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summer skin & sun with vichy (giveaway)

We've officially reached the dog days of summer: it's hot as all get out and temps have hovered around 30ºC for weeks. It's humid, sticky, and the sun is so strong that you can catch a burn in the time it takes to walk home from the corner store.

Combine the hot humid weather with freezing cold AC and a high UV index, and you've got a recipe for summer skin disasters. Congested pores, acne, dullness, red cheeks, and makeup that'll slide right off your face.

I mean, who's with me? Wouldn't it be great if we could all just hang out at Sandbanks all summer? I never want to leave that beautiful corner of the County. Sigh.

Lots of you have been asking about summer skincare and sunscreens, so today I'm rounding up some of my faves from Vichy. I've used this brand for years (literally, like 10 years) and love it because:

1. It's widely available: you'll find it at pretty much every drugstore across Canada.

2. Quite simply: it works. Yup.

So let's get started!

First up: skincare. Doesn't matter what skin type you have, I guarantee it changes with the seasons. In wintertime my skin's so dry that I get flaky bits, but in summertime I get congested pores and even a few breakouts. But still with dryness here and there. Lovely.

My skin still craves hydration but for summer I switch to lighter formulas that are more easily absorbed and won't clog me up. I also switch from creamy foundations to lighter BB creams.

I'm currently LOVING Vichy's Idéalia line. It's aimed at correcting the early signs of aging (bonus for yours truly as I approach - gasp - 35), the formulas are lightweight, and absorb beautifully. My must-haves:

This lovely formula is packed with vitamin E and kombucha (yep, kombucha!) to brighten the skin and minimize fine lines AND pores. My skin can be a bit sensitive and it absolutely loved this day cream. Also available in a lighter version for combination skin.

This lightweight eye cream has a peachy tint to combat under-eye circles, and the tube has a flexible tip that makes applying it a breeze. Many of us are too rough with our fingers around our eyes (which can actually cause wrinkles) so this neat little tube does the job much more gently. Love.

This hardworking BB crème has officially replaced my foundation this summer. It brightens, evens skin tone, and provides sun protection. BAM! Summer beauty made easy. The down side: it's only available in two shades: light and medium. I'd love to see Vichy greatly expanded their shade range so folks with a wide range of complexions could enjoy this handy BB.

Next up: sun protection!

When I was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2005, I got even more serious about my sun habits. And promptly chucked all my too-old bargain sunscreens. I began using dermatological brands instead, and Vichy was the first one I tried. I've been hooked ever since!

I use Vichy sunscreen lotions, sticks (apply to nose and ears before a run!), sprays, self-tanners, and after-sun products, and I think they offer phenomenal bang for your buck. They go on sale frequently at Shoppers Drug Mart and elsewhere so it's easy to grab a deal! What I'm loving at the moment:

I love this stuff. It truly is invisible (no white chalkiness or residue), has very little scent, and doesn't get weird and gross when I sweat. A major bonus when I'm out for a run or doing yoga outside. Spreads easily too! Also available in SPF 30.

I tried this ultra light formula when I was in NYC last weekend, and it performed beautifully. The day we arrived in the city it was sunny and 38ºC with a high UV index, so I slathered this all over my face before heading out in search of a New York slice. It absorbed immediately and had ZERO white cast. It did have a faint chemically smell at first but that dissipated in less than 5 minutes. And it's great under make-up if you're wearing any! Top marks.

This is the best product you've never heard of. Much of what's sold as "after sun care" is simply alcohol-based and artificially coloured gel that's pretending to be aloe vera. No so with this stuff. It's a blend of shea oil, apricot kernel oil, coriander seeds, and blackcurrant seeds to nourish the skin and replenish moisture after sun exposure. You can apply it in the shower and rinse it off, or apply it to dry or damp skin and skip the rinsing for an extra hit of hydration. So smart!

win NEARLY $200 in vichy skinCARE

I'm such a fan of Vichy's products that I want you to try them too. Win a Vichy summer skincare and and sun protection kit worth nearly $200! Here's what's up for grabs:

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below: all entry actions are totally optional and the more you do the more chances to win. Make sense?

Say for example you already follow me on Twitter. Click that lil' button anyway and you'll get credit for already being a follower! Hop to it and I'll announce a winner next Friday August 12. Open across Canada!

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