Summer epitomizes endless fun in the sun and longer than usual nights. However, the steamy season often hampers skincare, putting a damper on your complexion.
Read on for fail-safe guidance— and prudence— to keep you looking resplendent this season.
Do: Apply at least one ounce of broad-spectrum sunscreen, which contains protection against UVA and UVB rays, of SPF 30 to your face and body, says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Hale. “When a tan shows, the cellular damage is already done.” Reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes, as well as after swimming or sweating. Take advantage of makeup and moisturizers with SPF. If desired, use bronzers and sunless tanners to deepen skin color safely.
Don’t: Linger in the sun, particularly between 11am and 2pm when the sun’s rays are apt to cause the most damage. If you must be outdoors, seek cover with a wide-brimmed hat, polarized sunglasses and other protective clothing. Maintain protection on cloudy days, too, as rays can penetrate clouds and glass, including car windshields.
Do: Use oil-free skincare products and light or gel-based moisturizers. Before reaching for foundation or thick makeup, try tinted moisturizer that’s less prone to clog pores.
Don’t: Over-wash your skin or use cleansers designed to combat oil. “This leaves a nice squeaky clean feel, but is actually counterproductive,” says aesthetician Lisa Przygoda. “By stripping the skin of oils, these products are actually stimulating your oil glands to produce more oil.”
Do: Identify ingrown hairs that may result from shaving, waxing and getting laser hair removal. Similar in look and feel to small pimples, likely with hair right below the skin’s surface, ingrown hairs can irritate the skin and may contain pus. “Exfoliate problematic areas using a loofah, coupled with products that contain salicylic or glycolic acid, says Przygoda. “These acids aid in bringing ingrown hairs to the surface. Also, salicylic acid is both an antibacterial and antiseptic, while glycolic acid promotes skin hydration.” By exfoliating, you expose the outward growth of the hair follicle, thereby enticing hair to grow in the proper direction and averting future irritation.
Don’t: Cut skin or dig at hair that’s far below the surface. If you extract ingrown hairs with tweezers, use pointy sterilized tweezers. This helps prevent infection and harm to the skin. Avoid any skin-care product, such as shaving cream, that further irritates skin. Also, don’t keep prodding at areas with persistent damage. When inflammation goes beyond the immediate vicinity of the hair follicle or lingers for a handful of days, visit a dermatologist.