A large proportion of sunburn happens early on in summer. So it's a good idea to start getting ready for the hot weather now to prevent damage to your complexion. "You need to prepare your skin for the sun prior to exposure, as free radicals (of which UV radiation is one of the largest creators) cause damage in around a tenth of a second," warns Dr Martin Rudolph, corporate vice president of research and development at Beiersdorf. "Free radicals are instantly killed by anti-oxidants, so, taken orally and applied topically every day, anti-oxidants offer skin a good protection level," he advises.
"A good routine is to eat anti-oxidants in fruits and vegetables (such as grapefruit, papaya and broccoli). They're found in these foods, as it’s how they protect themselves naturally from the sun. When these anti-oxidants are digested, they start to work internally,” explains Dr Rudolph. “You can also apply anti-oxidants to your skin – modified so they can be included in cosmetic products.” And, as your complexion repairs while you’re resting, Dr Rudolph says “it’s important to apply a cream in the evening that regenerates your skin, and that is full of anti-oxidants, so your skin can recharge and prepare for the next day”.
So you’ve boosted your anti-oxidant intake, but it’s important not to skimp on sun protection – and don’t just rely on your make-up. “In Australia, it’s a good idea to add a sunscreen,” says Dr Rudolph, who recommends Nivea Sun Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF 30, $10.99, as a weightless alternative for everyday wear. “Remember, you must keep reapplying every two hours to stay protected.”
Exfoliation is a simple way to smooth the skin’s surface from daily stressors, such as pollution, while reawakening it from winter hibernation. But it may make your complexion more prone to damage. “If you exfoliate your face regularly, you need to use a good sunscreen afterwards because your skin is more sensitive to UV rays after exfoliation,” says Dr Rudolph. Smooth with Palmer’s Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub, $9.99, then try a glow-boosting treat paired with sun protection thanks to La Prairie Cellular Radiance Emulsion with UV Filters, $665.
Repair: Prevage Face Advanced Anti-Aging Serum, from $195.
Boost: Blackmores Sustained Release Multi + Antioxidants, $15.45 for 31 tablets.
Brighten: La Prairie Cellular Radiance Emulsion with UV Filters, $665.
Cleanse: Ultraceuticals Gentle Cleansing Gel, $55.
Rest: Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer, $90.
Refresh: Dermalogica Antioxidant HydraMist, $70.Protect: Nivea Visage Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Tinted Day Cream SPF 15, $18.89.