Every season presents its own set of skincare challenges. During the winter, we have to take steps to keep the cold from drying us out and causing unsightly cracking, chapping and scaling. In the fall and spring, pollen counts cause tons of problems for people with allergies. And in summer, it’s sweat. Summer is hot. Hot weather makes people sweat. Sweat is great for keeping our bodies cool enough to live in, but it also clogs pores can cause us to dehydrate.
Here are the best things you can do to keep your skin beautiful and healthy all summer long:
It’s the same all year round: proper hydration helps keep your whole body healthy. During the summer, though, you need to step your hydration game up a notch or two. The best way to do this, believe it or not, is not to simply drink more water. The best way to stay properly hydrated is to stop drinking beverages that dehydrate you. Sodas and coffees, for example, dehydrate you by design, to keep you thirsty so that you will want more soda and coffee! Switch them out for plain water. You’ll instantly cut hundreds of calories out of your diet while increasing your hydration. It’s a win-win!
Staying out of the sun is your best option for healthy skin. During the summer, though, that is a much harder goal to accomplish. During the winter you can avoid the sun by simply wearing sweaters and long pants. During the summer, when the goal is to wear as little as possible to avoid overheating, not only do you have to worry about exposure to the sun, you have to worry about sun exposure on a larger percentage of your body. Invest is a good sunblock.
If you can afford it, Consumer Reports rated La-Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-in Sunscreen the highest out of all of the sunscreens it tested (it is more than $7 an ounce, though). If you’re on a budget, that “oldie but goodie” Coppertone (Water Babies in particular) is also very highly rated and is only $1.31 an ounce.
Part of the problem with summer skin care is finding a way to use all of the products we feel like we need to use for beauty without caking too much stuff on our skin. Sweating through our makeup is embarrassing and contributes to acne and other skin issues. So, instead of wearing separate sunblocks, foundations, concealers, etc., look for products that accomplish several goals at once. For example, choose to use a tinted moisturizer with SPF instead of moisturizer, sunblock and foundation. The fewer products you actually use, the easier the summer will be on your skin.
While you’re at it, look for products that are water-based instead of oil-based. Water-based products are easier for your skin to handle and less likely to be sweat off.
Remember, you need to care for all of your skin, not just the skin on your face. During the hotter months, choose clothes that allow your skin to breathe. Thin cotton is your best bet. Linen is another option, though it can be expensive. Aim for thin and gauzy but with enough coverage to keep you comfortable. Or, look for clothing that can wick moisture away from you (a lot of today’s workout gear can double as street clothing).
It’s also important to find shoes that are compatible with summer heat. The last thing you need to deal with is athlete’s foot! Many people switch to flip flops and if you can find a pair that offer your feet the proper support and are comfortable to wear, grab them! Otherwise, look for shoes that are more sandal-like in nature. Crocs, believe it or not, makes a great line of sandals that are cute and will properly support your feet. Birkenstock has a good line as well.
Skin conditions are often exacerbated in the summer. Increased sun exposure can lead to freckling, moles, etc. Some issues, like skin tags can be fixed using over the counter and natural skin tag removal products (or products for acne, warts, etc).
Other issues, like moles and freckles can be indicators of serious problems, like melanoma. Take pains to examine your skin regularly. If anything changes or if something new “pops up” (pardon the pun) get it checked out immediately. The sooner you get skin issues cleared by a doctor, the better you will feel and the better able you will be to fix any larger, underlying problems.
Remember: the key to having fun and keeping your skin healthy and beautiful this summer is to stay hydrated, stay safe and wear as few layers as possible!
Skincare photo from shutterstock
Posted in collaboration with the aforementioned company.