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May 11, 2021 3 min read

Before we dive into summer skin essentials, let’s debunk what we mean by ‘summer skin’: it means having your skin be moisturised, juicy, and breakout-free, even in the summer heat.

We all want to look our best while also enjoying a little exposure to UV lights here and there! But sun damage, sweating, and dryness can all contribute to us choosing to hermit at home until we see some clouds.

About Iona Francis and her skin care journey

We spoke to Iona, the face behind @sparklesandskin. Her content takes you into the world of glowing, healing and protected skin. Iona shares her skincale rituals, bathroom essentials and what you need to prepare for the warmer weather and sunnier days. 

Tell us about yourself, Iona!

I’m a skincare blogger who only recently went full time with it! I started out working in finance, which I hated. Then, I moved to work at a PR Agency and now I’m a content creator full time!

How did you get into skincare, and what is your favourite part of it?

I’ve been into skincare since I was about 13 because I had quite bad acne and was constantly searching for a solution. Over the years, what brands have to offer has expanded rapidly so naturally my interest did too.

Now my mission is no longer just to fix my acne but to help others by posting informative videos. I now also focus on other things:

  • Preventing premature ageing
  • Repairing the skin barrier
  • Routine consistency

A simple how-to for summer skin

What are the top 3 ingredients that we should be using to get that summer skin glow as it gets warmer and sunnier?

  • 1. Niacinamide! I love this ingredient for soothing but also regulating sebum.
  • 2. Vitamin C to fight free radicals and get to work on any dark spots.
  • 3. Sunscreen! Not necessarily a single ingredient but I think it’s super important for skin health and can’t be without it - I wear it year round.

Scarring is a big insecurity for many of us. How can scar appearance be reduced and perhaps avoided in the first place?

If they are pitted scars they are hard to reduce if they are old, but if it’s dark and red marks after acne, then tyrosinase inhibitors are the answer! These are things like:

  • Tranexamic acid
  • Niacinamide
  • Vitamin C
  • Retinol
  • Alpha Arbutin
  • Azelaic Acid

What is the best order in which to apply products?

I like to start with a hydrating toner or essence and follow it with any of my serums and treatments (vitamin c in the day, exfoliants or retinoids at night) and follow with moisturiser at night and sunscreen in the day. 

What is one of your most used skincare ingredients and why? 

Probably retinoids and sunscreen! They are my anti-aging life savers! I think most people could benefit from these two products.

Are there any skincare practices we should do daily, weekly and monthly?

Daily I believe sunscreen is a necessity., I like to use an exfoliating mask weekly. Monthly, maybe a facial, but it’s not a necessity in my opinion.

What are some of the top common misconceptions you aim to debunk?

That darker skin tones don’t need sunscreen and that oily skin doesn’t need moisturiser - it does because it’s oily but lacks hydration which serums and moisturisers can provide

Are there any trends that are over-hyped right now?

Probably face masks - they are a nice to have but I don’t think they are necessary for a good routine.

Anything you'd like to add?

Wear sunscreen! ☀️️

If you’re looking for clean products for any weather or season that actually work, you may want to check out our stance on functional skincare


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