Summer has officially arrived. With the barbecues and pool days come longer days and hotter temperatures that pose greater threats to our skin. In fact, summer is the harshest season of the year for our skin. The sun’s rays are brighter and shine for more hours each day, making skin care all the more important. But that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Here are four summer essentials to make sure your skin is healthy and radiant all the way through autumn.
One of the most critical components to your summer skin care routine is cleanser. From makeup, to sweat, to even pollution, our skin is exposed to so many external impurities throughout the day that it is important to let it breathe. We sweat more in summer, and as that sweat dries, it clogs pores and often leaves our skin looking uneven.
Cleanser is the first step to healthy routines because it removes this layer of dirt and grime before applying other products. When applying products on your face before using cleanser, they will not work as effectively because products absorb better into clean skin. If you want to maintain clear skin this summer or want optimal results from your products, a good cleanser is imperative.
Antioxidants are a secret weapon for vibrant skin, especially during the summer. One of the most damaging factors caused by the sun is free radical exposure. Free radicals essentially attack our healthy cells (collagen in particular), which can be a major factor in everything from wrinkles to hyperpigmentation. Even small amounts of direct sun exposure can cause massive surges in free radical attacks. Luckily, we have antioxidants to help us battle them. Antioxidants give free radicals the molecules they crave, neutralizing their detrimental effects.
Applying a topical antioxidant before sunscreen is one of the most important preventative measures we can take in protecting our skin, and if your skin already has some sun damage, antioxidants can help there too. Powerful antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Ferulic Acid have been shown to reverse the damage that UV rays cause over the years, helping to lighten sun spots, plump sagging skin, and even repair scarring. If you haven’t incorporated an antioxidant into your skin care routine yet, now is the time to start!
Many people struggle with oily skin in the summer, so they stop moisturizing. But why do you get oily skin in the summer? When your skin becomes dehydrated, your body produces an oily substance called sebum to protect itself from drying out, thus causing even oilier skin. Even though it may seem counter-intuitive to moisturize oily skin, it’s actually the best preventive method!
On the other hand, spending time in air-conditioned environments with dehumidified air might cause dry skin. Without moisturizing dry skin, your fine lines and wrinkles will look more pronounced. No matter what type of skin you have or environment you’re in, it is critical to keep your skin hydrated this summer!
Have fun in the sun while staying protected. Everyone needs SPF in their skin care routine in order to decrease the chances of sunburns and skin cancer. Be sure to choose a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection, to ensure that you’re protected from UVA and UVB rays. And apply lots of it! People tend to drastically underestimate the amount of sunscreen needed for adequate coverage. You should be applying a full ounce (or about a shot glass worth) to cover your entire body, and about a nickel-size dollop for just your face.
Nothing does more harm to your skin than sun damage, so applying sunscreen daily minimizes signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. In the summertime, it is critical to double-up on sun protection by using a sunscreen that has a minimum of SPF 40. Be sure to reapply it throughout the day to stay fully protected at all times, and if you’re in direct contact with the sun, reapply every 80 minutes. In order to avoid clogged pores and breakouts, make sure to use an oil free formula.