Give your skin a reboot

Suntan fading? Skin starting to peel? Welcome to post-holiday syndrome! We asked spa and beauty expert Laura Hargreaves how to get your complexion back into shape

Summer holidays are at an end and no doubt you’re feeling relaxed and recharged. Or at least you were until shortly after the plane landed, your skin started to peel and that gorgeous tan you committed yourself too begins to fade.

The truth is that every suntan is actually sun damage. There really is no such thing as a safe tan and the very act of tanning is your body’s response to sun exposure and damage. Add to that the dehydrating effects of those daily dips, the salty sea air and the shock of returning to the colder British climate and it all adds up to a bit of skin disaster.

So while your summer break is the perfect time to slow down, your body still needs some rejuvenation when you return. To make sure you feel your best when you’re back home, Laura Hargreaves of Touch Beauty Therapy spa, based in one of Audley’s luxury retirement villages, has shared her top tips.


Everything from the flight home to the increased outdoor temperatures means that your skin is crying out for water. When you return always try to drink up to three litres a day to hydrate yourself, and even add fresh lemon or lime to alkalise the body and help eliminate toxins. To really help hydrate your skin and lock in the moisture look for a serum rich in vitamin A, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid for day and a pigment-correcting serum for night to tackle uneven brown spots and patches


You can also nourish your skin from within with targeted nutritional supplements. As well as vitamin A our skin needs omegas 3 and 6. Try eating oily fish three times a week but if you’re struggling to incorporate this into your diet you can always top up with a supplement.


Travel takes it out on the mind, body and skin and this is made worse when you’re jetlagged. When you get back from holiday it’s always a good idea to relax your schedule so you can catch up on some much needed rest.


Those fabulous summer cocktails and healthy European measures may have been fun at the time but having a break from alcohol always comes as a bonus for your skin as well!


The hours spent in the sun while you’re on holiday means when you return your skin can become very dry. Daily dry body brushing will help to combat this by stimulating the lymphatic system to boost circulation and remove toxins. This should be followed by an exfoliating scrub in the bath or shower twice a week. You’ll also benefit from a good facial scrub as it will remove the build-up of SPF on the skin. After exfoliating the body and face, it’s always best to moisturise well so you hydrate and nourish your skin, the best options are organic shea butter and organic cocoa butter.


Most of us like a bit of colour on our nails when we go away, but on our return it’s a good time to let your nails breathe allowing for healthy new growth. This can be supported further by massaging the cuticles every night with a small amount of cuticle oil as it feeds the nail bed for that much needed growth.


Holidays provide a welcome break from our usual routine and it is the time to over-indulge. Upon your return, regular exercise classes like Pilates will help increase the circulation around the body and give you the feel good factor from all the endorphins. All the heavy luggage can create aching shoulders so you’ll benefit from some good stretches.