With sweltering temperatures, powerful sun and sweaty days, summer presents many skincare challenges. Whether you struggle to keep your makeup intact or your skin breakout-free and protected, we have gathered some useful summer skin care tips that will help you get through the hottest days of the year.
1. Fight clogged pores with cleansing wipes
One of the biggest challenges that come with hot weather is the increased chance of breakouts. As the temperatures rise, pores open up, inviting sweat, makeup and other pollutants in. This grit and grime get trapped deep down the pores, causing breakouts. Combat this by keeping cleansing wipes on hand. As the sweat starts to drip, wipe your skin to keep the dirt out of your pores.
Bonus tip: Look for wipes that contain salicylic acid, as this ingredient is known to help dissolve oil and fight acne
2. Ditch the heavy lotions
Despite the increased heat and humidity, moisturizing remains an important skincare step in the summer, because the sun can have powerful drying effects. That’s why it’s important to notice whether your lotion or moisturizer is too heavy for your skin. If it feels too thick and suffocating, you’ll want to look for lighter formulas that won’t clog your pores. Amid the increased humidity in the atmosphere and the internal moisture from sweat, a light lotion will keep your skin dewy while letting it breathe.
Bonus tip: Look for lotions that are part serum or gel blends. These varieties are lighter on the skin while offering plenty of moisture. For best results, choose a serum that contains hyaluronic acid, as this ingredient provides a protective barrier to the skin and is known for its ability to retain moisture.
3. Exfoliating is your friend
Exfoliating is a great way to keep your skin clear during the summer. Exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells and allows cleansers to penetrate deeply into your pores, removing dirt and buildup. Exfoliate a maximum of two to three times a week if you plan on spending a lot of time out in the sun, otherwise, you risk irritating and damaging your skin. Why? While very effective in clearing and cleansing the skin, exfoliation also removes a protective layer of your skin, making it more tender and vulnerable to the sun.
Bonus tip: Acid exfoliators and serums (for example, those containing glycolic, salicylic or lactic acids) are powerful exfoliators that cut through pollutants while smoothing the skin. Apply these at night, when your skin repairs itself, for maximum benefits. However, use exfoliators cautiously if you plan a prolonged stay in the sun. If you apply them more than three nights per week, they can make your skin more sensitive.
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4. Try a detoxifying mask
A mask can be your best ally to keep your pores sweat and pimple-free in the summer months. Masks supply your skin with a heavy dose of nourishing and hydrating ingredients that you’re probably not getting from your daily moisturizer. Plan a pampering evening for yourself and apply a mask before going to bed. Let it sink in and dry out completely before washing it away.
Bonus tip: Try using a charcoal or bentonite clay mask. These ingredients are widely known to draw out impurities by binding to toxins on the skin.
5. Always remember your sunscreen
Last, but certainly not least among our summer skin care tips, apply your sunscreen. During summer, as you expose your skin more often and for longer, you need to make sure you protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Apply sunscreen every morning, layering it into your daily moisturizer; if you plan to stay out in the sun, don’t forget to slather it all over your body as well, paying extra attention to your shoulders, face, and other exposed areas. You’ll also want to re-apply it every few hours, as it wears off
By the way, how to choose the right SPF?
Look for a minimum of SPF 15. The number 15 indicates how many times you get the protection of no sunscreen. For example, if you normally burn in 10 minutes, SPF 15 will protect you for about 150 minutes. If you have a history of skin cancer or very fair skin, use an SPF 30. Remember that SPF 30 does not mean it is twice as strong as SPF 15, but it refers to how long it is effective. Moreover, studies have shown that SPF 15 protects against approximately 93 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 30 protects against 97 and SPF 50 shields against 98 percent. These may seem small differences, but they can be significant if your skin is sensitive. The SPF system is, however, inherently flawed, because no matter how high the SPF factor is, no sunscreen is effective for more than two hours. So remember to re-apply regularly, especially if you are in the water.