Warm summer days filled with swimming in lakes, lying on beaches, or hiking through mountains are calling. After months spent indoors and covered in polar fleece and parkas, your skin might not be ready for prime-time sun exposure. A little special care and attention can go a long way to preparing your skin for summer.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
As temperatures rise, your body perspires more to cool off. It’s easy to forget to drink enough water when you’re having fun. Other times, the activity itself may make you forget to hydrate.
Swimming serves as a good example. You perspire when you swim, just like you do when you walk or run, but the water washes the perspiration away. Additionally, your brain might not trigger your thirst because it’s surrounded by water and doesn’t think you need a drink. As a result, it’s much easier to get dehydrated when swimming than you think.
Dehydrated skin can become red, itchy, and dry. That’s not exactly the look most people want when they’re bearing a little more flesh in their summer wear.
Keep a water bottle nearby and sip frequently. The general advice is to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day. That’s not bad advice, except you may need more or less depending on your size, weight, activity level, and the outdoor temperature.
The more you exert yourself, the more water you need. The same holds true for temperatures. When the mercury is on the rise, you need more water to replace your perspiration.
Cleanse your skin
Cleanse your skin every morning and night, especially your face. It’s important to wash away all that sunscreen that protects your skin. Without a good cleansing, it can clog your pores and lead to summer breakouts.
Cleansers are a better option than soap. A gentle soap-free cleanser like SkinResourceMD’s Total Facial Cleansing Gel removes oil, dirt, and makeup and leaves behind the right balance of your skin’s natural moisture. If you’re prone to breakouts, give Tea Tree Deep Clearing Facial Cleanser a try. This formula contains natural antibacterial ingredients that attack the bacteria that cause acne.
Physical and chemical exfoliants remove dead skin cells that make your skin look dull and lifeless. Physical exfoliants have rough or gritty ingredients that physically break up and remove dead skin cells. Some formulas contain large particles from nuts or fruit pits that can damage the skin. Others, like Crystal Clarity Exfoliation Scrub, have micro-ingredients that gently break up dead skin cells. However, the volcanic ash used as an exfoliant is small enough that it doesn’t damage the skin. Instead, it polishes the skin to reveal a fresh layer underneath.
Chemical exfoliants, like Alpha Hydroxy Skin Renewal Serum, contain ingredients that break the bonds between the dead skin cells. This particular formula has antioxidant ingredients that stimulate collagen production and restore the skin’s texture.
The heat and extra perspiration of summer might tempt you to skip moisturizer. In the heat of summer, your skin needs moisture more than ever because of the drying effects of the sun. A lightweight moisturizer like Oil Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer is an excellent option for morning application. It quickly absorbs into the skin and provides a dose of antioxidants to fight free radical damage.
At night, do deeper moisturizing with Ultra Rich Biolipid Cream or Baobab Skin Correction Facial Cream. Your skin has more time to absorb the moisturizer while you sleep, and keep in mind that well-moisturized skin produces less oil.
Apply sunscreen every day
Apply sunscreen after cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing your skin. The sunscreen seals the other products and protects your skin from harmful UV rays.
Always choose a physical sunscreen over a chemical sunscreen. These sunscreens reflect UV rays rather than absorbing them like their chemical counterparts. Also, make sure the sunscreen is broad-spectrum so that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
A sunscreen like Essential Solar Protector is powerful enough for the entire body but gentle enough for the face. It also contains a moisturizer for one less step in your daily skincare routine. Another good option is Hyaluronic Facial Solar Protector, a tinted moisturizing sunscreen. This sunscreen can replace your moisturizer and foundation with a single product. Both are reef-safe physical sunscreens.
Cover up when you can
When possible, protect your skin with SPF-protective clothing and wear light, loose layers. Don’t forget to protect your head. Your scalp is just as sensitive to the sun as the rest of your skin. Sun hats and baseball caps are a great way to protect yourself and get some shade.
Start caring for your summer skin today
Summer may already be here for some and right around the corner for others. Develop a healthy skincare routine well before you’re lounging by the pool. Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and screen up. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and cover up when you can.