September 03, 2021
During the summer months everyone is outside more: days down the shore, weekend adventures, and even just dining outside are all ways we enjoy longer and warmer days, but each exposes your skin to the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays.
Fortunately, it’s possible to enjoy all the summer months have to offer while protecting your skin at the same time. Just be sure to follow these five simple summer skincare tips.
On a summer afternoon, it’s tempting to lay outside and enjoy the sun for hours on end. But the more time you spend outside, the more you expose your skin to ultraviolet rays. Too much sun at once can result in a painful sunburn, but even lower levels of exposure can damage your skin and put you at higher risk of skin cancer. Your best bet is to monitor your time outdoors and do your best to avoid the time when the sun rays are strongest (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
When you’re outside, cover up! Shorts, t-shirts, and bathing suits are summer favorites, but each can leave much of your skin exposed to the heat and light. Sundresses, linen shirts, or a brimmed hat can all provide protection from your skin while still keeping you cool. The same applies to finding shelter out of the sun: set up a tent or canopy, or take advantage of any natural shade in the area.
The air might not be as dry as it is in the winter, but even during a humid summer it’s important to moisturize. Without moisturizer your skin can break down, especially following exposure to the sun — just use a lighter product than you might in the winter. That same advice to go light also applies to makeup: you’ll sweat more in the summer than in other seasons and heavier skincare products can leave your pores clogged.
Many people will tell you they’ve received their worst sunburns on a cloudy day at the beach. Even when it’s overcast, the sun’s rays are still hitting your exposed skin and damaging it. Whenever you’re outside during the summer, lather your skin with sunscreen to ensure you’re protected — even when it’s cloudy. And make sure you use SPF 30 or above!
Preventive care makes a big difference for your skin during the summer. If you have experienced damage to your skin, though, you can work to reverse it. First and foremost, make an appointment with a dermatologist for a skin check following any sunburn or sun damage, and follow their advice for care. There are products, such as niacinamide for hyperpigmentation, azelaic acid for dark spots, and retinoids to help fade places where the skin has been darkened.
Finally, keep your skin hydrated. Heat exposure can dehydrate you quickly and dry skin is more prone to damage and cracking. Drinking plenty of water, using a humidifier, and avoiding skin products with alcohol, retinoids, or alpha hydroxy acid can help keep your skin nice and moist. And if you do suffer a sunburn, the same tips about being gentle apply: take cool showers, apply a moisturizer containing aloe, and don’t pop your blisters.
There’s nothing fun about spending a week with a painful sunburn after one afternoon outside. Following these tips will ensure you look and feel your best all summer long.