The ultimate summer beauty routine

The mercury's rising, the days are drawing out and our holiday wardrobe is at the ready. But before we all head out into the sun, it's a good idea to get a firm beauty regime in place to keep our skin happy in the hotter weather.

Sunny days, pools, beaches and swimming are synonymous with fun holidays. But while kicking back in the sunshine is good for the spirits, it can wreak havoc with poorly prepared skin. To avoid any damage, switch to a routine that will help to protect and replenish your skin in the long run. 

Protection is everything

When the sun is shining, the first thing to do is protect the skin from UV rays. While they're not the enemy, and actually provide a healthy dose of essential vitamin D, overexposure is a disaster that leads to burns, accelerated ageing and even skin cancer. Apply an SPF daily (make sure that yours protects from both UVA and UVB rays) and don't forget to apply it your neck and ears too; these areas are often forgotten but can still get burnt. Top it up regularly throughout the day and seek shade between midday and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest. Help to undo any damage and dryness caused by excessive sun exposure with a nourishing face mask; look for soothing and hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera, calamine, honey and hyaluronic acid, which will help your skin to hang onto moisture.

Cleanse thoroughly

Even if you wear little or no make-up, your skin will still need its daily cleanse (especially if you've been in the pool or sea ; salt and chlorine can be very irritating and drying). Cleansing skin both morning and night with a gentle product that won't strip the skin is vital. If your skin is especially sensitive or dry, try a cleansing oil for a nourishing and gentle cleanse. After cleansing, a spritz of thermal water or floral essence will help to soothe skin and any moisture will be locked in by your face cream or lotion.

Summer make-up tricks

Try using more lightweight make-up in the hot weather; not only will it look more natural, it's also less likely to clog up your skin. Switch your foundation to a BB cream and dust with a lightweight powder to mattify. Then, just add a little bronzer, mascara and lip balm (try to go for an SPF version, if you can) and you're good to go !