Summer is here, and after the harsh winter much of the US experienced, many of us are excited about the prospect of a little fun in the sun. But just as the harsh winds and bright ski slopes of winter can damage our skin, summer can do quite a number, too. How can we best care for our skin in the warmer months and protect our skin at the same time?
Part of the answer depends upon your own individual skin type; however many summer skincare tips apply regardless of whether your skin is dry, oily or combination.
Here are seven skin care tips to help keep you looking your glowing best when the temperatures soar.
1. Exfoliate Your Skin
Dry, dead skin clogs pores. This can result in acne breakouts even if your skin isn’t overly oily. Plus, those with darker complexions can look ashy when too much dry skin accumulates.
Easy! Invest in a commercial scrub, or make your own natural exfoliate. If choosing a commercial scrub, take a pass on those containing plastic microbeads as these can harm the ecosystem. If going the natural route, try this blueberry and honey scrub for dry skin — the honey acts as an antioxidant to protect against free radicals, too.
2. Select The Right Toner
The right toner helps to tighten up pores. This helps keep excess bacteria and dirt from entering and clogging them, resulting in acne. You can use a gentle natural toner such as witch hazel which absorbs excess oil without drying skin. If you are prone to acne, try a commercial toner containing salicylic acid or benzoil peroxide.
If you do break out, resist the urge to pop them. This can leave scars. Instead, invest in these miracle overnight pimple patches (they’ve changed my life forever!). They use hydrocolloid, a wound treatment used to draw out infection and, trust me, the amount of gunk you’ll find on the patch in the morning is every bit as grossly satisfying as popping — only without risking infection.
3. Moisturise Regularly
Even if you have oily skin, letting dryer cheeks and under eye areas get too parched can lead to future wrinkles. Plus the right moisturiser can actually decrease oil production.
Invest in a good, non-oily face cream. But don’t forget the rest of your body! Those with dry skin need all the moisture they can get, so they do well to invest in creamy hand soaps and gentle, enriched body wash.
4. Wear The Right Sunscreen
Even if you don’t burn, the sun increases free radical production in the skin, leading to premature aging. Plus burns can lead to skin cancer.
Select a natural sunscreen free of parabens and oxybenzone, chemicals which impact the hormonal system negatively. Reapply sunscreen often when out in the sun, every one to two hours, more often if swimming or sweating a lot. And try to head to the shade between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm when the sun is at its strongest.
5. Invest In Good Sunglasses
Delicate under-eye skin wrinkles quickly, and Botox costs a pretty penny. Plus the sun’s UV rays can damage the cornea, resulting in visual impairment.
Hello, retail therapy! When selecting specs, go for fun and flirty styles, but make sure the lenses offer full spectrum UV protection.
6. Wear A Cute Hat
Even when you wear sunscreen and glasses, the intensity of the summer sun can leave you squinting, leading to those annoying frown lines between the eyes.
Get your credit card ready, girl! These absolutely adorable hats will protect your skin and eyes while making you the envy of everyone beach or poolside.
7. Keep Lips Protected, Too
Our lips are part of our skin. But they lack oil ducts to keep them moist, so we have to apply balm to keep them from chapping in the heat.
Opt for lip balms made without white petroleum. This substance creates a barrier between the skin and the outside air, smothering the skin’s natural microbiome. Instead, select balms made from beeswax or other natural moisturisers.
Healthy, Glowing Skin All Summer Long
Even though too much sun can wreak havoc on our skin, by practicing proper care, we can keep our appearance radiant regardless of the time of year. By following the tips above, you’ll enjoy a shining glow of health which rivals the brightness of the sky all summer long.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.