Whether it’s the long, dark days of winter or the hot hours in the summer sun — skin care is crucial. However, with the sunny, poolside season approaching, it’s important to tweak your skin routine to avoid damage. While many of the same rules apply — cleanse, moisturize, exfoliate — there are ways to tailor your routine to be summer-friendly. Not sure where to begin? Here are five tips to consider for your summer skincare routine.
1. Make SPF Your BFF
While it may seem obvious and self-explanatory, there’s a reason it’s often drilled in your head by skin care professionals. Including sunscreen in your routine is important year round, but it’s particularly crucial in the summer months. SPF on your skin provides an additional layer to protect your face from UV rays, decreasing the likelihood of burning.
Repeated sunburns can result in premature fine lines and wrinkles and even increase your risk of skin cancer. Everyone should protect their skin with sunscreen, but it’s even more important if you use photosensitive skincare products. Retinoids, like tretinoin, can increase your skin’s sensitivity to light. The active ingredients in these products can also break down in the sun, so if you apply your anti-aging cream without sunscreen, it can’t be as effective.
Adding this step to your skincare doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It can be as simple as finding a moisturizer or foundation that includes SPF. It’s considered best to use anywhere from SPF 30 to SPF 50 for your face daily, especially with heavy sun exposure. If you’re in the sun for prolonged periods of time, reapply your sunscreen every two hours. It’s best to apply it about 20 minutes before going outdoors — and don’t forget your neck and upper chest!
2. Don’t Skip the Lips
Although you likely spend a lot of time and effort into your skincare, the lips are an area that often gets overlooked. Your lips contain less melanin, the pigment that protects skin from the sun, than other areas of your body. They also do not have their own oil glands, so they rely on you to keep them moisturized and protected.
Sun damage on or around your lips can lead to dryness, sunburn, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and even skin cancer. Lips left unprotected are also more likely to get sailor’s lip, where they are constantly scaly and chapped. Whether you prefer chapsticks, oils, gloss, or balm — there is a way to protect your chops from potential damage.
Just like other parts of your skin, it’s best to aim for an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every two hours. If you prefer a tint to your lips, you can opt for a tinted lip oil or a hydrating lipstick. Lip products that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and emollients are great for their smoothing effects as well.
3. Less is More for Makeup
If you regularly wear makeup, you already know heavy products and sweat do not mix well. Not only is it not a good look, it also leads to breakouts as sweat and makeup clog pores. While the oily look from heat can make you want to dab on a little more powder, keep it simple. You’ll have fewer issues with creases and caking if you have fewer products in your makeup routine this summer. Plus, your skin will love the time to breathe.
Tinted moisturizers, concealers, and BB cream can give you a glow without being overbearing or smearing off. You can also find tinted lip balm for a lighter lip look. If these still don’t seem to do the trick, you can opt for non-comedogenic products. These types of cosmetics do not contain pore clogging ingredients, which can reduce the chances of breakouts and unhealthy skin. If you’re prone to oily skin, this can even be a better alternative year-round too.
4. Consider Utilizing Self-Tanner
Too much time in the sun and regular burning can leave your skin looking leathery overtime because it’s losing its elasticity. If you’re looking for a sun-kissed glow but don’t want the damage, consider utilizing self-tanner. This will give you a golden look on the top layer of your skin that will wash off soon after. You get a bronzed body without breaking down the skin barrier. That’s a win-win.
If you’re afraid of streaks, splotches, or looking orange — don’t fret. Start by exfoliating and then moisturizing your hands, wrists, elbows, ankles, knees, and the back of your heels. It’s wise to dilute the product before going over your elbows and ankles, as this is where the skin soaks up the product the most. For your hands and feet, consider using a makeup brush to apply, as these are delicate areas that can easily become blotchy.
Note: Self-tanner does not protect your skin from sunburns, so it’s important to still put on sunscreen if you’ll be outdoors.
5. Vitamin C, Vitamin C, Vitamin C
While vitamin C serum is a godsend every season, it especially comes in handy during the summer months. As mentioned, because you have more exposure to the sun in the summer, you are more prone to skin damage. Not only can it lead to premature aging, but it can also lead to dark spots. A good vitamin C serum can help protect your skin from losing collagen, allowing it to keep its elasticity. It also prevents hyperpigmentation by blocking the production of pigment in our skin.
Vitamin C serum can be used every day, so consider adding it as a step in your skincare routine. However, if you use retinol products, it’s best not to apply them at the same time of day. When looking for a serum to buy, opt for one that contains anywhere from 10% to 20% vitamin C. This is the sweet spot for it to avoid skin irritation and still be effective.
The Bottom Line
Skincare should always be a priority, but summertime can be the time to give it a little more consideration. Being more exposed to the sun, means being more exposed to potential skin damage. Prevent fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and even skin cancer by incorporating a few tips and tricks into your regime. Whether it’s purchasing SPF moisturizer or tackling self-tanner, incorporating additional care will have your skin thanking you for a lifetime.