Is skincare all a bit too science-y for ya liking? You’re not on your tod there! Between acids and antioxidants, scrubs and serums, it can be hard to know what you should be looking out for in the products you choose. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of Olay Principal Scientist Dr Frauke Neuser – cue collective admiration – to help us help you with your summer skincare…

Dr Frauke Neuser head shot

The facts

Soft, supple skin, which looks like the work of gods, is what everyone wants. Anything that’s gonna give a youthful glow and help bump up that beauty factor is a must – but the sun isn’t one of ’em. According to Olay’s research, in a study called Hang On Heatwave, We’re Still Not Sun Smart! (May 2018), it’s estimated that a mahoosive 80% of the visible signs of ageing skin is caused by UV exposure. You’d think we’d all be protecting ourselves from these rays like the plague, right? Well, a whopping third of women in the UK are still skipping SPF in their skincare routines. Shocking? Not really, when you consider that 45% of gals are still confused about how – and when – to protect themselves from the sun.

All we can say is, save us, Dr Neuser! How can we ensure a successful summer skincare switch-up?

SPF

The Big Daddy of summer skincare is SPF. In Britain, it’s easy for us to write off being stringent with our sun protection. The sun’s shining one minute and gone the next, so do we really need it? Yes, yes, we do! UV rays still penetrate clouds, so SPF shouldn’t just be for baking-hot sunny days. Applying an SPF should be a daily to-do on the skincare checklist, so invest in a moisturiser with built-in sun protection. Olay Total Effects Moisturiser SPF30 Anti-Ageing Moisturiser is a wonder worker and Dr Neuser’s top product recommendation. ‘I’m fair-skinned,’ she says, ‘so I like to use an SPF30 with vitamin B3 and antioxidants. This is the perfect product.’ Despite being packed with all that summer skincare goodness, the formula is surprisingly fast-absorbing and not greasy at all. We’ll take it!

Olay Olay Total Effects Moisturiser SPF 30, 50 ml £9.99 Buy Now

Vitamin B3

Also known as niacinamide, vitamin B3 is one of the key ingredients you should be looking out for when shopping for summer skincare. This anti-ageing superstar, which Dr Neuser tells us ‘strengthens skin and helps to prevent sun damage’, can be found in B. Nourished Advanced Serum. Our expert also assures us that ‘lighter lotions and serums are ideal in the hot weather and also work best under makeup’, so this one’s defs got WINNER written all over it.

B. B. Nourished Advanced Serum 30ml £7.69 Buy Now

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are great pretty much in any skincare product, but they’re super-helpful for summer skincare. They help fight free radicals, protecting your skin cells from the inside out from oxidative damage. They also help repair the skin, if sun damage has occurred, by encouraging blood flow. But which ones are the best for our skin, we hear you ask. Dr Neuser calls out vitamin E, vitamin C and green tea extract, so keep your eyes peeled for these babies on the ingredients lists of the products you choose. Superdrug stocks its own extensive Vitamin C and Vitamin E ranges, and if you’re looking for a moisturiser with a light formula, Vitamin C Gel Moisturiser is one we can’t get enough of!

Superdrug Superdrug Vitamin C Gel Moisturiser 75ml £4.99 Buy Now

Glycerine

We then asked Dr Neuser to tell us about the best formulas for refreshing our skin after a summer of sun exposure. ‘Moisture is key!’ she says. Gotcha, Dr. What’s next? ‘Steer clear of heavy oils and creams and, instead, focus on products with lighter textures and with glycerine among the ingredients.’ Glycerine is an emollient, which means it helps to keep your skin feeling baby smooth and soft to the touch – great! Where can we find it? e.l.f Hydrating Water Essence applied morning and night will help to get this magic ingredient into your system.

e.l.f. e.l.f. Hydrating Water Essence 150ml £11.99 Buy Now

Oil control

And what about those of us with oily skin? How do we slay the slick in the summer heat? Well, Dr Neuser insists that we cleanse twice a day with gentle formulas. ‘I prefer foam cleansers or oil-in-water emulsions to rich creams and balms,’ she says. We’d recommend removing any makeup and grime with Garnier Micellar Oil Infused Cleansing Water and then giving your skin a second cleanse with Simple Vital Vitamin Foaming Cleanser. Thorough, helpful and gentle… tick, tick, tick! Oh, and if you notice any excess shine on your face during the day, Dr Neuser’s top tip is to skip the powder and use blotting papers to mattify the skin.

Simple Simple Kind to Skin Vital Vitamin Foaming Cleanser £2.39 Buy Now
Garnier Garnier Micellar Water Oil Infused 400ml £3.99 Buy Now
Deep Action Superdrug Deep Action Mattifying Shine Control Papers £2.99 Buy Now