I have always been a believer in the wonders of a good moisturiser - get that right, and everything else falls into place. In winter, it's relatively easy to find a suitable moisturiser: I just go for the richest, heaviest, most luxurious cream my skin can take. But during the summer it's a much harder task. A moisturiser that has seen me through winter (and the inevitably longer than expected spring) loses its magic overnight. It feels too heavy and leaves my skin looking greasy. Every year, I spend the summer chopping and changing products, and by the time I've settled on something, it's usually autumn.
Unable to face yet another such summer, I thought I'd get some expert advice. Not surprisingly, the first thing Lynn Rushton of Clarins tells me is that I'm using a product too heavy for my skin. "During the summer, the skin gets more oily, so you need a moisturiser with a lighter texture - now is the time to switch from creams to gels and lotions, maybe with an SPF," she says.
The increase in both body and environmental temperature, coupled with the fact that we spend more time outdoors, means the sebaceous glands temporarily go into overdrive. As black skin is particularly prone to oiliness (Texas ain't got nothing on my nose right now), it's even more important to change your beauty regime with the seasons. Cheaper lotions are often watered-down versions of creams but there are some good ones out there. Simple's Regeneration Day Defence Moisture Lotion, Olive Moisture Lotion from Superdrug and, my favourite, Synergie Fresh Quenching Moisturiser all feel fresh and light on application, but keep the skin well moisturised throughout the day. At the other end of the price scale, Issima Hydramythic Fluid, from Guerlain, Balancing Moisture Lotion, from the new Nars skincare range, and Essential Cream, from Anna Sui, are lightweight but still leave your skin feeling and looking so silky-soft that you won't want to put make-up on it, which is exactly the point.