by dr alek nikolic


With summer around the corner, it is time to start getting your skin ready for those end of year functions, long sunny days, beach holidays and getaways. We would all like to have complexions that look healthy, well hydrated and blemish-free.

Here’s my 5-step guide to a clear, glowing summer complexion.

skincare regime

This is the time to change your winter routine for a more summer focused regime. Replace thick heavier moisturisers with lighter moisturisers and moisturising serums.

Be diligent with your basic skincare regime and remember to cleanse your face twice daily. Do not skip taking off make-up.

If you are not using a toner this may be the ideal time to add one to your regime. Your basic skincare regime should be specific for your skin type including your toner. Toners add an extra layer of dirt and make-up removal, help moisturise the skin and prepare it for the rest of your regime.

This is an ideal time to add vitamin C to your morning routine. My recommendation is gloss which contains a lipid-soluble form of vitamin C known as ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, which has superior absorption and penetrates the skin more quickly. It has powerful antioxidant properties yet is one of the most stable vitamin C derivatives. Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate helps brighten the skin, lightening dark spots and hyperpigmentation, increases UV photo-protection, helping to reduce sun damage; boosts collagen production and fights the free radicals that cause premature ageing.


This should be part of your regular skincare regime anyway but deserves special mention as we enter summer and UV exposure increases. It vital you are diligent about protecting your skin by always applying an SPF 30 or higher that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, irrespective of the weather. I recommend applying sunscreen several times daily during the summer months, especially when you are on holiday or outdoors.

skin barrier

Following the harsher winter months, you may benefit from boosting the health of your skin barrier. It is the outermost layer of your skin’s surface and it consists of cells and lipids (fats). The barrier is one of the most important structures that contribute to healthy, glowing skin. When the skin barrier is functioning optimally and at its best health you’ll achieve that glowing complexion for summer.

The skin barrier has numerous essential protective functions:

  1. It prevents water and electrolytes from evaporating through the skin
  2. Serves as a protective shield against harmful microorganisms by producing antimicrobial peptides and proteins
  3. Helps to maintain the skin’s immunity
  4. It regulates inflammation
  5. It regulates the absorption of ingredients that we apply topically

Hyaluronic acid and ceramides are vital ingredients to maintain the health of the skin barrier. My recommendation is to use marvel serum twice daily. It contains high strength combinations of small, medium, and large molecular weight hyaluronic acid for maximum skin penetration and hydration. It also contains vitamins C & E that act as powerful antioxidants to help protect the skin from free radical damage from environmental factors and UV damage, and provide anti-ageing effects by stimulating collagen production and reducing the appearance of pigmentation. Furthermore, ceramides help to reduce signs of ageing, repair the skin barrier, protect the skin against environmental damage, and improve hydration.

chemical peels

To further enhance the healthy glow we can achieve with the above recommendations you can also consider some form of chemical exfoliation.

You can choose between at-home chemical peels or professional peels administered by a trained skincare therapist (or somatologist), medical aesthetic practitioner or cosmetic dermatologist. Find a professional stockist here.

Chemical exfoliation plays a vital role in removing the dead outer skin cells and stimulation of skin cells. My recommendation when it comes to getting your skin summer ready is to consider adding glycolic acid to your skincare regime. Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid originally derived from sugar cane and has become one of the most popular alpha-hydroxy acids used in skincare products. It absorbs easily into the skin due to its small molecular size and its action is a gentle exfoliation of skin thereby enhancing cell turnover. This results in smoothing uneven skin tone, improving fine lines and wrinkles, and refining the appearance of pores.

Glycolic acid can be found in our super-serum avenge | glyco-10 which can be used as a great at-home chemical peel. By combining gently exfoliating glycolic acid with hydrating and skin barrier repairing ingredients, avenge | glyco-10 works to stimulate collagen + GAG (glycosaminoglycans) production, reduces inflammation and transepidermal water loss, softens fine lines, wrinkles and rough skin texture, and increases tone and glow.

If you prefer professional chemical peels then my recommendation would be to consider superficial medical grade peels that contain glycolic acid and citric acid.

The use of sunscreen and sun avoidance becomes even more imperative if you are undergoing chemical peel treatments. I would avoid medium and deep peels during the summer. MyThe recommendation is a treatment every 3 weeks with the last peel 2 weeks before your summer holiday.

use self-tan

Using self-tan is a great way to achieve a tanned look and even out your complexion without exposing yourselves to harmful UV rays. Use a tanning mitt or glove, which is usually supplied by the manufacturer, as it prevents streaking and uneven applications.

I hope you have found this five-step approach helpful.  Not sure which product is best for you? Take our test now.

Happy holidays!