Summer brings sunny weather and outdoor fun—but also potential damage to our skin.
The scorching heat, harmful UV rays, and increased humidity can lead to various skin issues if we don’t take proper care.
But no need to fear—Mara Weinstein Velez, a dermatologist with University of Rochester Medicine, is an expert in keeping skin healthy, radiant, and protected.
Here are her top five summer skincare tips:
1. Stay hydrated
Hydration is key not only for overall health but also for maintaining beautiful skin. Dehydrated skin may cause your skin to appear dry, dull, and scaly. You’ll even begin to notice the presence of fine lines and wrinkles.
In summer, our bodies lose more water through sweating, making it essential to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps to flush out toxins, keeps your skin plump, and prevents it from becoming dry and flaky. Don’t forget to carry a water bottle with you. And if plain water gets boring, add in slices of cucumber, lemon, or mint leaves for a refreshing twist.
It’s just as important to hydrate your skin topically with skincare products containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
2. Sunscreen is non-negotiable
Sunscreen is a must for your summer skincare routine.
Harmful UV rays can damage your skin, causing sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it generously on all exposed areas of your skin.
Pro tip: opt for sunscreen with mineral-based ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These natural compounds sit on the skin’s surface and deflect sunlight so that UV radiation doesn’t penetrate the skin. Plus, the active ingredients reflect UVA and UVB rays and are effective immediately after application.
If you are prone to hyperpigmentation, opt for a tinted mineral-based sunscreen. Iron oxides are a key ingredient in tinted sunscreens, and they are known for blocking visible light/blue light, which can contribute to pigment production on the skin.
3. Always reapply sunscreen
Remember to reapply every two hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating. You can even try a powder or compact SPF 30+ if you don’t want to keep applying a liquid formula.
You should use sunscreen even on cloudy days. Although clouds can cover the sun’s rays, they cannot stop UV rays. And while UVB can’t penetrate glass, UVA can. UVA exposure leads to collagen degradation and can accelerate signs of aging. Therefore, protection is still necessary even indoors or when sitting in a car to maintain youthful, smooth, and healthy skin.
4. Embrace antioxidants
Antioxidants are superheroes for your skin, especially during summer. The sun can cause unstable molecules, called free radicals, to damage cells in your skin. But antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and green tea can stabilize those free radicals, so they don’t damage your skin cells.
Antioxidants also promote collagen production, keeping your skin youthful and glowing.
And consider using skincare products that contain antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea extracts to reinforce your skin’s defense against environmental damage.
5. Post-sun care
Pamper your skin with post-sun care after a day of fun in the sun. Take a cool shower to soothe your skin and remove any sweat or sunscreen residue.
Follow up with a hydrating and soothing moisturizer to replenish lost moisture. If you get sunburned, apply aloe vera gel to soothe the affected areas. Avoid picking at peeling skin and stay away from heat sources like hot showers to prevent further irritation.
To shield your skin in the future, wearing protective clothing and seeking shade during peak sun hours are also smart strategies.
Source: University of Rochester