Your skin is constantly responding to its external environment: It produces sweat to keep you cool, melanin to protect you from the sun, and oils to combat dryness. The blood vessels within the epidermis also dilate and contract frequently to regulate your body’s core temperature.
Naturally, the way your skin behaves—and the care it needs—varies substantially with the seasons. To maintain a radiant glow all year long, you’ll need to develop a skincare plan that reflects seasonal changes in temperature and moisture levels. The five summer skincare strategies below can prevent breakouts and protect your largest organ from damage as the mercury rises:
5 Skincare Tips for Summer
- Always wear sunscreen.
Sunscreen shouldn’t be something you save for the weekend. Any time you venture outside during the day, you’re exposed to harmful UV radiation—and this exposure adds up. Over time, even casual sun exposure can contribute to the formation of lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. It also increases your risk of skin cancer. To prevent these issues, we recommend wearing a sunscreen with a high SPF value (30-50 SPF) every time you venture outdoors, regardless of the weather. Up to 80% of the sun’s rays penetrate through cloud cover, so it’s important to cover up on cloudy or rainy days, too.
If you’re already noticing signs of sun damage, a facial can help. Professional facials like the Obagi System gently remove damaged skin cells, allowing healthy new cells to grow in their place. Facials are a great way to fade discolored areas, firm your skin, and erase wrinkles.
- Don’t stop using moisturizer.
Slathering on cream when your skin already feels damp and oily seems counterintuitive, but moisturizing is no less important in summer than it is in winter. During the warmer months, we recommend switching to a lightweight moisturizer that’s loaded with antioxidants. Nutrient-rich serums, like the Obagi Professional-C Serum, will help your skin repair itself following exposure to UV radiation.
- Use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid.
The oil glands in your skin get more active during the summer, which can lead to the accumulation of excess oil. This oil clogs pores and hair follicles, increasing the risk of breakouts and ingrown hairs. Using a daily cleanser that contains about 2% salicylic acid will dissolve oily build-up and keep acne at bay.
- Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated during the summer months is essential for health reasons, but it can also improve the condition of your skin. Like all organs, the epidermis needs water to function optimally; drinking enough water supports your skin’s ability to renew itself.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle, adhering to the standard eight glasses per day rule should keep your skin (and body) healthy. If you spend a lot of time exercising outdoors, however, you may need to consume 12 or more glasses of water each day to remain hydrated.
- Avoid tanning.
Even if you wear sunscreen, you should resist the urge to sunbathe. No sunscreen can filter out 100% of the sun’s rays, and people often forget to reapply sunscreen in a timely manner. Both of these things can leave your skin vulnerable to UV damage during periods of extended sun exposure. For a no-risk glow, we suggest picking up a good spray tanner instead. Though these five skincare steps work for most people, everyone’s skin is unique. If you have breakout-prone skin, “combination” (both dry and oily) skin or dermal conditions that require special care, you should discuss your skincare needs with a cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist. Cosmetic professionals have the in-depth knowledge needed to effectively treat problem skin; they also have access to potent medical-grade products and treatments you won’t find in any store. If you’d like to learn more about professional skincare, contact us to arrange a personal consultation.