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“Mmm, sweaty skin,” said no one. Ever. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for heat and sun (anything that injects some life into our ghostly post-lockdown faces), but clammy, sweaty, greasy skin? Not so much. So, what do you do when summer sends your skin into full-on meltdown mode? Well, before you go back into isolation, Hip & Healthy is here to save the day and to help you put your best face forward during the summer months.

First things first, and that’s understanding why sweating is an important function, and what exactly that means for your skin. “Sweating is a crucial function of healthy skin and is what our skin uses to cool our body down. In fact, regular sweat-inducing exercise has been shown to have a positive anti-ageing effect on the skin and sweat is crucial for helping to balance the microbiome as it helps to decrease levels of harmful bacteria”, explains leading aesthetic expert, Dr. Sophie Shotter. “But sweat is also an irritant if allowed to settle in your pores as it contains ammonia and urea. Heat and sweat together also provide a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and blocked sweat glands can contribute to conditions like prickly heat”. Not what we want.

So, stop sweaty skin from sabotaging your summer with these top tips, tricks, and product picks.

Clever Cleansing
As Shotter advises, you always want to “thoroughly cleanse after any sweat-inducing activity”, whether that’s going for a run in the sun or braving the tube in 30-degree heat. It’s also a good idea to wash your face before you know it’s going to get sweaty, as this ensures there are no impurities on your skin that can mix with sweat and clog your pores (lovely).

For the ultimate way to ensure your skin is squeaky clean, double cleanse. Start with a cleanser that breaks down and melts off oil-based impurities such as makeup, pollutants, SPF, and surface grease. Oils and balms are perfect for this as they attract greasy particles and dissolve them without stripping skin of its own hydrating oils.

Next, it’s time to remove water-based impurities (such as sweat) and to ensure skin is deep-down clean with no bad stuff left behind. Whether you opt for a foam or a gel, a cream or a balm, just make sure you take the time to gently work it into skin before rinsing it off thoroughly. 

Top tip: Cleanse with a muslin cloth to really get in there for a deeper clean.

Scrub Up
“Regularly exfoliate to reduce dead skin cell build up, which again reduces the potential for pores to become clogged”, recommends Shotter. Exfoliating helps with everything, including giving you back your glow, evening tone, and – you guessed it – combatting the negative effects of sweat. By preventing build-up in your pores, dirt and bacteria are effectively removed, meaning a clearer complexion on event the hottest and most humid of days.

Remember that over-exfoliating does more harm than good, so be gentle (especially if you’re using a physical exfoliant) and don’t exfoliate more than once a week.

Lighten Up
You wouldn’t wear your chunky wooly knit in the height of summer, so just as you switch-up your wardrobe, so too should you switch-up your skincare in the heat. “Use lightweight non-comedogenic products if you know you’re going to be sweating, as they will help to minimise clogged pores”, recommends Shotter. Non-comedogenic basically means it’s been formulated to not block pores, which is good news all round when sweat makes an appearance. 

And don’t forget about a good lightweight moisturiser – especially after all that extra cleansing!

words by Frankie Rozwadowska


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