Repair Sun-stressed Skin

summer skincare

Prevention is key when it comes to being out in the sun, however if you have spent a little too much time outside in the heat this weekend, there are many things you can do to repair the damage and rejuvenate. Dr. Justine Hextall, Dermatologist on behalf of The Harley Medical Group tells how:


“Sweating aggravates outbreaks of spots and the combination of sun creams and cosmetics plus sweats can lead to pimples on the face and body. Gentle cleansing is a must to remove all impurities – you need your skin barrier to be as healthy as possible so that it can retain vital moisture. As a rule of thumb if your skin feels tight after washing it is likely the cleanser you are using has disrupted your skin barrier. Skin should feel calm and hydrated after washing, if you are reaching immediately for your moisturiser you may want consider a more gentle cleanser. I like DermaQuest Essential Daily Cleanser and Cetaphil gentle wash.” (The Harley Medical Group, £30.50)


Sun exposure

“The effects of the sun can be seen as short term or acute effects and longer term damage. If we have too much sun our skin can become red, sore and once the inflammation has settled start to become dry and peel. Intense exposure to the sun will leave us with a tan, but also often with dry, flaky skin and uneven pigmentation that may takes weeks to settle.

If you have had too much sun exposure and your skin is feeling tight, there is a lot that can be done to rejuvenate skin. Topical creams and serums containing anti-oxidants such as vitamin C will help to repair skin damage. Topical treatments can become less effective with exposure to air and light however. An excellent treatment is skin boosters. This is a technique where hyaluronic acid (HA) is injected into the skin. This boosts the hydration to the skin, a bit like injecting a moisturizer into the deeper layers . The HA attracts water and maintains hydration. It really does give you back that glow.”



“Dehydration is also a big skin concern in the summer. Too much sun and dehydration can leave your skin and lips rough. Focus on hydrating the body with 6-8 glasses of water daily. In addition, try green juices, coconut water, herbal teas and green tea. Green tea is packed with antioxidants known to protect the skin against sun damage and lower inflammation.


Dehydrated skin tends to feel ‘tight’, can look quite dull and you might find your skin doesn’t heal too well (blemishes can take a while to disappear). Avoid using harsh, drying cleansers and astringent toners as when the skin’s fatty oils are removed the skin loses its protection and moisture is lost more easily. If you don’t already, use a hydrating serum which contains hyaluronic acid like DermaQuest’s Advance B5 Hydrating Serum.” (, £66)



“Alcohol affects your skin in many ways. We know for some even a small amount of alcohol can cause an exacerbation of the skin condition rosacea. Excessive alcohol however tends to cause flushing in most people, this dilates superficial vessels that often become fixed, otherwise known as visible thread veins. Alcohol, particularly when consumed excessively will act as a diuretic and cause dehydration. When the skin barrier is dry and inflamed we lose more water from skin and we notice our skin becomes sensitive and can start to flake.


Up your intake of Vitamin C for the subsequent days. Vitamin C is a valuable nutrient to help your liver detoxify alcohol. Coconut water is a great hydrating drink – rich in electrolytes sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which are depleted after a day of drinking. So before you go to bed try drinking a couple of glasses of coconut water to support detoxification”

For more skincare tips by Dr Hextall, see Stay Beautiful All Summer

Audrey Patterson

Having started my career at My Weekly on Real Life stories, for the past 8 years I have been Beauty and Fashion Editor. I also write Travel and Homes features, plus the odd book review. We’re a flexible team! I also write features for Your Best Ever Christmas covering a variety of topics.