I hate to break it to you, but the wintertime isn’t the only season you have to take extra care when it comes to your skin. The summertime can be the other side of the same coin as far as extreme weather conditions are concerned, increasing your exposure to potentially harmful environmental conditions. Some elements of skincare are fixed, remaining unchanged through the seasons, but others need a little tweaking depending on what the skies look like.
Warmer weather can come with less than desirable consequences like heat rash from excessive sweating, and sunburn from our solar system’s biggest star. Before you head outside to enjoy beach days and other assorted summer activities, let’s quickly run through 10 different ways that you can make sure your skin stays healthy and properly cared for in the summer.
1. Hydrate Inside and Out
If you’re familiar with the relationship between your body and water, then you know how important it is to ensure that the body has as much as it needs to function properly. You can do this by drinking the daily recommended number of ounces for your weight, climate, and activity level. Topically, nourish your skin with products rich in humectants, ceramides, and emollient moisture like the Skinceuticals H.A. Intensifier for your face, and the Bioderma Atoderm Ultra-Nourishing Cream for the rest of your body.
2. Apply and Reapply
Sunscreen is a vital part of any good skincare routine no matter the season, but summer is the least ideal time of year to be going sans SPF. Apply half a teaspoon to your face and neck at the end of your daily AM routine, and reapply for every two hours of sun exposure. Ensure that whichever sunscreen product you choose is at least SPF 50 and broad-spectrum to reduce the possibility of sun damage.
3. After-sun Care
How you care for your skin after you come in out of the sun is just as important as your actions before and during sun exposure. Despite our best efforts, sometimes our reapplication game might be a little lacking, leading to burns and moisture loss. Soothe your face with a calming and hydrating sheet mask to replenish your skin’s water stores, and apply aloe vera gel or your favorite after-sun product.
4. Make the Swap
The number of steps that make up your routine and the products you use for certain steps might stay constant whether snow or sunshine, but you might want to make certain swaps to keep your skin healthy this summer and prevent inadvertent harm. For instance, continuing the use of your heavy winter moisturizer during blazingly hot summer months can clog pores and cause inflammation instead of imparting moisture. You can swap out your bath products too, opting for refreshing soaps featuring ingredients like cucumber and peppermint over creamy body washes. The zing of mint and the freshness of cucumber could provide some relief from the sweltering days.
5. Add Vitamin C
Not too long ago, many of us were under the misconception that vitamin C could only be used at night because of its photosensitizing properties. It turns out that it’s totally fine to use your vitamin C serum during the day, as long as you’re wearing adequate sun protection. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties can act as a shield against environmental pollutants and free radicals.
6. Pay Extra Attention to Cleansing
Hotter days and nights usually mean more sweating, creating moisture that outdoor dirt and grime can easily latch onto. When showering or washing your face after a long day of activity, make sure to cleanse properly to keep skin healthy all summer long. Use both oil and foam cleansers if you’ve been wearing makeup, and work the product into areas where dirt, oil, and makeup remnants can lurk, like your hairline, jaw, and neck.
7. Exfoliate Regularly
The goal of exfoliating is to reveal smooth, bright skin by sloughing off dead skin cells and stimulating circulation. One of the easiest ways to exfoliate the skin on your body is with a physical scrub. It’s especially effective in areas with thicker, rougher skin and usually contains natural abrasives such as salt, sugar, coffee, and grains. Summer beauty tip: The best way to prevent painful ingrown hairs and razor bumps is to exfoliate with a scrub before you shave. Doing so will unclog the hair follicles and encourage normal hair growth.
8. Wear Breathable Fabrics
Fabric choice can make a world of difference when it comes to staying cool and keeping skin healthy this summer. Garments that are constricting or made from impermeable materials can cause discomfort and increase perspiration. Textiles like cotton, linen, rayon, and chambray are super breathable thanks to their light weave, allowing air to circulate the body and wicking away moisture.
9. Keep the Humectants and Occlusives
Hotter temperatures don’t mean that it’s time to break up with all things hyaluronic acid. Your skin still needs a moisture balance to function optimally. Instead of ditching the good stuff, find them in other formulations. For instance, swapping serums and ampoules for light essences, and rich moisturizers for emulsions of a thinner consistency. All skin types need moisture. You just have to figure out how best to get it.
10. Carry a Mist
Want a quick and easy way to cool down? Carry a travel mist. Whenever you feel overheated or need a quick refresh, simply spritz it across your face, neck, and chest a few times. When selecting a mist, choose products with soothing and hydrating ingredients. They exist in quite a few varieties, offering benefits like skin cooling, mattifying, hydrating, and brightening. A face mist is also handy for perking up dull skin and freshening up makeup.