The Singaporean weather can only be described with 3 letters: hot. While many foreigners enjoy the perpetual heat that permeates Singapore, many Singaporeans dread the constant summer all year round. We always joke that we have 3 seasons: hot, hotter, hottest. This is accurate during the middle of the year from June to August, where temperatures can reach up to 35 degrees Celsius. It is no wonder we love to travel to experience some semblance of cold temperatures and snow!
During this period of time, it is common to see changes in our skin - unfortunately, not many people realise that changes need to be made in order to keep your skin healthy and happy during the hotter season. Some changes we may see include sun damage, oilier and shinier skin, acne outbreaks, rashes, eczema and more.
1. Oilier skin and increased breakouts
When it is hot, your blood vessels dilate to increase blood glow to the skin - which allows excess heat to radiate away from your body. This leads to sweat and the evaporation of sweat to cool the skin and in turn, the whole body. This leads to dehydration.
However, dehydration can ironically cause your skin to increase sebum production to keep itself moisturised. The combination of both heat and humidity can also cause a slight elevation in the skin’s oil flow - which leads to more breakouts because the skin can become easily congested. This doesn’t just happen on the face - it can also lead to increase acne on the back and chest.
How your skin care routine should change to combat oilier skin in the hotter months:
If you experience oilier skin and acne outbreaks during the hotter months, it is important to check your moisturiser and make sure that it can help regulate sebum production while keeping your skin hydrated. If your skin is drier in the colder months and you start breaking out during the hotter months, you may need to use a moisturiser for combination to oily skin during those months to keep your skin in check.
Increase your mask and exfoliation routine to 3 to 4 times a week - this helps encourage cell turnover and gets rid of dead skin to prevent clogged pores so that acne outbreak is reduced. Make sure that you include a clay mask in your skin care routine during the hotter months so that it can absorb excess sebum. We love the 68 D’Tox Purifying Mask to keep your skin looking radiant and smooth - it contains horseradish extract, so the skin can feel spicy and hot during application. This is totally fine as the mask absorbs excess sebum and impurities from the skin to tighten the pores and keep it looking beautiful.
Wash your skin more regularly - even if you are working at home. This ensures that the oil on your skin doesn’t get trapped in the pores and your skin cells are kept refreshed during the day. This is even more vital if you sweat a lot during the day.
Side note: the hotter months can mean increased application of sunblock. This can lead to increased acne outbreaks if you don’t cleanse the skin thoroughly - as the name suggests, sunblock blocks the sun from your skin. This means that it acts as an adhesive to prevent UV rays from entering the skin and not washing it off thoroughly can suffocate the skin and lead to clogged pores, rough skin and more pimples.
2. Sun damage and premature ageing
Too much sun, especially without proper sun protection care, can damage your skin’s moisture barrier. This leads to lost elasticity, dryness, sunburns and even the formation of pigmentation. Your skin may not feel hot or appear red, but your skin can experience sun damage in the form of skin peeling, soreness or tightness and sensitivity to skin care products that contain acid.
Take note if you love the sun and sea: getting tanned is not just a look you want to achieve. Tan skin tone comes from deepened pigment on the skin and occurs as a result of your body trying to protect itself from UV damage. This is far from healthy, and in fact, it is seriously bad for the skin. After being exposed to UVA (ageing) and UVB (burning) rays, your skin may appear reddened and more swollen - and this means that there is moisture loss from your skin cells.
Your skin cells may then start to thicken while producing melanin (what we see as tan) to stop the UV rays going deeper down into the skin where they can damage the DNA in our cells. This can result in hypo- or hyper-pigmentation. This is the formation of irregular light or dark patches on the skin. In the long run, the skin becomes looser and lacks elasticity due to the breakdown of critical dermal proteins. This can lead to premature ageing in the form of saggy and dull skin that lacks elasticity, age spots and wrinkles.
How your skin care routine should change to combat sun damage in the hotter months:
Always put on a good sunscreen that is not oily and greasy on the skin so that it can protect the skin without clogging your pores. Many people dread putting on sunblock because of the greasy texture, potential white streaks when you sweat or just an unpleasant scent. We love the Maria Galland 97 Daily Protection Veil SPF50+ for its featherlight texture and nude coverage that gives your skin a beautiful smooth finish. Your skin will thank you for a good sunblock!
Take proper care after sun exposure: use a serum and moisturiser that can counteract pigmentation by blocking the synthesis of melanin in the skin after a day out in the sun. For us, the D-521 Alpha-Arbutin Serum is a must as it counteracts uneven pigmentation by blocking the epidermal melanin biosynthesis and even out irregular skin tone. It also refines the complexion and supplies moisture to the skin, as sun exposure can dry the skin out.
Avoid products and treatments with acid as it can burn the skin if it has suffered from sun damage. It can even increase sensitivity to the sun - acids essentially exfoliate the skin to reveal the younger layers of the skin, which is more vulnerable to sun damage.
3. Increased perspiration (and worse if you have poor hygiene habits!)
It gets so hot during the middle of the year in Singapore - and walking out to get lunch, or just working from home without air-conditioning can lead to a sweaty day for your skin. Sweat is a combination of water, toxins, salt and minerals to the skin’s surface, and without regular showers to keep the skin clean and bacteria free, this can lead to acne, skin rashes and even trigger eczema.
How your skin care routine should change to combat increased perspiration in the hotter months:
Shower regularly if you are able to with a good, non-drying soap to keep your skin refreshed, clean and hydrated. If you shower frequently with a drying soap without moisturising your skin, this can dry your skin out and lead to rashes or eczema on the body. Our body soap of choice is the 415 Comfort Shower Gel that contains algae, caffeine and vitamins to improve the skin’s microcirculation and awakens the body without drying it out.
Scrub not just your face, but your body at least once a week. This removes dead skin cell from your skin and reduces acne outbreaks from clogged pores. Eczema also occurs as a result of excessive dead skin on the body - so doing this is essential to healthy skin. The 412 Body Smoothing Scrub contains samphire and sunflower oil to soothe and care for the skin with its gentle exfoliation particles so that it does not irritate the skin while effectively removing dead skin cells. It leaves the skin feeling silky smooth and smells heavenly floral and fruity.