The Skin Nerd: Rules for avoiding a post-festival breakout

And so festival season has officially begun, with two of “the big ones”, Body & Soul and Sea Sessions, having happened over the past weekend. As someone who isn’t the stereotypical festival-goer, to me, there still is something gloriously chaotic about eschewing the shackles of everyday society and having a few warm tipples in denim shorts and wellies.

Personally, sometimes it is nice to be restricted in how much skincare I can use in one go. I am constantly trialling and testing lots of different products so having to simplify it is a blessing in disguise!

Around this time every year, our clients, the Nerd Network, will come to us with the same question: do they have to keep up their whole skincare routine while they’re at a festival? Our answer is always “of course not”.

The three rules that I feel should truly not be broken are as follows: don’t use wipes, remove your makeup before resting your head on your “pillow”, and apply and reapply SPF.

Face wipes should be erased from your life entirely. I’ll admit, I am biased as the creator of the Cleanse Off Mitt reusable makeup removers but COMverts swear by bringing a 3-pack with them to festivals.

It’s dead handy to give them a rinse with a bar of antibacterial soap or, more realistically, just whip out a fresh one when you need it. Keep a bottle of water in your tent and you won’t even need to scoot your boot to the communal taps.

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My issue with wipes is that they don’t remove makeup, they usually displace traces of it around the face and leave you with a film of makeup, oils, drying alcohol and harsh, sensitising fragrances on your face all night long. In my opinion, they are a main contributing factor of the post-festival breakout.

If you prefer a cleaner feeling, get yourself a powder cleanser like the Declare Gentle Cleansing Powder (€24.50, 90g, available from selected pharmacies nationwide). Once you add a drop of water, it becomes a non-stripping mild foam that will eradicate all of those face paint traces.

SPF is a daily essential but when there’s even a slight chance of heated sunlight, it becomes even more of a necessity. Sunburn, and even sun tan, is a scar that our skin produces to let us know that we have caused damage to it at a deep level.

We make light of it when we genuinely shouldn’t and prevention is the only solution. For festivals, get yourself a compact, lightweight, easy to apply spray sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and then keep it in your bum bag so you can top up your body on the go.

For your face and smaller top-ups, I think sunscreen sticks are genius, as you can easily glide them on over makeup or pat amounts on to delicate areas with your fingers. The lips are often forgotten and they need sun protection just as much as the rest of your face, as anyone who gets cold sores will know.

If you do return with the classic dehydrated, broken out and dull festival skin, reach for an exfoliating masque that will also help to hydrate your skin.

The Murad Hydro-Glow Aqua Peel Mask (€50 for 4, store.theskinnerd.com and selected salons nationwide) is a lactic acid home peel plus a hyaluronic acid and aloe vera sheet mask so that you can return to work as if you’ve spent a weekend at Monart, not hovering over portaloos with a hangover.

The Nerdie Pick

The Skin Nerd: Rules for avoiding a post-festival breakout

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Stick

(€10.25, available from pharmacies nationwide)

Portable: check, broad spectrum: check, water resistant: check. This stick SPF from La Roche-Posay is designed for use on delicate areas like your lips and brow bones but it’s also perfect for doing your full face, shoulders, neck, collar bones and chest. Never mind your bum bag, it would even fit in your pocket

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