We love the sun and for good reason: Moderate amounts of sun exposure allow our bodies to produce vitamin D, elevate our emotional state through the increased production of endorphins and help regulate our melatonin production, which plays a part in determining our sleep/wake cycles.
But we are all also aware of the dangers of sun exposure from sunburn to melanoma. A healthy attitude towards moderate sun exposure and choosing methods and products that gently care for your epidermis is a wise approach to summertime skincare.
Use sunscreen every day. Get in the habit of putting sunscreen on skin that will be exposed each day, even if you won’t be spending a lot of time outside that day. And if you do plan to spend a week or two at the beach, on the golf course or sightseeing in a sunny location, apply sunscreen every night for two weeks prior to your vacation. This simple habit lets the sunscreen build up in your stratum corneum, further preventing sunburn.
If you do find yourself exploring the outdoors without adequate sunscreen or coverage and a sunburn ensues, be sure to treat it right away. The sooner you deal with inflammation, the better. Soak a washcloth in skim milk and ice and apply to the affected area for 10 – 15 minutes at a time. You can also apply a thin layer of hydrocortisone cream and take an ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce swelling.
When you sweat, you lose essential minerals through your skin. Using a spring water spritz can help replenish minerals and help you look fresh despite the heat.
Get an in-office salicylic acid peel whenever you feel like your skin looks dull or drab. Your pores will look tighter, bacteria and dead skin will be removed and oil production will slow slightly.
If you struggle with shine during the warmer months of summer, rather than try to tame it with makeup that mattes, start with a sulfur-based facial cleanser and finish with a Finacea gel. This simple regime will reduce shine and leave your skin feeling fresh.
Add a Little Color
Use a light, bronzing moisturizer or a gradual self-tanning lotion to add a touch of color without the sun. Choose products that bring the color on slowly for the best effects.
Periodically use a gentle scrub to remove dead skin but be sure to take it easy. Vigorous scrubbing can actually cause damage. If you are attempting to deal with oily patches, using too much muscle when you exfoliate can backfire and lead to increased oil production.