Sunshine, heat, humidity, and chlorine can do a number on summer skin. For one thing, the sun’s rays are particularly strong, so the chances of developing wrinkles, age spots — or even worse, skin cancer — increase. Plus, higher heat and humidity mean more rashes, breakouts, and clogged pores, while chlorine dries out your skin (and your hair!) Hey, don’t let these potential downers rain on your summer parade. Follow these 10 summer skin tactics and you’ll be good to glow.
Don’t skip the moisturizer: Your skin may be less dry these days, but don’t banish that moisturizer. Instead, switch to lighter, water-based formulas for both face and body, and swap your heavy eye cream for a lighter serum.
Slather on the sunscreen: Choose products that provide broad-spectrum protection (they block both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays) with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Apply sunscreen liberally (at least a one-ounce shot-glass-size amount) before you go outside; reapply every two hours and always after swimming. And don’t let those clouds fool you — apply sunscreen every single day!
Switch to summer makeup: Trade liquid foundation for a lighter, mineral-based powder with a minimum SPF of 15. Skip the creamy blush and instead go for a natural-looking glow with a touch of bronzing powder. Use waterproof mascara for streak-free swimming, and ditch that lipstick for a dab of tinted gloss.
Don sun-protective clothing: No need to cover up head to toe, but do consider a long-sleeved shirt, wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses at the beach, at least for part of the day. Remember, tightly woven, darker fabrics are better sun blockers than lightweight, light-hued fabrics, or try clothing especially made for sun protection.
Go for the faux: Minimize your chances of wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer by skipping the suntan altogether and opting for a sunless self-tanner, spray tan, or airbrushing.
Exfoliate regularly: Sun, sand, sweat, and sunscreen only increase the amount of dead skin cells that build up on your face and body. Slough them off with an exfoliating scrub or loofah a few times each week. (A beautiful bonus: Exfoliating will also help your self-tanner go on more evenly and prevent streaking.)
Practice smart shaving: Short shorts and sundresses mean more frequent shaving sessions, and that can irritate and/or dry out skin. This season, be sure to replace your razor often, shave only after you’ve been in the shower for a few minutes (when your hairs will be softer), use a moisturizing shaving cream or gel, rinse thoroughly, and moisturize immediately afterward.
Head off heat rash: High temps and humidity may mean heat rash, especially if you’re overdressed or prone to sweating a lot. Do your best to keep cool and stay dry, and avoid wearing clothes that rub or irritate your skin. A mild heat rash should go away on its own, but if it’s accompanied by swelling, oozing, dizziness, nausea, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention ASAP, since those symptoms may be signs of an infection or a more serious heat-related illness.
Prevent rosacea: This common skin condition can be exacerbated by heat, causing your face to swell, get red, and break out in little pimples. If you’re prone to rosacea, seek refuge in air-conditioning, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes, and keep cool by taking cold showers, misting yourself with a spray bottle, and drinking plenty of cold water.
Use these 10 simple strategies for skin care in summer and you’ll have the best-looking — and the healthiest — skin on the beach!