Summer presents a lot of opportunities to show off your radiant skin. At the same time, it presents some challenges to keeping your skin glowing. Increased melanin and oil production along with sweat and environmental contaminants make for uneven skin tone and blemishes, not to mention bug bites and burns. But with just a few tweaks to your everyday skin care regimen, you can effectively manage your skin so that you can put your best face (and body) forward all season long.
Managing your skin means managing your skin’s risk for damage caused by UV exposure. The best way to lower your risk is to minimize UV penetration into the deeper layers of your skin, and that takes potent broad-spectrum sun protection.
But for adequate protection, you likely need more than one product to ensure all areas are covered and coverage can be conveniently (re)applied frequently enough. So, along with your favorite sun block or sun screen, consider:
Skincare products with SPF are not your only sun protection options. You can also limit UV exposure by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves and sunglasses rated for UV protection.
You can also boost your body’s natural ability to protect itself from UV damage by eating your sun protection. Dark foods, like berries and dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and melons have phytonutrients and antioxidants that protect plants from sun damage. When included as part of your diet, these foods can lend the same protection to your skin.
There is no such thing as 100% effective sun protection (in part because there is always the human-error factor, like wearing expired sunscreen or forgetting to reapply). So, in addition to your efforts to prevent sun damage, you need to actually treat your skin for sun damage…and that requires antioxidants.
Antioxidants, as you probably already know, are chemical compounds that neutralize free radicals—free roaming electrons that degrade the chemical composition of cellular and extra-cellular structures. Free radicals in your skin breakdown components like collagen and elastin, which give your skin its texture and firmness. When these components break down, your skin sags and wrinkles.
Antioxidants can effectively slow, possibly even repair and reverse, signs of photoaging. The most effective doses of antioxidants for skin repair are delivered directly—topically—through products like our O.R.A.C. Lifting Complex and H2 Rapid Diffusion Therapy Cream.
Everything you’re putting on your skin and the stuff that naturally accumulates there, like oil and sweat, can build up. If you’ve burned, even a little bit, then you’re adding more dead skin cells to the mix, too. You need to effectively remove all the excess gunk to manage your risk for breakouts. In addition to twice daily cleansing, you need to implement exfoliation at least once each week.
In the summer months, manual exfoliation is preferable as some chemical exfoliation products leave skin highly sensitive and even more vulnerable to sun damage. So, instead of peels, try:
Because breakouts can happen anywhere (and are likely to happen in the summer), you can exfoliate your entire body. A body wash with gently exfoliating acids—glycolic and/or salicylic—is also safe for once daily (preferably morning) use.
You do not serve your skin well by using hot water for showers and rinses. Hot water increases surface-level evaporation, which increases dryness. And dryness slows down cellular repair, which you so desperately need to combat photoaging.
Whenever you step into your shower or turn on your tap for your morning or evening facial, turn down the temp, opting for lukewarm or cool water instead.
What skin care practices have helped you manage your skin health and appearance in the summer? Post your best tips on our Facebook page!