You might be feeling SO ready for summer but is your skincare routine? Yes, summer brings hotter temperatures and an end to the dryness that winter can inflict on your skin but this can also contribute to breakouts (you know the feeling at the end of a great summer day - you come back from a day in the sun and your face feels coated in a little layer of film that you just can't wait to rinse away). And since we're thinking about skin, we can't ignore that extra time outside often equates to extra UV exposure. Here are some tips for weathering the summer weather with great skin.
Warmer, humid air can be a great balance for dry skin, but if your skin is combination or oily you may see more breakouts. Cream and oil cleansers leave hydrating lipids on your skin which is ideal when skin is dry, but may not be necessary or can be too heavy for oily skin in warmer months (especially with increased humidity and sweat). A balanced, foaming cleanser helps lift away excess sweat and debris on your skin’s surface. Not all foaming cleansers are the same, however. We opt for cleansers without harsh alcohol or synthetic fragrance which can aggravate breakout prone skin.
If you’re break-out prone, you’ll definitely want to wash your face before bed (a double-cleanse will more thoroughly remove product from your skin and leave it ready for acne-fighting treatments) and you may not want to skip washing your face in the morning. This removes sweat and excess oil before you pile on your moisturizer and SPF for the day.
The same principle applies to moisturizers. If your skin is not dry during the summer, you can swap out a richer cream for a lightweight moisturizer with hyaluronic acid or squalane (a lightweight, hydrating oil that won’t clog pores).
For oily or acne prone skin, the combination of SPF, makeup and sweat can be a cocktail that leads to blocked and more visible pores. Using gentle exfoliants like AHA (lactic, glycolic and mandelic acids, for example) will help to break down blockages in pores, and acne-bacteria neutralizers like green tea and BHA (salicylic acid) add another preventative boost.
Up The Antioxidants
Give your skin extra care and protection against free radicals from UV exposure and pollution with a daily dose of antioxidants. Not only do antioxidants help protect skin from photo-damage like sunspots and fine lines, but certain antioxidants like Vitamin C can actually reverse hyperpigmentation and improve firmness and texture. For a deep-dive on antioxidants, check out this post.
Pre And Post Sun
Be cautious about using acids and vitamin A, both of which can make your skin more photo-sensitive. You may want to dial down your use slightly (and skip days when you’ll be out in the sun), use at night, wear SPF and be careful about exposure during the day.
After a long day in the sun, your skin will be drier and could use some extra attention. After sun/UV exposure, your skin’s natural moisture barrier is compromised and the free radical damage can continue for hours after you leave the sun. Using a gentle cleanser followed by a lipid-rich facial oil or slightly richer moisturizer with soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients is key.
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