Summer, for all its pleasures, can send skin into a state of chaos. Neada Deters, who founded Australian-born, LA-based natural skincare line Lesse, knows heat and humidity can lead to inflammation, oil and redness. And sunscreens can clog pores and bring on breakouts – not to mention the damage the sun can cause. With the change of seasons she believes it’s important to adjust our skincare (and sunscreen) regimes accordingly.
So Deters divulges her notes on summer skincare and shares her morning and evening routines and favourite beauty products, which she says leave her skin so clear she’s banished foundation for good.
Incorporate ice-blocks into your regime
“In the morning and at night I wash my face with cold water, then I use an iceblock and rub it over my face, neck and décolletage, particularly during the warmer months,” says Deters. “I have poor circulation and find this helps to get things moving below the surface, particularly the congestion. It also helps to relieve the inflammation.”
Cleanse and cleanse again
Skincare experts seem to agree cleansing should never be skimped on at night, and that it should even be doubled up on. “I use our Essential cleanser with warm water and always double cleanse,” Neada says of the very fine, gentle granular exfoliant.
“Then I dry my face with a towel – make sure it’s clean. Do the ice-cube trick again, then apply a spritz of toner followed by four or five drops of the Ritual serum.” Deters explains the natural serum is her hero product. It’s to be applied morning and night and contains seaweed, turmeric and rose – anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients that have been shown to improve skin condition.
Reduce the number of products you use
Neada says it’s unnecessary to have several versions of one product in your cabinet if you have a quality formulation. “We take a slower approach to skincare, only releasing essential products.”
The name “Lesse” is a riff on the brand’s pared-back, minimalist aesthetic and essentials-only philosophy.
The idea is that reducing the number of products you use, and the steps in your daily beauty regime, will allow you to “create more space and room to be with yourself”, Deters says. She believes skincare can be an invitation to turn a quotidian habit into a more meaningful ceremony, which you can look forward to twice a day. “Enjoy it – it’s a ritual not a routine. That’s our tag line.”
Invest in a serum over a moisturiser
According to Neada, moisturisers are only skip deep. Serums on the other hand penetrate far deeper into the skin’s epidermis, on a cellular level, delivering key ingredients. She says if you’re going to invest in just one product, make it a serum. They’re expensive for a reason, often made with concentrated active ingredients that are more quickly – and more deeply – absorbed by your skin than a moisturiser because the liquid is composed of smaller molecules.
Do your homework
“Imbalance comes from making choices that aren’t educated,” says Neada, who believes skin health comes from a more holistic approach to wellness. “To have a balanced lifestyle is so important to skin health. I’ve set up a stand-up desk outside in the office to get some sunshine and have a break from sitting in a chair all day. Find ways to create better balance in how you live, work, play eat and treat your skin.”
She also believes it’s empowering to understand how to take care of your skin. How can people get more educated? “Being curious and asking questions and doing the research. I’m impressed by how many people email us asking questions about formulations and ingredients, curious about how much of one ingredient is in a certain formulation or why that’s so. We should all feel very open to asking these questions. We have such direct lines of communication to brands – we can ask questions.”
She also stresses the importance of looking out for “nasties” in your skincare, the same way you might look for the organic sticker on your food, so you can make informed choices. (Many skincare and beauty companies use synthetic ingredients, parabens or fragrances to, among other things, prolong a product’s shelf life, add an appealing smell, or to effectively emulsify or thicken a cream or liquid.)
Eat organic to match your skincare
Neada believes there’s a strong connection between healthy eating and skin health and she turns making nutritious eating into an enjoyable ritual. “I love to cook,” she says. “Eating well and buying organic, fresh produce like leafy greens from farmers markets is so essential to your health. I’ve found even moving from New York to LA and eating better my skin has improved so much and breakouts have lifted.” She also limits the dairy she consumes, sticks to organic proteins and rewards herself with a glass of red wine every now and then. “I don’t eat any refined sugar, and alcohol can really aggravate the skin.
“People also think eating healthily is expensive, which is not always true. There are so many amazing co-ops out there.”
“A lot of people don’t exfoliate enough,” Neada says. She encourages choosing something that’s not too “scratchy” or abrasive. “I like to use something that can be applied daily.”
Wear SPF in layers
Protecting yourself from the sun is thankfully now a widely accepted skincare and healthcare rule. Neada slathers on SPF in two hefty layers daily. “My parents hammered this into me,” she says. She prefers the Skin Medix Elta MC UV clear broad-spectrum SPF 46, which she says is light, silky and won’t congest the skin.
“My skin has changed so much. I don’t even own a foundation. I go to weddings or different events and I just wear this tinted SPF (Well People), which is all-natural and has really good coverage. I wear the Elta SPF underneath it.”
Don’t be afraid to moisturise if you have acne-prone skin
“People have a misconception around why their skin is oily,” says Neada. If you’re drying it out, you’re confusing your skin. Because of that, your skin starts producing more oil, which is counter intuitive.” For those with oily skin, she recommends incorporating a serum or face oil into your routine, which might sound surprising. “Finding balance in our sebum, what regulates your oil production, is important. Ensure you have a regime that helps to hydrate the skin because it’s always what will help to ensure the health and vitality of your complexion throughout the summer months.”