Hey! Look up in the sky!
Do you see it? The sun’s back!
Yes, summer’s almost here. After a long, very “typical Michigan” wait, our old friend is back, shining joy and UV rays all over us. But with those beautiful rays comes a beating — on our skin, of course. Between chlorinated pools, high UV indexes, and sweaty workouts, your skin is in for one heck of a ride.
But don’t fret! We’ve come up with some simple tips and tricks to help you maintain your skin’s health and happiness in even the harshest of summer conditions.
SUNSCREEN — Yes, Always.
We don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but it’s monumentally essential you keep sunscreen on your precious skin at all times in the summer (and, frankly, all-year round).
Tips for fun in the sun:
- Use a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. These sunscreens protect you from both UVB and UVA rays. While UVB rays cause sunburns, UVA rays are the culprits for skin cancer and premature wrinkles or aging. Make sure you’re protecting your skin on all fronts!
- While no sunscreen protects you entirely, for the best performing sunscreens, choose one that is SPF 30 or higher.
- Apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before stepping into the sun, allowing the product to fully absorb into your skin for maximum protection.
- Apply your moisturizer after your sunscreen!
Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours at least! Sunscreens are not waterproof, and although some may be water-resistant (or sweat-resistant), it’s important to reapply sunscreen often to make sure you’re getting all of the benefits.
If you’re in the market for some new sunscreen, you’ll find tons of lists online talking about different benefits or new formulas to try. Gone are the days of the white-nosed lifeguard. Most modern sunscreens go on streak-free, and sans embarrassment.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
This one is a bit of a cop-out, as your body, in general, thrives when it’s hydrated properly. All of our organs operate at maximum capacity when given the right amount of water, and your skin is not immune to that need. In fact, clocking in as your body’s largest organ, your skin is at the top of the list.
Not correctly hydrating will leave your skin dry, which could lead to flaking and premature wrinkling. This doesn’t happen overnight, of course, but it’s also why we tell you to not only stay hydrated but also to moisturize (more on that later).
Some practical tips for keeping hydrated:
Invest in a water bottle you can carry with you. Drinking water on a regular basis becomes a lot easier when you have a constant source to grab from. Make it a habit and never leave home without it!
Eat foods with high levels of water like cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes, and broccoli. Not only will they aid in hydration, but you’ll feel better, too!
Reach for the water before the caffeine. If you’re starting to feel that 2 p.m. slump, down a glass of water before resorting to a cup of coffee. It’ll help you feel more alert and help you stay hydrated.
Stay extra aware of how much you’re hydrating when exercising in high temps. Drink at least an 8 oz glass of water 30 minutes before your workout, 7-10 oz every 10-20 minutes during your workout, and another 8 oz 30 minutes after exercising.
Exfoliate And Moisturize
While being outdoors and getting sweaty may have you thinking that you can skip the moisturizer, think again. Continual use of moisturizer keeps skin at its peak health, regardless of how it may “feel” to you. A lot of moisturizers work best with consistent use, so when you stop for a few months in summer, you’re resetting the progress.
Exfoliation and moisturizing are year-long skincare staples, but do the rules change when summer hits? Yes and no. While it’s safe to keep exfoliating in the summer, it’s best to avoid if you’re going to spend a lot of time in the sun.
When you exfoliate, you’re removing old layers of skin on the surface, exposing newer layers underneath. This can leave your skin looking brighter and feeling softer, but immediately bringing that bare skin into harsh sunlight can do damage. So in short, use discretion when choosing an exfoliation routine in summer, but always moisturize.
Some tips for staying moisturized in summer:
- Don’t forget about your lips! Use a balm with at least 15 SPF to keep your pout hydrated and protected.
- Turn the shower down. Taking a cool shower helps keep dry skin at bay during the warm summer months.
- Try to pick moisturizers with skin-repairing ingredients, like lanolin, glycerin, or linoleic acid.
Make the best of your summer and keep your skin healthy while doing it!