6 Summer Skincare Tips from a Dermatologist

Summer skin care

Daily morning application of SPF can make a huge (and healthy) difference in your summer skincare routine. Through the summer months especially, direct or indirect sun exposure can take a toll on your skin. Over time, your risk of skin cancer increases, sunspots accumulate, wrinkles worsen, and texture and tone dull with exposure to environmental pollution and ultraviolet rays. We asked a dermatologist their top tips for summer skincare.

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Summer skincare routine

1. Sunscreen 101

One of the best and easiest ways to keep your skin glowing and healthy is to always apply sunscreen and/or skincare products with SPF. Many sunscreens now have an added benefit of antioxidants to reduce free radical damage of your skin. Tinted sunscreens with ferric oxide help even more to prevent sun spots than non-tinted formulations with the same SPF. Look for oil free or noncomedogenic formulations for acne-prone skin. Sunscreens with the physical blockers of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are great for those with sensitive skin. Some of our favorites include Alastin’s Hydratint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 36 and La Roche-Posay’s Antihelios 60.

Make it SPF 30 or higher! Note: your makeup is simply NOT enough! You need to put on your daily sunscreen before your foundation and/or powder. Also, KEEP IT FRESH! Throw out your sunscreen from last year and replenish. Many ingredients will be less active, and therefore, ineffective. Always remember broad spectrum protects against both UVB and UVA damaging rays and use protective clothing articles, beach umbrellas and palm trees, and avoiding the sun in the middle of day (10 AM-3PM for daylight savings time) to minimize sun damage.

Basically, don’t skimp on the sunscreen this summer! One of the most common reasons why sunscreens fail is inadequate application. The rule of thumb is use a teaspoon for the face and a shot glass full of SPF for the body. Sprays are very convenient, but don’t let half of your protection be gone with the wind. Eighty minutes water resistant products are recommended. Don’t forget to reapply SPF every 2 hours or be prepared to post that lobster selfie on Facebook the next day.

2. Love Your Lips

Don’t forget to take care of your lips! It’s common to apply lip balm during the colder, winter months, but during summer your lips are getting exposed to the sun just like the rest of your skin. Use a sun-protective lip balm with SPF 30 or higher.

3. Protect Your Peepers 

Another big consideration for summer skincare is your eyes! Part of the cause of cataracts as we age is accumulated sun damage on the lens. Look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of ultraviolet light rays. And if you can’t find a sunscreen that doesn’t sting your sensitive eye skin, consider a sunscreen stick.

4. Save Your Scalp

Sunburn on your scalp does NOT sound fun! So, make sure you cover your crown and part line with a broad brimmed hat or use spray SPF to avoid unnecessary burns on your noggin. Not sure what type of sun hat is best for you? Check out some of our favorites here!

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5. Exfoliate

Remember to exfoliate your skin before your application of self-tanner or bronzer. Your tan will last longer and will have a more even look. Watch out for excessive application at knees, elbows, palms, and soles. The products accumulate more in these areas, and make sure you wash your fingernails well after application to avoid bronzing of your beautiful French tip manicure.

6. Get Expert Advice

If you are unsure about what skin care is best to keep your skin looking radiant all year long, consult your dermatologist. With expert knowledge and medical grade ingredients at their disposal, they can guide you in the right direction.

Its summer. No cold weather, no snow blowers, and no two hour delays from school. Vacations, relaxation, and great family times often involve outdoor activities. So, be safe. Enjoy the summer and keep your skin healthy and youthful!

Dr. Kathleen Moe
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