10 Tips for Summer Skin Survival
As we make our way into the hottest months of the year when UV rays are at their strongest, it is imperative that we take a proactive approach to protecting our skin. While those killer rays may feel sensational, the effects of sun exposure wreak havoc on our skin. Sun damage leads to premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, age spots, dry skin and even skin cancer over time.
Follow these 10 skincare tips to protect your skin this summer
- Sun Protection: Choosing the right sunscreen for your skin and reapplying every 2 hours throughout the day is essential for optimal skin protection. I always recommend a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above at least one half hour prior to sun exposure to ensure the product has time to penetrate the skin. Also, sunscreens aren’t meant to last forever so throw away last year’s unused sunscreen and pick up a new one.
- Stay Hydrated: Your skin tends to loose a lot of moisture during the summer months causing it to become dehydrated and dry. Drink at least 8-9 glasses of water a day and look for skin care products containing hyaluronic acid. First off, don’t let the word “acid” fool you. Hyaluronic acid isn’t harsh or skin-stripping at all. In fact, it’s the exact opposite – a powerful humectant (aka moisture-binding ingredient) that keeps skin plump and hydrated and, yes, young-looking. Some products I recommend to my clients are PCA Skin Hydrating Serum or Total Strength Serum.
- Daily Antioxidant Serum: UV rays create free radials which destroy collagen and elastin causing premature skin aging. It is important to note that no sunscreen can block all of the sun’s damaging rays. That is why I advise my clients to apply a Vitamin C serum like Circadia’s Vitamin C Reversal Serum or PCA Skin’s C-Quench before you apply any other product.
- Moisturize: As the temperature rises and humidity levels increase, your skin may feel greasier than normal but your skin still needs moisture to stay healthy. It may be time to put away your heavier winter creams and switch to an oil free moisturizer like Dermalogica’s Active Moist.
- Nigthttime Retinoid: Consider a Vitamin A treatment, or retinoid, to battle the negative consequences of sun exposure. Everyone can benefit from retinoid therapy however once exposed to sunlight they are no longer effective and can make your skin more sun sensitive. This is why I always tell clients to apply any retinoids in the evening.
- Cleanse: Hot, humid, hazy days can make your skin feel sticky and blah because sweat just clings to your skin instead of evaporating into the air. It may be time to switch up your cleanser and move to something more exfoliating. If your skin is oily, try a cleanser that contains salicylic acid. Otherwise, gel based cleansers like Dermalogica’s Special Gel are great at dissolving grease.
- Chemical peels: If the damage has already been done, invest in a TCA chemical peel. These multifaceted, skin brightening treatments will help lighten sun spots with minimal discomfort and little to no downtime. But consider yourself warned: Even though chemical peels reduce discoloration, they will increase your skin’s photosensitivity making sunscreen a must!
- Beautify the skin from within: Consuming fruits and vegetables that are in abundance during the summer months will give a boost of glowing good health to your complexion. Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and plums have the highest total antioxidant capacity of any food.
- Regular facials: A professional facial is much more than just a luxury – it’s hygiene and exercise for the skin. Facials offer you the opportunity to work with a skincare specialist who will help you improve your complexion and show you how to have a proper home care regimen for your specific skin type.
- Protect your pout: While we never need an excuse to buy a new lipstick, sun protection for your lips is a must! Look for lip care with an SPF of at least 15. I recommend at lip balm over a lip gloss as they tend to be more hydrating during the summer months.