Every season brings with it skin challenges, and summer is no exception. Being late July you are already quite familiar with what those challenges are: skin that is behaving like a hormonal teenager, sunburns and overexposure, shaving irritation, dry hair, skin, and scalp. These beauty woes are not the price you have to pay to enjoy the warm, sunny weather. There are ways to cope:
Exfoliate. Remove dull, dead skin debris to improve hydration and absorption of your skincare products, prevent congestion and breakouts, and get a closer shave. Pores look more obvious in humid, hot weather, increased exfoliation keeps them clear.
How: Exfoliate your face with a salicylic acid face wash, like Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash, or use a Clarisonic Cleansing System, or go old school with a facial scrub like Alba Organics Pineapple Enzyme Facial Scrub, or plain baking soda.
Exfoliate your body with a skin polishing scrub on dry skin before your shower. A favorite cleansing scrub? Suki Body Exfoliate Foaming Body Cleanser. Pay special attention to feet, elbows, and knees. As always, follow up your shower or bath with a rich body oil or cream within three minutes.
Exfoliate your scalp with an exfoliating shampoo. Aveda Pure-Formance Exfoliating Shampoo removes dry, itchy skin cells, excess oil and other impurities. A must have for a summer scalp.
When: Exfoliation is particularly great when it is done in the morning. It’s stimulating, revs up circulation, and make up lasts longer on exfoliated, smooth skin. Exfoliate after cleansing and prior to your SPF and moisturizer application to really reap the benefits. Exfoliate your skin prior to shaving to help prevent irritation. For more posts on shaving, read this and this.
Hydrate-inside and out. Up your skin’s hydration with moisturizing masques, hydrating sprays, and drinking plenty of water.
How: Use a moisturizing masque, like Eminence Organic Peach Moisturizing Masque, weekly or twice a week as needed. Store a hydrating face mist in the refrigerator (or cooler if at the beach or pool) for a refreshing and moisturizing pick me up. Some favorites include: Ole Henrickson African Red Tea Face Mist and Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist. These antioxidant rich mists not only cool you down, they help prevent free radical damage and replenish minerals lost from perspiration. Essentially, they are like Gatorade for your skin. Drink plain, filtered water as much as possible. Recognize that you will need more fluids on days where you work out or spend time in the hot, summer sun. Do whatever you have to do to drink more water. For some, this is adding a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, or bits of cut up fruit for added flavor. Carry your water with you wherever you go. Remember, if you drink caffeinated beverages you will need to triple your intake of water to offset the dehydrating effects of caffeine.
When: Refresh with a revitalizing spritz at your desk, in the car, at the gym, at the beach, and on the plane. Soothe overexposed or sunburned skin with an intensive moisture masque as needed. Sip from and refill your portable water bottle throughout the day.
Sunscreen-apply and reapply! Sunscreen application is a daily necessity and especially so in the summer months. Applying sunscreen isn’t enough. You have to ensure you are applying enough and reapplying frequently enough to stay protected at all times.
How: Apply sunscreen to your face and body before getting dressed. You need a teaspoon for your face and a shot glass size amount for your body. Use a sunscreen that is appropriate to your skin type and needs and that you will actually enjoy using. Reapply throughout the day with a sunscreen spray for your body and a sunscreen powder for your face. For more on sunscreen, check out my ABC’s of: Sunscreen.
When: Sunscreen should be applied immediately upon showering and reapplied every two hours. Avoid the strong, midday sun whenever possible and protect yourself by seeking shade, and wearing a wide brim hat and sunglasses.
Soothe and repair. If you skipped on the sunscreen or forgot to reapply, and are now experiencing a painful burn you have damaged your skin. You have to act quickly to lessen the painful inflammation.
How: Reach for cold soothing milk or tea compresses to lessen the irritation and discomfort. Cold will help reduce inflammation while the tea or milk will soothe the skin. Moisturize your skin with pure, all natural aloe. Drink plenty of water and use an OTC NSAID to help with discomfort and swelling. For more on sunburn damage control, read How To: Treat a Sunburn.
When: Immediately begin damage control at the first sight of a pink tinge or the first twinge of sunburn and overexposure.
What are your summer skincare tips and tricks?