5 Summer Skin Care Dos and Don'ts

Throw out last year's sunscreen. Just like milk, sunscreen goes bad.

Beach weather is almost here. The sun is shining, the mercury is rising, and it’s time to get outside and enjoy the finer things in life!

But before you do, make sure you remember to protect your skin. Sunburns and UV damage are most common this time of year, which can cause your skin to age faster and even lead to skin cancer if you’re not careful.

As temperatures rise during summer, so do our perspiration levels. Add to this excess oils that stay on our skin’s surface during summer months, and we have a perfect scenario for increased skin troubles.

The sun, surf and wind may be brutal on your body during the warmer months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t beat summer at its own game.

As you prepare to show more skin, get ready to face the sun's rays with our simple summer skin care do’s and don’ts for promoting healthy skin and keeping the breakouts at bay.

Do wear SPF daily

Throw out last year's sunscreen. Just like milk, sunscreen goes bad. And although it might not have a pungent smell like the said dairy product does, the effectiveness of your sunscreen’s UV protection dwindles greatly after its expiry date.

To ensure you’re adequately protected, it’s best to start afresh with a new bottle each year.

Wear broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen and apply regularly when you’re outside.

UV light causes photo-aging in the form of brown spots, coarse skin and wrinkles, whether you have burned your skin or not. When sunlight comes in contact with skin a cascade of damage results (including the stripping of barrier lipids) causing inflammation, production of reactive oxygen molecules that affect healthy cell growth, and stimulation of collagen destructing enzymes.

The key is to remember to reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

Don’t use makeup as sunscreen

Although there are a number of makeup products out there that contain SPF and UV-filtering qualities, they are not as effective as actual sunscreen. Makeup tends to sit on top of the skin and does not penetrate the skin the same way a moisturizer would, dermatologists say.

The reason lies in the fact that makeup doesn’t bind to the skin the same way that sunscreen does. Makeup also tends to slightly rub off throughout the day which makes it less effective at protecting you from the sun.

It's great if your foundation has SPF, but be sure to wear a sunscreen moisturizer underneath. You can get better protection by applying the sunscreen first and then adding the makeup on top.

Do make friends with H20

Higher temperatures and more time outdoors leads to internal dehydration, which can result in headaches and dizzy spells!

Eight 8-ounce glasses of plain, filtered water every day help maintain critical moisture balance of the body and skin. Drinking plenty of water daily is essential for a healthy complexion because it flushes out toxins and keeps your insides running efficiently. Whether you drink bottled, filtered, or tap water doesn't matter—getting your eight glasses in matters most.

Remember that fruits and veggies are also good sources of H20. And if you drink caffeinated beverages, you must triple the amount of water you drink!

Don't over-wash your body and face

Yes, it's summertime and you're working up a sweat, but taking multiple showers throughout the day can wreak havoc with your skin. Especially in the areas where summers are humid, we all can relate to that feeling of wanting to hop back in the shower or wash our face when we are feeling oily.

Though you might think it's hydrating, topically, water can have a drying effect on your epidermis. Over-washing can lead to more oil production in the skin and clogged pores. Instead, try a spray toner to balance the skin's pH.

To avoid looking like a prune, douche in small doses and always moisturize immediately after showering.

Do lighten up your regimen

Whether it be for the face or for the body, keeping your skin moisturized will combat multiple skin concerns down the road. But be sure to store those rich, heavy creams and moisturizers right along with your cashmere sweaters and winter coats.

Heavy creams can create a barrier on the surface of your face and keep your skin from absorbing moisture. And formulas that contain synthetic ingredients can trap dead cells and leave your complexion looking dull.

For head-to-toe summerized skin that's soft and supple, make the switch to lightweight gels and nourishing serums for your face and scented oils for your body. Look for serums that contain squalane oil, which is a soothing, skin-replenishing ingredient that’s perfect for warmer months. Don't worry—they're plenty hydrating.

Don’t wear (as much) makeup

Why? Let’s break this down. A) You want your skin to breathe and B) You want to limit any chance of your pores being clogged.

Your skin will be the clearest come summertime if you leave it alone and focus mainly on the skincare in your day-to-day, rather than wear a full face of makeup.

We’re not saying you’re ugly if you don’t wear makeup, but if you’re a glamour girl and you like being done up, you have to embrace the no makeup days.

Once you reconcile with that fact and your skin clears up, whenever you do wear makeup, it’ll apply beautifully and it will glow even without a highlighter. Now run and tell that.

Do invest in summer sun gear

Most of us forget that our scalp and ears are exposed to the sun often and need protection as well. And those sensitive spots along your hairline and tips of your ears can easily get burned in a matter of minutes on those scorching hot days. So don’t forget to apply sunscreen to these areas.

If you're going to be in the direct heat, use your clothes and accessories as an extra layer of defense against the sun. A big hat with a wide brim is a great form of sun protection. You can also purchase sun protective clothing.

Just as it is important to use products to avoid premature lines and wrinkles around the eyes, sunglasses can make a world of difference as well. Protect your eyes and limit squinting by simply putting on a pair of sunglasses. Be sure to get shades with %100 UVA/UVB protection.

Your lips are very vulnerable to sun damage because they lack a protective outer layer. They rely on lip balm with a built-in SPF to stay hydrated and protected from the elements, so apply one regularly throughout the day, especially if you’re spending large amounts of time in the sun.

Don’t forget to treat a sunburn

After sun exposure, you can help your skin heal itself by applying soothing, rejuvenating ingredients like aloe vera, squalane oil, and mineral water.

Super-soothing botanicals and cooling gels can help prevent peeling and reduce redness and inflammation. Apply cooling balms generously over-exposed skin, preferably at the first sight of a pink glow.

If you get a sunburn, you should immediately get out of the sun. You should also be sure to drink plenty of water and soothe your skin with a lotion that contains soy or aloe vera. Take the sting out of sunburnt skin with a cool compress. Then apply creamy, nourishing skin care to sunburn over the next few days to bring relief and comfort and to prevent peeling,

Do take care of your feet

One must always ditch their calloused, cracked heels before slipping on their flip-flops or heels – hard, roughen feet have no place in summer. Use a foot exfoliating tool once a week to gain smooth feet, and apply an intensive treatment cream on a regular basis to ensure your soles stay hydrated.

Wearing sandals all summer long exposes the skin on your feet to harmful sun rays. Whenever you reapply sunscreen to your face and upper body, don't forget to lather it on your feet, too.

Don’t scratch bug bites

During this time of year, the mosquitos are back out on the prowl once again, but whatever you do, don’t scratch those bites. The more you irritate the scab, the more likely you’ll end up scarring your skin.

Scratching a bug bite really does make it worse. If you scratch an insect bite vigorously enough to break the skin, the bacteria from underneath your fingernails could cause a skin infection.

Instead of reacting every time that you get a bite, use an anti-itch cream that will prevent you from scratching and damaging your skin. Treat the bite with Neosporin or another antibiotic ointment.

There you have it. These are a few tips to having your best skin this summer. Remember to love the skin you’re in, for it’s all you have.

Also, it’s nearly summer. There is no room for taking a loss in the skincare department. It’s just too beautiful outside to hide indoors!

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