Summertime means more time outside, soaking up some rays and working up a sweat. While this can give your skin a great sun-kissed glow, summer weather can also cause breakouts, excess oil and shininess, and irreversible, aging skin damage.
Never fear! You can make this your best summer ever skin-wise by creating a summer skincare routine for healthy, fresh, glowing skin with these essential summer skincare tips.
Why is Summer Skincare Important?
Summer skincare is important because the extra heat and humidity of summer, combined with changes in our activities and habits, means skin experiences stresses in the summer it doesn’t encounter the rest of the year.
Here are just a few of the ways summertime can wreak havoc on your skin:
- Heat and humidity stimulate the skin’s oil glands, making your skin oilier
- Excess oil combined with sweat can lead to clogged pores, which leads to breakouts
- Harmful UV rays from the sun can cause everything from invisible cellular damage to visible aging to painful, potentially cancer-causing sunburn
- Excessive heat can cause temporary redness, blotchiness, and even prickly heat rash
Fortunately, creating a summer skincare routine is easy. It might mean swapping out a product or two in your current routine for summer-friendly versions, adding or removing a step from your routine entirely, and adding in other habits (like eating and sleeping well) that support great skin.
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Understanding Your Skin Type
No matter your skin type, you need to keep your skin clean and moisturized all year long. Here are some tips on picking the best products for your skin type this summer.
- Dry skin: Creamy cleansers and cleaners with oils are great for dry skin, even in summer. Keep moisturizers light for summertime but don’t be afraid of richer ingredients like jojoba oil and shea butter.
- Oily skin: Cleansers with gentle acids, like glycolic acid or salicylic acid, can help tame oil. Look for a moisturizer that’s water-based (not oil-based) and includes non-oily ingredients that help lock in moisture like hyaluronic acid or glycolic acid.
- Combination skin: Foam cleansers and cream-to-foam cleansers are great for combination skin because they can effectively remove excess oil without drying it out. For moisturizers, choose a light, non-oil-based lotion for oily areas and a richer one for dry areas.
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10 Essential Summer Skincare Tips
1. Stay Hydrated Inside and Out
One of the best things for your skin is not something you put on your body but in your body – water! Plenty of water is essential for keeping your skin supple, smooth, and glowing. When you’re well hydrated, it shows up on your face. If you just can’t get into plain water, add some cut-up fruit or flavored electrolyte powder, or drink iced tea instead.
2. Switch to Lightweight Moisturizers
Speaking of hydration, don’t skip moisturizer this summer, even if your face already feels oily. Not moisturizing can signal to your skin that it needs to ramp up oil production, only making the problem worse. Plus, AC indoors can strip moisture from the outer layers, making it appear dry. Choose the right kind for your skin type (see above), and use it every day.
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3. Upgrade Your SPF Game
Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun and only after moisturizer and other skincare products. And wait for 10 minutes (or longer) to apply makeup after sunscreen, as it needs time to form a film on the skin to work properly. For midday touch-ups, try a face powder with SPF for maximum convenience.
4. Keep Your Skin Cool
If you want glowing skin, do your best to keep it cool. Drink plenty of water (see tip #1), spray your skin with a light mineral water mist, and seek out shade, fans, or AC when you get too hot.
5. Exfoliate, But Not Too Much
Gentle exfoliating can help reduce breakouts by removing dead skin and excess oil. Both physical and chemical exfoliators work well; just don’t overdo it, or you’ll strip too much moisture from your skin.
6. Nourish Your Skin with Antioxidants
Antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E help protect the skin by effectively neutralizing free radicals, which are atoms or molecules with an unpaired (free) electron that can damage cells. Adding an antioxidant-rich serum to your skin routine is an easy way to help protect your skin and keep it looking younger for longer.
7. Don’t Forget Your Lips and Eyes
These sensitive areas are often overlooked when it comes to creating a skincare routine. For lips, look for lip balm and lipstick with SPF. For eyes, choose a daytime eye cream with SPF and wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection, which not only helps defend the delicate skin around the eyes from the sun but also protects the eyes themselves.
8. Watch Your Diet
Add an extra dose of skin-protecting antioxidants to your diet by increasing the amount of fresh fruit and veggies you eat this summer. Other great foods to enjoy this summer include green tea, which is high in the antioxidant EGCG, omega-3-rich foods like nuts and seeds, and oily fish like salmon, and flaxseed.
9. Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is when the body repairs itself, and that includes repairing UV-induced cellular damage in the skin. That’s why making sure you sleep enough in summer is one of the most important, yet often overlooked, summer skincare tips.
10. Consult with a Dermatologist for Personalized Advice
Did you know that dermatologists can help you create a skincare routine that’s right for your skin? Book an appointment with your dermatologist to talk about how to best take care of your skin in the summer if you have any special concerns or difficult-to-treat conditions like eczema, rosacea, or acne.