable in the heat, and it can also block your pores. Simple, light, multitasking products can be beneficial here, as they help to strengthen and protect the skin barrier, whilst hydrating and soothing the skin.

4. Vitamin overload

Try and avoid the marketing hype that surrounds adding excessive levels of vitamins C or A, or high levels of any single vitamin for that matter, to your skincare. Think instead of balanced cell nutrition, using the whole range of vitamins that skin cells need to thrive. It’s well-worth looking at how you can get exactly what your skin needs in one product. Vitamin A in the form of retinol, retinal and retinoic acid, and multiple forms of vitamins B, C, D and E, can all now be delivered in one serum to effectively combat oxidation, without overloading the skin with unhelpful and potentially irritating high vitamin concentrations.

5. Heatwave Horrors

Heat rash, bug bites, itchy skin – these are all part of the summertime. However, they are also preventable. You can avoid heat rash by ensuring you wear lightweight, breathable fabrics in the heat. Itchiness can be caused due to dryness, and flaky arms and legs in hotter climates are actually more common than you think. There are several factors to be aware of that can cause dry skin in the summer, like dehydration from swimming in the pool or sea, and air conditioning. After a day in the sun, be sure to apply body cream or an after-sun lotion post-shower