When you imagine yourself in your summer photos, I can assume, you are thinking of a perfectly even chocolate-bronze tan on a smooth skin that glows. I mean, that’s what we see every day on our TVs and social media, but what’s actually the reality?
If you expose yourself to sunrays during the sizzling summer temperatures, you are going to end up with burned skin, painful blisters, discoloration (red and brown spots), dry skin and premature skin aging (wrinkles and fine lines), especially around the eyes. Another problem is the excess sweating and the effects sun can have on oily and acne-prone skin.
However, nothing is as important as the risk of developing skin cancer when you neglect your skincare regimen and leave your skin unprotected from the sun.
This is why dermatologists endorse specific summer skincare tips and practices that you should adopt to make sure you are not making any mistakes that would make things worse or leave your skin vulnerable.
When we transit from winter to summer we change our clothing, and the same should apply to our skincare routine. Cold and hot weather impact the skin in a very different way. If you want to know how to get your skin ready for winter, we have the 18 best winter skincare tips, but for now, learn how to protect yourself from the damaging UV rays during summer.
So, what are the best summer skincare tips? Read on to discover them!
Your goal during summer should be to avoid burning at any cost, even if that means you won’t get the tan you wanted. If you have a light, fair skin tone, then even getting tanned means damaging the skin on a cellular level which might cause long-term consequences. People with olive and brown skin might have the advantage here, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t follow the same rules. Protection is vital and sunscreen indispensable!
Experts advise on using sunscreen throughout the whole year since the level of UVA rays doesn’t change much during seasons. But, in summer, you also have intense UVB rays, meaning you should use a sunscreen with a stronger SPF factor, apply it every day, and reapply it if you’re outside for more than one hour.
Buy a sunscreen product with SPF from 30 to 70, that can protect you from both UVA and UVB sun rays.
Having the sunscreen in your purse and carrying it around doesn’t mean you are protected. It doesn’t work like that. Most people, apply sunscreen in the morning, go out, take it with them, but forget about it thinking they did a good job. Wrong!
Also, people often take the sunscreen in their purse and apply it only after they feel the burning sun rays on their skin. Again, wrong!
The right way to apply sunscreen to make sure your skin is protected is to apply it 15 minutes before getting exposed to sunlight, on a clean face. This means sunscreen comes before makeup or a moisturizer, in order to be able to fully absorb in the skin. Okay, technically this also depends on the type of sunscreen you’re using.
If you’re using a physical sunscreen you can apply it after finishing your skincare and makeup routine since it stays on the surface on the skin, creating a physical protective barrier.
If you’re using a chemical sunscreen you should apply it after cleansing and toning, before the moisturizer or makeup.
The time stays the same. Apply the sunscreen 15 minutes before going out.
Every time you’re outside under the sun for longer than 45 minutes you should reapply your sunscreen. This is one of the most common mistakes people make. They go to the beach, they apply sunscreen, and they lay in the sun for hours after that. The SPF factor deteriorates in the sun and after some time it stops protecting your skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays. Experts agree that the reapplication of sunscreen should be every hour.
The best way to ensure you don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen is to schedule a reminder on your phone.
The take away from this is to wear sunscreen every day, all year round. Sunscreen will protect you from skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. If you’re under the age of 30, consider sunscreen your best cosmetic ingredient against skin aging.
Exfoliating the skin is one of the essential steps in your skincare routine that you really shouldn’t skip, and this is especially true during summer.
The rising temperatures also increase the internal temperature of our body, which uses the skin’s tissues to release heat and maintain a relatively stable internal environment. This is accomplished through vasodilatation (the skin’s pores become larger) and increased activity of the sweat and sebaceous glands. You end up with visibly enlarged pores and a shinier, greasy look to your skin.
Under the conditions you’re in, it’s really easy for the sweat, excess sebum, dirt, makeup residue, and dead skin cells to build up inside the enlarged pores and cause inflammation, frequent acne breakouts, a flare-up in blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.
Because of these reasons, cleansing and exfoliating the skin regularly is crucial!
We understand that there are many arguments as to why it’s beneficial to exfoliate the skin during your morning skincare routine, and we agree with most of them. Yet, the main argument against this, in the summer heat, is that the layer of dead skin cells serves as additional protection against UV rays. This is the same reason why you are warned not to expose yourself to sunlight after using AHAs, BHAs, or retinol/retinoids products.
It’s quite simple. Dead skin cells have no function in the body. They’re merely a waste product of the normal biological cycle of our body. The sun rays are a little too late for them, but they can hurt the living cells just underneath the layer of dead skin cells.
Exfoliating at night will give the skin a little more time to renew its natural barrier against the environment.
Toning will further cleanse the skin and help reduce large pores, which is something you’ll really need in the summer heat. Most experts agree that toners are more essential than serums, lotions, oils, and masks for keeping your skin clear and clean.
Toners help to completely clean the skin by removing dirt, makeup residue, excess sebum, and dead skin cells. This will act as a preventative measure against new acne breakouts. Additionally, by keeping the pores clean, toners help them shrink and restore the skin’s pH value.
Sunscreen creams can act as a moisturizer, which is why you can find a lot of advice on the internet telling you to ditch your moisturizer completely in the summer. I wouldn’t go so far, what you can do instead is adjust your moisturizer to your current needs. For example, in winter it’s better to use a more heavy, creamy, and concentrated moisturizer, while in summer it’s better to find one that’s lightweight.
The sun dries the skin. You can mostly feel this effect while you’re at the beach, or the pool - when you’re most exposed to UV rays for a longer time. Even if you were careful and you applied sunscreen regularly, you can still feel your skin getting warm, red, or dry and flaky.
Applying a lightweight moisturizer at the end of the day can be the perfect nourishment for your skin.
Primarily for your overall health, you need to drink a lot of water because the heat can make your body dehydrate really fast. The general advice is drinking 8 glasses of water, every day.
In extremely hot weather, your body might need even more water. The best advice we can tell you would be to make a reminder on your phone and don’t skip on your water schedule. You’ll be helping your skin from the inside.
Dehydration makes the skin dull and dry, sensitive, and more likely to develop fine lines and wrinkles. When you add the sun, as the number one reason for premature skin-aging, you’ll see that drinking water regularly and preventing dehydration is the most fundamental way in which you can help your skin.
You’ve heard the expression “less is more”, right? Well, when it comes to makeup in summer, that also applies. Heavy, oil-based cosmetics do not wear well in hot weather and your skin might end up streaking or smudging. Sweating doesn’t help and enlarged pores are more easily clogged with such heavy cosmetics, which can later turn into inflamed pimples. If you can go without makeup, that would be great. Otherwise, go for minimalistic, mineral-based makeup.
And, don’t forget to always use a sunscreen before applying makeup.
Some makeup products like foundations and BB creams may contain SPF, which can lead you to think that if you use them you are protected and you don’t need to apply sunscreen. But, that would be really wrong. The purpose of makeup isn’t to protect from UVA and UVB, and it’s likely not effective in reducing the damaging effects of sun rays.
If your makeup contains an SPF you should think of it as an extra layer of protection, as the cherry on top of the cake, rather than a replacement for your main protection - the sunscreen.
On one hand, you need to wear sunscreen all the time and apply a moisturizer to soften the skin. On the other hand, you need to minimize the creamy products because the heat makes you sweat and makes your sebaceous glands go into overdrive - which can, in turn, result in greasy skin.
So, how to balance this?
Don’t skip on the moisturizer, your skin needs it. Instead, make sure the products you’re using are non-comedogenic, lightweight, and suitable for oily skin. There are plenty from which you can choose from. Find the best fit for you.
Another way you can fight the effects of constant sweating clogged pores is to add some over-the-counter acne products in your skincare routine. Glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, topical retinol/retinoids products, or even some natural anti-acne remedies can fight inflammation, deep-clean your face, unclog your pores, and keep your skin clear.
However, some of the products for acne are not suitable for sensitive or dry skin. Be aware of the side-effects when you’re choosing the product, and try to find a milder alternative that works well on all skin types.
The sun is the number one contributor to premature-aging, freckles, wrinkles, fine lines, and discoloration like brown spots. This is why boosting your summer skincare routine with an anti-aging product can be a good idea, especially if you’re exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.
Anti-aging creams can penetrate the skin and work on a deeper cellular level, where they usually promote collagen production and help the skin heal more efficiently from the damage it endures during the day.
However, it’s worth noting that anti-aging products will not protect the skin from the sun, rather they’ll support resilience and help with the healing process.
Summer means it’s time for a hat, and a chair under some deep shadow. Maybe a cold drink and a good book too. You get the drill, right? The point is to minimize the skin’s exposure to the blazing heat and damaging sun rays. By wearing a hat, you’ll protect the face, and prevent all of the above-mentioned problems associated with sunburned skin. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to rock your fashion style with yet another cool, summer accessory.
You can do this in two ways, and I suggest to use them both. First, you should eat a lot of fruits and veggies to load up on vitamins and antioxidants and fight inflammation and sun-damage from the inside out. Plus, eating for healthy and glowy skin can make your skin more resilient to the consequences of UV ray exposure.
Second, you can use skincare products enriched with vitamins beneficial for the skin, or make natural, homemade packs from the ingredients in your fridge and get the nutrients directly on the skin.
Vitamin E may be beneficial in actually reducing UV damage to the skin, which is why is commonly present in many sunscreen creams. Additionally, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and has potent anti-aging properties.
Vitamin A will boost your immune system and help the skin reduce inflammation and acne. It fights free radicals and reduces the damage caused to our cells and tissues.
Taking vitamin C can enhance the effectiveness of your sunscreen. It has anti-aging properties by aiding collagen production and helping with the skin’s healing process.
Vitamin B5 is one of the essential vitamins necessary for the optimal functioning of our body. It helps the skin by triggering the process that breaks down the oil on the face. This way it helps the skin remain clear and acne-free.
Natural ingredients can be really refreshing and soothing for your skin in the midst of a raving heat. You can choose from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbal remedies to choose the best combination for your specific need and skin type.
You can use natural, light and non-comedogenic oils like argan oil and neem oil, to make your own DIY moisturizer to soften your heated or sunburned skin. You can also use stronger and more potent ingredients like lemon juice (always diluted), apple cider vinegar, or tea tree oil to unclog the pores and deep-clean your skin.
Note that lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are potent, drying ingredients which can cause irritation. Use them carefully, always diluted and combined with other soothing ingredients.
The lips lack melanin that the skin produces which helps protect it from sunlight. Wearing a moisturizing lip balm during summer will probably prevent the lips from drying out, but your lips won’t be protected against the damaging UV rays. How will this affect your lips? Well, damage from UV light is linked to skin cancer, and also because the sun breaks down collagen, your lips might get thinner a lot faster than with the normal process of aging.
To prevent this find a lip balm that has SPF in its formulation.
It’s summer, we’re barely wearing anything and most of our skin is revealed. This fills up the beauty salons with people requesting their skin to be smooth like silk. And, those who are not in the salons are in their bathroom doing the same thing - getting rid of body hair.
There’s no escape from it, and we’re definitely not suggesting you shouldn’t wax or shave. We’ll just cover the basic rules you should follow for healthy skin in summer.
Don’t wait until the last minute to shave or wax. Your skin needs to heal afterwards, whether it was lasering, waxing, or shaving.
After getting rid of body hair, the outermost layer of dead skin cells is gone, you’re pores are open and more susceptible to damage. You can feel your skin being sensitive and even irritated and red. Make sure you don’t expose the skin to the sun at least 24 hours after shaving. Moisturize regularly during this period and don’t apply any skincare product that might have alcohol or fragrances in its formula. Aloe vera can be really soothing for cases like these.
The next day, double up the sunscreen application when you’ll be going out.
If you’re on your holiday and you spend the whole day at the beach, you need to develop a special skincare routine for when you come home.
The first step of that routine needs to focus on cleansing and exfoliating the skin, clearing out the pores, and removing pollutants from your skin’s tissues. The other step needs to be focused on providing moisture, hydration, and nutrients to your skin to counteract the drying and premature aging effects of the sun. You can go for a simple lightweight moisturizer, a natural moisturizing ingredient, or a serum, moisturizing oil and a facial masks. It really depends on your skin type and your time and energy.
However, never skip the bare essentials and enjoy your summer.