Emilie Jaspers, co-founder of Star Seed in the jungle-like garden of Surrey
Today is Wednesday, and the wet English July that has left our lands lush and green is coming to an end. As August rolls in, so does the sun and hot weather, which can be a rare occasion here in the UK, so remember to take some (conscious) time in the sun, maybe going on a picnic in the park or enjoy a nice swim at the beach. For this week's Educate & Regenerate read, I will unveil the best way to achieve Radiant Summer Skin. My name is Sauda, a 2nd year Biochemistry student at Oxford University. This summer, I am doing an internship with Star Seed, with the role of researching the science behind Star Seed’s regenerative philosophy and their amazing botanical skincare products. One of my big passions is learning about how biology and biochemistry affect us as humans and our health. My goal is to educate and reconnect Star Seed’s community to how nature affects our health and empower people in their skin-related choices.
So, back to the late summer joys of August. Many changes to your health and skin can come about with changes to weather. As warmer months move in, the temperature and humidity of the environment will increase. Typically, this leads to our sebaceous glands becoming more active, which means oily skin will look oiler and dry skin will appear more rough and patchy.
The sun’s UV rays can also cause skin to get tanned or even burnt. This occurs because our bodies produce a pigment called melanin - what gives our skin, hair and eyes their colour. Melanin absorbs UV rays so when we’re out in the sun, our bodies respond by producing more melanin. When we are overexposed to the Sun, our body's skin barrier can get damaged resulting in sunburn.
While enjoying yourself should be the priority this summer, it’s important you look after the health of your skin at the same time. This article will go over some common summer skin challenges you might face and some tips in which you can manage them.
Star Seed's cofounder Emilie Jaspers in April 2019 motorbiking around Kerala, India, with a bad case of hyperpigmentation, versus now in July 2023, 4 years later and so much better, thanks to her Star Seed Regenerative Skincare products
Hyperpignmenation and Melasma
Hyperpigmentation is where certain regions of your skin become darker than other regions. This occurs when the skin produces excess melanin, which is the pigment that gives the skin its colour. There are several causes for hyperpigmentation, such as genetics, hormonal changes, and skin injuries. However, one of the biggest risk factors for hyperpigmentation is sun exposure. This is because the purpose of melanin is to absorb UV rays and protect the skin against cellular damage. Hyperpigmentation can occur on any region of the skin, however, your upper lip, cheek and forehead are most common.
Similar to hyperpigmentation, melasma is a condition in which brown patches can appear on the skin and face. It affects up to 33% of the population and often affects women more than men. Being exposed to the Sun and UV rays can often trigger melasma. Discoloured patches are usually flat and appear darker than the individual’s normal skin tone. There are usually no other physical symptoms and common areas affected include the cheeks, forehead, upper lips and the bridge of your nose.
The full Star Seed botanical skincare range: Forest Day Cream, Moon Night Cream and Star Serum
Hyperpigmentation and melasma can be big issues for many people, reportedly affecting up to 40% of people in some populations. While these issues can be a knock off of our self confidence, Star Seed reminds our community that there are solutions and prevention measures you can take this summer, to ensure you can fully enjoy this summer weather, without having to worry about your skin.
Sun damage is often characterised by photo-ageing - early ageing of the skin due to prolonged exposure to the Sun. If UV rays penetrate the layers of the skin, our collagen fibres get damaged which results in more elastin being produced. This changes the normal structure of our skin, causing wrinkles and fine lines to form and our skin becomes stretched and leathery.
Sunspots are brown/dark coloured spots that form on areas of exposed skin, such as the arms, legs and face. It is a form of hyperpigmentation in which blemishes are formed with more melanin than usual. Sunspots can often naturally occur due to age or a genetic risk, but they can definitely be triggered and aggravated by being exposed to the Sun for too long.
Summer months often cause more breakouts and acne, even if you do not normally experience them. During hotter temperatures, the combination of sweat and increased sebum can often lead to clogging pores and trigger acne and blemishes. Higher temperatures can also cause inflammation of the skin and body which also triggers redness and breakouts.
Heat rash is a common skin condition that affects children and adults in humid, warm weather conditions. There are different categories of heat rash but these usually include small red or white bumps on the surface of the skin that are often itchy and irritating.
Avoid painful summer sunburn with Star Seed's botanical suncream (get a free sample with your next order). And of course, stay out of direct sun as much as possible between 11AM - 2PM.
Protecting Your Skin from the Sun
For many of these issues, wearing sunscreen everyday SPF is key to protecting your skin. The role of sunscreens is to absorb UV radiation so your skin doesn’t have to. This can prevent sun damage, sunburn, hyperpigmentation and melasma. Sunscreens often prevent inflammation of the skin as well, reducing redness of the skin.
For those already affected by hyperpigmentation and photo-ageing, Star Seed’s Moon Cream can reduce these effects. The Moon Cream is formulated with Rose hip Seed oil and Wild Carrot Seed oil, both naturally rich in vitamin A, which increases collagen production in our skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Another star ingredient, Black Seed oil, is shown to brighten your complexion, evening-out your skin tone and reduce sun spots. Backed by over sixty five 5-star reviews from our valued community, our Moon Cream has proven to work as an overnight treatment, regenerating your skin cells, and restoring your skin barrier that protects you from that summer sun.
Our Star Serum gives similar benefits formulated with Astaxanthin - a powerful antioxidant that protects our skin from sun damage and oxidative stress. It also contains sea buckthorn which is packed with vitamins A-K, hydrating your skin and reducing redness and inflammation.
These 2 products have been crucial in Emilie's own skin healing journey. The Moon Cream and the Star Serum has helped her combat the hyperpigmentation and signs of premature ageing, which led her to the idea of Star Seed, 4 years ago.
Simplify your Skincare Routine and use less product
If you notice excess sweat, be sure to gently lift it away with a clean towel or cloth. Make sure to wear baggy, loose clothing to ensure that air can flow to prevent heat rash and acne. Don’t hesitate to take breaks from exercise and take some time in the shade. If you do have a heat rash, applying a cold compress or an ice pack may soothe it and calm down any irritation you may feel.
Many everyday skincare products can be irritating to sensitive skin due to their use of harsh chemicals and fragrances and can often dark sunspots and aggravate existing areas of hyperpigmentation. On top of this the use of excess product, combined with the humidity of the environment and our bodies natural sweat and oil can contribute to clogging pores. At Star Seed we are proud to say that all our products avoid any chemical preservatives or fragrances and all our ingredients are derived from raw, wild & organic botanicals. This means all our products are suitable for all types of sensitive skin, and have shown to benefit skin conditions like eczema, and reduce signs of acne and hyperpigmentation.
Generally speaking, the use of a lot of sunscreen, combined with the humidity and our natural sweat and oils contribute to clogging our pores.
With oncoming heatwaves in the UK, skin may be hard to manage and maintain this summer. However, by being extra conscious of what we put on our skin, and by applying easy tips, you can prevent your skin from acting up and enjoy the hot weather.
Star Seed’s recommends our best-seller, the Moon Cream for this summer as well as our Star Serum. Both of these are full of vitamins and antioxidants, protecting your skin from sun damage and smoothening lines and wrinkles. Check out our 1 Week Mini Bundle, which includes our Forest (Day) Cream, Moon (Night) Cream & Star Serum for only £15. If you buy it now, you will also get a chance to try our Sunrise SPF Cream for free - a perfect botanical suncream protecting your skin this summer.
Try Star Seed's full botanical skincare range in travel-sized aluminium and glass mini's (plus a British wildflower seed card to plant and a muslin cotton bag that can be used for loose tea) for only £15. Our 1 Week Mini bundle is available in our web shop here.