Warmer weather is upon us and with the sun-filled summer days come skin-harming rays. From painful sunburns, to sweat inducing humidity, and gobs of sunscreen, your sensitive skin foresees a bout of possible conflicts as the temperature rises.
Before you populate the calendar with pool parties, music festivals, and vigorous hikes, take a minute to familiarize yourself with these healthy summer skincare tips that will keep your complexion bright and your acne under control.
An alluring summer glow doesn’t just have to come from sun exposure. Gently exfoliate your skin on a regular basis this time of year to clean and clear dulling debris. Exfoliation also encourages your skin to soak up the good stuff—hydration from toners and moisturizers, and ever-important UV blockers.
Hot, humid weather causes pores to look more obvious, but exfoliating can help control the intensity. Exfoliate in the morning, always following up with a hydrating formula to seal in moisture and an SPF to shield your freshly exfoliated, vulnerable skin from the harsh rays above.
High temperatures may have you sweating more than usual but your skin is still thirsty. Summer is no time to ditch your moisturizer and instead, simply swap it out for a lightweight option that will keep skin from feeling depleted. Explore oil-free products like Kiehl’s Sodium PCA Oil-Free Moisturizer or double-up with an SPF formula like, Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector.
If you’re in the mood for a hint of bronze or simply want to reduce the number of products you’re applying, simplify with a BB cream or CC cream, like Dior Hydra Life BB Crème and Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream. Both promise hydration, UV protection, age defense, and color correction in one bottle.
Internal hydration is also incredibly important during the summer and drinking plenty of water not only keeps your body safe and happy, but helps detoxify your skin. Carry a water bottle with you while travel between summery fun and be sure to sip eight glasses a day. Drinking caffeinated beverages means you should triple the amount of water you drink.
When the heat is making you melt, treat yourself to a hydrating spritz of a refreshing toner. When you sweat you lose minerals necessary for healthy skin. A facial mist with natural goodies helps calm your skin and leave you with a dewy finish. The sheer hydration removes impurities and soothes with a weightless touch. Try a splash of Vichy Thermal Spa Water at your desk or in the car, or a burst of Fresh Rose Floral Toner after your run or while relaxing by the beach.
"These sprays are like Gatorade for your face," explains Ranella Hirsch, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine.
Sunscreen is a no-brainer but reapplying is all too easy to forget. New FDA regulations for SPF products require brands to include how often their formula should be reapplied to ensure accurate protection, but it’s up to you to follow through.
While the sunscreen of generations' past was notorious for clogging pores and leaving streaks, today’s market features shelves of options for acne-prone, sensitive skin. Aim for non-comedogenic mattifying formulas free of additional chemicals and scents that could irritate your open pores.
Hunt for a sunblock that flatters your skin type: Neutrogena Ulta Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen is a matte option that won’t leave an ashy residue on darker skin. Citrix Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 30 offers broad-spectrum protection while it fights free-radicals. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk is water-resistant, fragrance-free, and paraben-free.
When you find yourself with a Rudolf-red nose and a farmer’s tan it’s obvious that the damage has been done, but it’s important to step in with some soothing support. After-sun, cooling gels encourage healing, prevent peeling, and reduce the harm from UV exposure. Apply these babies at the first sight of pink.
"It's all about getting the inflammation down as soon as possible to curb damage in the skin and to calm redness," says Patricia Wexler, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. "I soak a facecloth in a bowl of skim milk and ice and apply it to the area for five to ten minutes. I also take aspirin or ibuprofen and apply hydrocortisone cream."
"Antioxidants like vitamin C provide extra protection and help treat wrinkles," says Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "They stick around in your skin, so you can apply it every other day."