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Which cosmetic ingredients should be prioritised in summer?

Which cosmetic ingredients should be prioritised in summer?

In summer, the skin endures numerous assaults (UV rays, chlorine, sea water). Therefore, it needs to be protected and soothed. So, what are the cosmetic ingredients/actives to favour in summer? Elements of the answer in this article.


The nourishing and hydrating ingredients/actives.

  • Moisturising Ingredients/Actives

No matter the skin type, the skin needs water to maintain its suppleness and elasticity. Hydration is essential to prevent premature skin ageing. However, in the face of certain external aggressions such as the sun's UV rays, the skin dehydrates quickly. In response to this, after sun exposure, it is important to pay particular attention to hydrating your skin in order to compensate for the insensible water loss (IWL) that intensifies during exposure to the sun's UV rays. Moreover, optimal hydration helps to prolong your tan.

Thus, it is essential to provide the skin with hydrating actives such as thehyaluronic acid, the provitamin B5, the niacinamide, pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), the glycerine, thepolyglutamic acid...

  • Nourishing Ingredients/Actives

Exposure to the sun and swimming weaken the hydrolipidic film of the skin and dry out the skin. The skin barrier can no longer perform its protective role against dehydration and external aggressions.

Thus, nourishing active ingredients will strengthen the skin barrier by providing lipids which reduce insensible water loss and increase protection against external aggressions.

Thus, it is essential to provide nourishing active ingredients such as squalane, vegetable oils, vegetable butters...

Please note : hydration and nourishment go hand in hand! Hydrating agents saturate the skin with water, while nourishing agents prevent this water from evaporating.

The ingredients/active antioxidants.

UV rays from the sun are the most significant risk factor for premature skin ageing characterised by a premature onset of wrinkles, and pigmentation spots along with a slack and dehydrated skin.

Antioxidants are a family of molecules that enable the skin to combat oxidative stress caused by external factors such as UV rays. The skin is thus better protected against these external aggressions responsible for premature ageing. Moreover, antioxidants brighten and even out the complexion and reduce the formation of pigmentation spots.

This family includes vitamin C, theferulic acid, the resveratrol etc...

The soothing ingredients/actives.

The UV rays from the sun can be harsh on the skin. Excessive or unprotected exposure to the sun carries a significant risk of sunburn and irritation.

It is therefore beneficial to incorporate soothing ingredients/actives in order todiminish redness andinflammation and reduce feelings of discomfort.

Among the soothing ingredients/actives, we find the centella asiatica, the pro-vitamin B5, the aloe vera, hemisqualane, the vitamin E, the niacinamide...

Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA).

During the summer, certain cosmetic ingredients should be avoided. This is the case, for example, with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) such as glycolic acid. These are highly valued for their keratolytic properties, meaning they remove dead cells from the skin's surface promoting skin renewal. These are essential ingredients for blemished and dull skin. However, the AHAs are photosensitising and irritating. Therefore, exposure to the sun before or after using AHAs could lead to a risk of burns, irritation and the appearance of pigmentation spots.

If you wish to exfoliate your skin during the summer, the PHA (gluconolactone, lactobionic acid) will be more suitable. Indeed, due to their high molecular weights, they remain on the surface of the epidermis. This explains their good skin tolerance compared to AHA. Moreover, unlike AHA, PHAs are not photosensitising .


  • YUENG H. & al. Sunburn frequency and risk and protective factors : a cross-sectional survey. Dermatology Online Journal (2021).

  • HEARING V. J. & al., Applications of hydroxy acids: classification, mechanisms, and photoactivity. ClinicalCosmetic and Investigational Dermatology (2010).

  • N. Puizina-Ivic. Skin aging (2008).


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