I live for summer nights. But I really, really hate the heat. And what has worsened my sweaty, uncomfortable, sensitive skin is actually the air quality. I live in British Columbia and it is currently engulfed in wildfires. Thankfully I’m in an area that’s not highly affected; however, you can escape the fire, but not the smoke. Although wildfires is a heartbreaking part of every summer, this year it has been worse and I’ve had to adjust my summer night routine to account for the extra dryness and smoke.
First off, I know that skin issues are hardly the biggest concern since some people are losing their home to fires. What makes it even more difficult to process is that some fires are preventable but there are always the people who start fires/throw out cigarettes even in the middle of a drought in an area full of trees. However, I want to share how I’m dealing with the heat and un-fun, unexpected skin issues that have come with it.
I know this is an unpopular opinion but summer is my least favourite season You would think that Winter would be the most difficult time for my skin but it’s actually summer. Between not being able to sleep at night due to the heat to heat rashes and eczema prone skin – here’s my ultimate guide to a killer summer night routine (trust me, I’ve tried and failed many other things):
Okay so the first thing I’m going to start with creating an effective night routine is motivation. Because raise your hand if you come home from work and just crash on your couch watching Netflix until you realize it’s past your bedtime and you’ve accomplished exactly zero. Because that’s me….every. single. night. Well may be not every night, but a decent portion of them. So to kick off my Summer Routine Guide, I’m going to start with my trick for staying motivated:
Washing My Face
I know this sounds strange, but the act of splashing water of my face actually wakes me up. And it is really necessarily on those long summer nights because the heat makes me useless. Heat makes me feel lazy and wants me to do nothing but sit on my couch, watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls and cooking competitions until – omg! I realize it’s almost midnight and I should be getting ready for bed having accomplished nothing for the night.
I usually try to wash my face at least once, two hours before bedtime (which for me is around 8pm-9pm) but I try and do this as many times as I need too. If I come home from a long day of work and feel the need to just crash on my couch, I wash my face. Trick though is to use a gentle cleanser though because if you use something too strong it will strip your face of oils and that’s not where we are going with this.
I am the queen of bad skin reactions to new products. I’m always super hesitant to try any kind of new cleanser because I find most of them to be incredibly harsh and abrasive. So my go-to cleanser is the Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel from Bosica. It’s a gel cleanser so it’s incredibly hydrating and super gentle on my skin, a perfect start to my night routine.
This trick can be used of course with only water if you do not need to wash your face often! But like I mentioned before, the smoke from the wildfires takes a toll on my skin and there’s micro dust and ash in the air. I like to wash my face a lot with cleanser but this is completely up to your needs. I will also note that I don’t wear very much make up at all and certainly not at home. So this may depend on your preferences but usually, when I get home for work, I like to wash off make up if I’m wearing it, and change into my sweats asap.
Note: I know that Boscia is really expensive and I’m currently experimenting with the drugstore.
I’ll admit, I’m one of those people that have never prioritized self-care. I always thought of it as this unnecessary and almost selfish, narcissistic use of time. However, as a part of my 2018 goals, I’m really starting to prioritize self-care and make the time for it. And a huge part of that is actually my skin-care routine. I’m just going to start off by saying not only do I have very sensitive skin that reacts to everything, but I also have eczema. So my when my skin breaks out, it really breaks out. It’s taken me some time (and a lot of doctor appointments) to figure out what works for me.
I’ve tried a few toners and micellar waters throughout the years and the one that I cannot live with it is Bioderma Sensibio H2O Miceller Solution ($22 CAD). I actually physically see a difference when I do not use it, and that comes in the form of pimples. Bioderma has been a lifesaver for me. It’s highly reviewed and I dab it on a cotton pad right after my cleanser before I start with the serums and creams in my night routine. It’s also a makeup remover (although not the strongest one I’ve ever used) so it get’s off any residual make up as well.
My favourite bottle is the one with the pump at the top. It’s a little more difficult to find but it’s so easy to just place a cotton pad on top and not waste any product. However, the one that comes is the regular bottle is usually less expensive so I buy that kind and just refill the pump bottle version.
Serums and Creams
I’ve experimented with a few serums before and I hate saying, because it’s so damn expensive, but the best serum/cream combination I have ever used by far is Sunday Riley. Last year I bought the Sunday Riley Luna Oil and Good Genes Cream in a holiday bundle during the Sephora VIB sale and oh my goodness it was this incredible transformation.
I’d heard a lot about them on YouTube but thought it might be just too overhyped.
Nope. It’s overhyped because it works.
Especially that Good Genes cream, I use it only sparingly on areas of my face where I have scaring from dry patches or sits and it makes a world of difference. I once had a really bad eczema break out on my arms as well that ended up getting infected. I used exzema cream (hydrocortisone) and antiboiotic cream to get rid of the infection but used Good Genes to heal my skin after and it worked like a charm. Seriously, that’s magic cream.
I’ve used the Khiel’s night Recovery Oil as well. But for my dry skin, I like the Luna oil more due to its thick consistency, I find it more hydrating.
Other night creams I swear by are:
- CeraVe Moisturizer ($24.99)
- This was recommended to me by a doctor. I used to just use St. Ives or Gold Bond but it wasn’t enough. This moisterizer really works and I use it as a body cream. I didn’t know this but for anyone who also has eczema, CerVe actually has a whole line dedicated to people with eczema. I will be trying their line next.
- Neutrogena Naturals Acne Spot Treatment Gel for Breakouts, with Salicylic Acid ($9.99 CAD)
- This is my zit cream and it does work, but it works best before the zit is fully grown. When I start feeling that zit on my face (usually because I ate too much chocolate or soda pop), I put this cream on to nip it in the bud.
- Laneige Eye Cream ($46 CAD)
- This is newer into my skincare routine, and I will admit, it’s alright. I haven’t noticed a massive difference, but to be fair, I don’t notice big changes in any of the eye creams I’ve used. I think that’s because I did too much damage in rubbing my eyes too much when I was younger, but it’s okay.
- Laniege Lip Mask ($24 CAD)
- This, this is like holy grail status along with the Good Genes cream. For years, I’ve suffered from dry lips and tried literally everything. Different lip balms, oils, remedies, everything and nothing works like Laneige. It’s also something that’s highly reviewed on YouTube and for a good reason. It’s incredible.
- Bosica Overnight Mask ($34 USD)
- I like to alternate between serums and a mask and overnight masks are a great way to do a mask, without having to wait for it to dry. You just put it on overnight and wash it off in the morning. It’s a really convenient way to hydrate my skin and I get to wake up with super soft skin the next morning.
Surviving the Heat
Okay so now that skincare is done, it’s almost time for bed. And I am someone that has trouble sleeping through the heat. The most effective ways I found to counteract this is to fight fire with ice:
Having an ice cold shower as a part of a night routine is not only super refreshing, I’ve learned that it’s also good for my skin. I love hot showers but hot water for eczema-prone skin actually makes it worse. Hot water strips the skin of natural oils to cause flare ups as noted by Health.com.
My apartment doesn’t have central a/c, I do have a small portable machine in my bedroom. And while air conditioning seems like a must in these conditions, I do actually try to limit my a/c for a few reasons. I have the very unpopular opinion that too much a/c is not only expensive, but it’s actually bad for you. I understand that there are many places in the world that require a/c, my family is from Vietnam and yes, you would die there without it. However, especially in comparison to a lot of other countries, I don’t feel like I need a/c which is why I don’t use it.
- It makes me sick. Constantly going from too hot to too cold takes a toll on my body and it there is such a thing as a “too cool” apartment in the summer.
- I don’t want to become dependent on it. I don’t use a/c unless I feel it’s absolutely necessary mostly because I don’t want to not be able to tolerate being outside, or god forbid, if I’m in a place without a/c and I explode with frustration.
- It wastes a lot of energy. Running an a/c machine all day/night is takes a lot of electricity.
How I use it:
Instead of turning on the a/c all night (which is absolutely the easiest way to get a cold in the summer), I just use it as necessary to cool the room down. I will turn it on for about 10 mins as I’m getting ready for bed, and then once the room is cool, I’ll switch-over to a fan if necessary. It makes the world of difference without using a/c.
I hope this was helpful for anyone out there with sensitive skin and also facing issues with the heat. Like I said in the beginning, this in no way berates the awful things happening in BC right now, but I’m too hot to right about anything else.
Cheers to the end of Summer,