Looking after your skin when your holiday’s over

A common misconception is that when we go on holiday our skin looks great, in fact most people would say ‘it’s never looked better’, therefore sun exposure must be good for our skin?!

This is not entirely true.

The sun dehydrates the skin which can cause long term damage and increase the risk of developing skin cancer at a later date.

When we expose our skin to the sun, Melanin production is increased - Melanin is the pigment in your skin that makes it darker. The natural shedding of your skin will also begin to slow down, this is because the top layer of the skin (Epidermis) thickens, to accommodate the increased pigment levels.

 As a result skin may start to appear dull, rough and dry.

Dehydrated Skin

This is the most common side effect to sun exposure - the skin will lose a large amount of water and as a result its strength and elasticity will decrease. Not only that but dehydrated skin can lead to the creation of lines and wrinkles.

As standard, a SPF50 should be used whenever exposing the skin to the sun for any prolonged periods to prevent any long term damage.

Obagi Hydrate is a fantastic product which helps restore the hydration barrier of the skin and is suitable for all skin types.

When the skin feels extremely dehydrated, Epionce Intensive Nourishing Cream is a highly recommended product to use.

Both products should be applied morning and night until the skin feels hydrated and nourished.

There are also effective serums available that can be used in conjunction with an SPF which would offer increased protection from the sun exposure- an example of this is the Obagi Vitamin C Serum and the Epionce Intense Defence Serum, both of which should be used twice daily before the application of an effective moisturiser.


Pigmentation is one of the most common skin complaints following sun exposure. The Melanin production in the skin from being in the sun is unpredictable and for some can leave brown spots, uneven pigmentation and freckles to be scattered all over the skin.

There are treatments available that can help with pigmentation blemishes but there are also preventative measures we can all take to avoid having this problem in the first place such as religiously wearing a high sun factor at all times.

If you are prone to pigmentation then you should wear an SPF 50 or higher when in the sun. Heliocare is a fantastic product which comes either as a clear gel or with a tint. We advise all of our non surgical patients to invest in a good sun protector and this one is particularly popular.

When your tan starts to fade, we have a range of Laser and IPL treatments that can help minimise the pigmentation damage.

These treatments are usually carried out in a course of 3 and all patients must be patch tested first.

The wavelength of the IPL/Laser will target the pigmented area making it appear darker, the skin will then naturally turnover and the effected pigmented area will shed, making the pigmented area appear lighter. This treatment is only suitable for Fitzpatrick Skin Types 1, 2 and 3.

Products can also be used which are suitable for all skin types, to address pigmentation issues. The most effective treatment in my opinion would be the Obagi NuDerm System (prescription only).The NuDerm System contains a combination of the active ingredients Hydroquinone and Tretinoin, which address pigmentation, scarring and skin texture and tone.

There are also more gentle and natural products that can be used such as the Epionce Melanolyte Tx and Melanolyte Pro. These products can be used morning and night in combination with a suitable cleanser and moisturiser.

Acne Breakouts

This is possibly one of the most frustrating post holiday effects on the skin. It’s incredibly confusing - you go on holiday, all of your spots vanish. The skin looks great and clear and in combination with that holiday glow, you’ve frankly never seen your skin look so good.

You return home. 1 week later, it looks like your skin has exploded.  

Combination of sun exposure, using sunscreen, increased sweat levels and the change in our diets can lead to breakouts on your return.

I would advise using the Obagi Clenziderm once your tan has started to fade (prescription only) – we see great results with this product and it’s one I would strongly recommend.

Epionce also have a range of incredibly effective products such as the Lytic Cleanser, the Lytic Tx Gel and the Renewal Lotion or Moisturiser- which should all be used twice a day.

Healthy Summer Skin

In a nutshell - a minimum SPF 50 should be used and applied frequently when in the hot sun for prolonged periods of time.

We all like to look good and a tan can really make the difference, however, for short term benefits, it’s really not worth the long terms effects of premature ageing and pigmentation issues.

Tan safely and slap on the sunscreen!

 By Simone Golumb, Transform Aesthetician

More information

Read more from our holiday skin care blog series:

Find out more about our skin care ranges

Find our more on IPL skin rejuvenation treatments