With June officially behind us, summer is quite far from over--for many of us, the heat has only begun!
And while the summer is a period filled with fun, sunshine, and splashes, it can be a challenge to enjoy the festivities when your skin is barraged with extreme heat, humidity, and sun damage.
If summer feels like the worst time for your beauty routine, it’s time to take it back!
Here are 5 tips to keeping your skin looking dewy, hydrated, and flawless, even with the sun beating down.
1. NEVER Skip the Sunscreen
We know that this one has been brought up a lot, but there’s a reason for that: applying sunscreen on a regular basis helps minimize damage to your skin caused by the sun.
And it’s no secret that the sun’s rays while doing so much good for us and our planet, can also inflict significant aging factors to our skin when we don’t protect it.
UV rays penetrate the skin and cause damage to collagen, which is one of the main building blocks in the tissue and provides elasticity. When collagen wanes over time, the skin tends to become saggy and loose.
There are a few potential ways to restore collagen levels in the skin, but when it comes down to it, the most effective method is prevention.
When looking for the right sunscreen, keep the following in mind:
- Keep your skin type in mind! Not all sunscreens are universally formatted, so make sure that the ingredients are for you. Meanwhile, sunscreens containing silica are well-suited for oily skin, and those with dry skin will benefit from formulas made with oils, glycerin, and aloe.
- Start with an SPF of at least 30, but keep in mind that no formula can go higher than 50.
If you feel like none of your products are penetrating the skin, you may have some excess dead skin on the surface.
Luckily, nothing does the trick like a little exfoliation!
And to be clear, we’re not talking about the physical scrubs you might have used in your teens. While physical exfoliants like sugar scrubs may help slough off some dead skin, it’s not the most gentle or effective method.
Instead, we’re talking about a chemical exfoliant, normally one or more AHAs and BHAs, which shed off dead skin cells, and instead of scrubbing or scratching them off, these exfoliants gently break down the bonds which keep the cells attached.
Some of the most popular chemical exfoliants include salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid.
If you’re new to chemical exfoliators, it’s recommended to limit its usage to 1-2 times a week, and because AHAs and BHAs tend to make the skin a little photosensitive, it’s especially important to wear sunscreen--never forget rule #1!
3. Lowering the Shower Temperature
Hear us out--we’re not asking you to give up your hot showers and baths!
The concept of bathing in different water temperatures for varying effects is an old one--bath houses serving this exact purpose have been recorded throughout ancient civilizations. From the Aztecs to the Romans, designated bathhouses with specific temperatures have been found all over the world, and in modern societies to this day, variations of bathhouses are still actively used, including (but not limited to) Japan, Russia, China, Turkey, and Iceland.
And as it turns out, water temperatures do affect our bodies.
Hot water, for instance (98-104 degrees F), is wonderful for opening the capillaries to increase blood flow and can help improve digestion and circulation.
Frequent hot showers, however, can dry the skin of its natural oils, and clinical studies have even suggested that hot showers are one of the leading causes of flare-ups.
Meanwhile, cool water (66-80 degrees F) closes the capillaries to decrease blood flow, which can help ease inflammation.
Since temperatures are already higher, we encourage you to experiment with lowering the temperature--you don’t have to jump straight into a cold shower if this sounds uncomfortable, but try out a more tepid or cooling temperature, and pay attention to the way it makes your skin feel during after.
Not unlike tip #1, we know this isn’t groundbreaking advice, but it’s so important to your skin’s health that we simply can’t leave this one out.
Moisturizing is one of the most important steps in a skin care regimen, and during the summer when hot weather dries out every surface (including your skin), it’s absolutely essential--especially at night when your skin is working to repair itself.
Also focus on the type of moisturizer you’re using, as well; as a general rule, lightweight, water or glycerin-based moisturizers are the most ideal, as they’re less likely to clog the pores the way oil-based moisturizers can. Hyaluronic acid is also a fantastic hydrating ingredient, as it helps deeply penetrate the skin to deliver moisture.
Other than moisturizing with a high-quality product, there is still one other critical way to hydrate: make sure you’re getting plenty of water!
5. Stick With Lightweight Makeup Formulas
Speaking of lighter formulas, this is an idea you can transfer to other aspects of your beauty routine, like your foundation step.
Depending on the climate you live in, a foundation can be a touchy subject during the summer: do your trusty high-coverage foundation fail you in the summer? Do you find it has a much higher tendency to clog your pores or is your makeup melting off the skin in the heat and humidity altogether?
Switching to a lightweight or hydrating foundation does wonders for the skin when it’s hot, as it allows your skin to circulate far better than when it’s smothered by thicker, mattifying formulas.
When looking for a lightweight foundation formula, keep an eye out for a product with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which keeps it hydrating, as well as glycerin, bamboo extracts and aloe vera.
What are some of your favorite summer skin-saving tricks? Sound off in the comments below!