While we relish the ample sun and its golden rays shining down upon us during the summer months, as well as the warm temperatures, it is helpful to keep in mind that the summer air changes the quality of your skin. Those seaside vacations, getting sun-drenched by the pool side, and walks on the beach may lift your spirits but they can also potentially damage your skin.
Pollution and other environmental contaminants take away your skin’s natural radiance, leaving it oily, dull, and blemished.
So while you’re indulging in outdoor summer fun, remember to adjust and rebuild your skin care routine to ensure you continue to have radiant and healthy skin. And the changes you need to make to your skin care regimen aren’t overwhelming, but there is a clear starting point – sun protection!
Guide to Summer Skin Care
The unforgiving nature of the sun can wreak havoc on your skin. This means we have to work harder to prevent breakouts and minimize sun damage during the summer months.
Fortunately there are steps you can take to maximize your skin care and enrich the suppleness of your skin.
Beyond anything we recommend here is the need for extensive sun protection. And that means sunscreen. Dermatologists suggest a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher for all exposed skin. Remember to also protect your hands, feet, ears and lips.
“It is also important to note that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every couple of hours, so make sure to pack extra sunscreen for longer summer days outdoors,” says Omer Ibrahim, a board-certified dermatologist and co-director of clinical research at Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology.
This translates into half a teaspoon for your face and neck and a full teaspoon on each of your arms and legs, and again when reapplying.
Lighten Up Your Skin-Care Routine
Just as you wear less clothes in the summer with the warmer temperatures, you should also go lighter on the skin-care products during these hot, sweaty months of the year.
“In the summer, I generally remind patients that, just like their wardrobe, their skin-care routine may need to be a little more lightweight,” says Ibrahim.
Instead of using heavy cleansers, like oil cleansers, opt for gentle, foaming cleansers. They should be airy and hydrating to enrich the nutrients in your skin and pamper it so it feels supple and soft to the touch.
Select a Quality Vitamin C Serum
One big advantage of vitamin C is that it works to prevent hyperpigmentation, as well as improve the appearance of fine lines. It also is known to boost collagen production. We recommend layering a couple of drops on your skin between cleansing and moisturizing.
Your Makeup Should be Noncomedogenic
If you inspect the labels on your make-up products, you will notice that some will be non-comedogenic. Opt for those. Non-comedogenic means a product is formulated without pore-clogging ingredients. It is best to wear make-up that will not block the pores of your skin.
For that matter, you might consider powder sunscreen and an oil-free primer.
Choose a Dual-Purpose Moisturizer
You might want to switch to a combination moisturizer and sunscreen during the summer months.
“A lightweight moisturizer with SPF of 30 or higher may be plenty for most people,” says Ibrahim. He explains that you should apply a generous amount and reapply every couple of hours.
You will want to stay away from dense moisturizers that can cause your pores to become clogged, bring about inflammation, and even lead to acne if you have oily skin.
Continue to Moisturize Your Skin
Although your skin may have plenty of moisture on it from the perspiration that the warm and humid weather generates, you still need to moisturize, even in the summer. Always follow up cleansing with a moisturizer.
“Moisturizers reestablish the stratum corneum, your outermost layer of the skin, which protects from harmful pollutants and chemicals and prevents further irritation or dryness,” says Ariel Ostad, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon in New York City.
That is why the ideal skin-care product is a combination moisturizer and SPF. It provides a lightweight texture and will keep your outer layer nourished while not being too heavy on your skin.
Remember to Exfoliate
If you want bright, smooth skin, then exfoliating will deliver those results. Exfoliating plays a key role in removing dull skin debris and accumulated dead cells. Debris can prevent skin from breathing by obstructing the skin’s pores.
Keep in mind that exfoliation is necessary for your entire body, not just your face. If you exfoliate too much, however, your skin could become bruised and you might be left with rashes on your body. Choose mild exfoliators if you have sensitive skin.
Include Antioxidants in Your Skin Care Regimen
When you use an antioxidant serum, you will find that it not only hydrates your skin, it also protects your skin from environmental damage. It also will increase collagen production. What’s more, antioxidants extract harmful free radicals to prevent skin damage.
If you want younger looking skin, you can include antioxidants with your skin-care regimen and add them to your diet with foods such as citrus fruits, green tea, nuts, whole grains and green and leafy vegetables.
Pay Attention to Your Eye Region
The skin around your eyes is considerably thinner and more delicate compared to the rest of your face. That is why you should choose a good quality under-eye gel that contains hyaluronic acid and cucumber extract. You could even include honey as a skin-nourishing ingredient for your eye area. All of these ingredients keep the skin around your eyes hydrated and prevent wrinkle formation.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water plays the most important role in healthy skin – more than any skin-care product. Water keeps your skin soft, supple, and radiant. Water also makes it possible to flush the toxins out from the skin through sweat and urine.
We recommend you drink at least two to three litres, or approximately three quarters of a gallon, of water every day.
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