How to maintain a radiant complexion during the summer.

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With summer in full swing, lets pause for a moment and review some skincare commandments of the season to help you keep your skin soft, smooth and beautiful. There are the usual rules of wearing sunscreen and moisturizing—we all know those and although they deserve to be repeated, I want to focus on something else: photosensitivity in the skin.

What is photosensitivity?

Photosensitivity is defined as being extremely sensitive to the sun, resulting in unfavorable reactions such as sunburn, redness, itchiness and peeling. Thankfully most of us don’t deal with this on a regular basis because we have healthy skin and we wear sunscreen. Yet, often photosensitivity is caused by certain skin care ingredients that can make the dermis vulnerable to sun damage and trigger other sensitivity symptoms.

What common ingredients cause photosensitivity?

Although ingredients such as vitamin C and retinol are great for targeting certain problem skin concerns, such as hyperpigmentation and superficial aging (in the form of fine lines and wrinkles), when used during the summer when sun exposure is at an extra high, they can actually contribute to irreversible damage to the skin.

Sun Friendly Skin Products:

Just because the sun makes us sensitive to retinol, glycolic acid and other corrective actives, doesn’t mean we have to abandon our skin care goals during the warmer months! Rather, many products now exist with sun friendly actives that prevent the nasty consequences of photosensitivity from occurring. Here are my favourites:

15 07 10 photosensitivity 11. Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting ($79, Caudalie spas and caudalie.ca): In contrast to vitamin C, this oil-free Serum from Caudalie rich in polyphenol and resveratol acts as an anti-inflammatory by decongesting the skin, preventing lines and reducing dark spots without the risk of hyperpigmentation. The serum inhibits UV rays and free radicals that attack melanocytes and produce pigmentation. After continued use the naturally occurring pigment known as melanin in our skin is produced more evenly. Your skin will look radiant and beautiful no matter how hard the sun beats down on you!

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2. Bioderma Sebium AKN Anti-aging, resurfacing, purifying care ($26.95, drugstores): No matter how old we get, acne in the form of hormonal or occasional breakouts due to an oily complexion is a constant battle. This serum combines citric, lactic and salicylic acid, three kinds of acid that are safe for use in the sun in order to target breakouts, comedones and blackheads in contrast to glycolic acid that often results in sun sensitivity. The serum also works to smooth skin texture and improve radiance.