Expert Advice: Skin Care Do's and Don’ts for the Regional Climate

Shirley Conlon shares her tips for looking after sun exposed skin


Shirley Conlon.

As formulators, we must address the specific needs of sun-exposed skin. This includes having a clear notion of the essentIal ingredients to include as well as those to avoid.

All ingredients have a molecular weight and surface time on the skin.  Some ingredients, including natural and organic ones (shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, coca butter) can clog and suffocate the skin enlarging pores, resulting in breakouts and a dull, unappealing complexion.  Commonly used emulsifiers, emollients, lipids and vitamins, can be detrimental to skin exposed to sun, causing pigmentation, acne and breakouts, while many other ingredients can literally melt on the skin, leaving it looking shiny and feeling sticky. Apart from these side effects, many cosmetic ingredients are highly phototoxic (sun penetrating ingredients) causing skin sensitivity, pigmentation and sunburn.

1. Sun-loving Lipids

With Shirley Conlon Organics, our main focus was to eliminate all the potentially problem ingredients, and use only pure ingredients that are safe, effective and a benefit sun exposed skin.  We select sun-loving lipids that are readily absorbed and naturally contain elements of sun protection, potent nutrients, minerals and vitamins that remain stable, fresh and active, helping to correct any negative effects of sun exposure. We only use essential oils that are safe to use in the sun. Though our products do not replace any form sun protection, they make it easier to keep your skin safe.

2. Sensible Sunshine

Using an SPF is important for extended exposure to sunshine, but equally important is sensible sun exposure for overall wellbeing. Vitamin D from sunshine is a vital wellness element and experts now recommend safe and sensible daily exposure.  Have you noticed how breakouts instantly improve after sensible sun exposure?  Or how fabulous you feel after some sunshine?  You can and should enjoy some sunshine while being sure to avoid midday sun. Against all the scaremongering, I truly believe that sensible sunshine is as vital as water, for our health!

3. Light and Easy

Choose lightweight, readily absorbed skincare products. Look for ingredients like rosehip oil, argan oil, pomegranate, beta-carotene, carrot and sea buckthorn (did you know that Russian astronauts use sea buckthorn going into space, to prevent radiation damage?) Sea buckthorn is found in all SCO products. Our products are light wearing and easily absorbed and therefore do not clog pores. Choose a mineral based clean sunscreen with zinc or titanium dioxide.

SCO Vitamin C Serum

4. Chemical-free Protection

Eat and drink your sunscreen (carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, berries, mango, papaya, watermelon, healthy fats, leafy greens) and use protective clothing and a hat.  Avoid chemical based ingredients in sunscreens including; oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, homosalate and octinoxate.  Avoid heavy creams, butters and waxes, long chain fatty acids, oily lipids, citrus essential oils, St johns wort, vitamin C and absolutely any form of vitamin A or its derivatives including retinol palmitate. 

5. Regular Hydration

Keep a hydrating spritz to hand and use this regularly.  Opt for light lotions and apply moisturiser onto damp skin so it’s readily absorbed. After sun exposure, apply a beta-carotene rich face oil or serum like our rosehip oil to repair any negative effects of sun exposure and celebrating the positive effects of this vital element.

Shirley Conlon is the founder of Shirley Conlon Organics (SCO). A range of skin care products made in Dubai and specially formulated for hotter climates, SCO products are a synergy of scientifically proven cosmeceucitals, sun-friendly botanicals and wild-crafted alchemy. Find out more at or follow @shirleyconlonorganics on Instagram

Most Popular

Stay informed