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Summer Ready Skin: How to Prep Your Skin For the Summer Sun

Summer Ready Skin: How to Prep Your Skin For the Summer Sun

Summer is officially here! And with all the pool parties, long nights out, and days in the sun, that means some major changes for your skin.

The bad news? Not all of those changes are pleasant (looking at you, chapped skin and sunburns).

The good news? You can stay ahead of the curve and beat those potentially nasty summer side effects by following a few of our favorite tips.

1. Slather on the Sunscreen

This should always be a daily, non-negotiable part of your skin care regimen. But if you're like most people, that’s not always the case. In the summertime, though, this is a step that you can’t skip.

Slather on that SPF product first thing in the morning during the summer months. There are lots of options today that don’t involve a thick, smelly white paste - which means you have no excuse for cutting corners.

Still trying to find the perfect formula for you? Try:

  • A traditional mineral sunscreen that can double as a makeup primer. Just be sure to avoid formulas with oxybenzone, a no-no ingredient that can cause hormonal disruption and harm marine life - yikes!
  • Makeup with SPF, like a foundation or tinted moisturizer. Make sure you’re using at least SPF 30 and that the makeup company’s claims are backed up.
  • A makeup setting spray with SPF

Whatever you choose, be sure that it’s something you like and that you’ll be motivated to put on each and every morning.

2. Exfoliate Regularly

Maybe your summer no longer involves long vacations or days spent playing in the sun (take me back!). Still, you’re still probably getting much more sun exposure than usual.

While that certainly has its benefits - like clearer skin, better mood, and more vitamin D - it can also have a few drawbacks.

Continued exposure to sun and wind - plus extra sweat - leads to the buildup of dead skin and clogged pores. Which is why summer is the perfect time to power up your exfoliation game.

You have two main options here:

Physical exfoliants are scrubs that physically slough off dry, dead skin.

Chemical exfoliants, like AHAs, unglue the bonds that hold that dead skin to your face.

Either way, you'll get great results with regular use, including:

  • Clearer skin
  • Fewer lines and wrinkles
  • Better texture and skin tone

Not sure which way to go? Use both!

A regimen that combines physical and chemical exfoliants can be extremely effective at revealing fresh, glowing skin. We recommend that you exfoliate at leastonce a week - though in summer you can increase that to 2-3 times. The secret is to find exfoliants that are effective yet gentle for regular use (and don’t go overboard with the scrubbing).

Want next-level results? Lightly scrub with a gentle physical exfoliant like Zen Out Of Ten bamboo detox scrub then top off with a hydrating serum containing AHAs. This will encourage cell turnover and allow your skin to absorb nutrients from the rest of your skincare products.

3. Make Sure You Moisturize

What's the #1 reason people get flaky summer skin? Their skin’s dehydrated. And with hotter temperatures, more time spent outdoors, and more intense sun exposure, it’s no surprise that this happens a lot.

Dry skin is a skin type that some people have their whole lives. Dehydrated skin is a temporary skin condition and a problem that causes:

  • Itchiness
  • Dullness
  • Increased appearance of fine lines and surface wrinkles
  • Dark under-eye circles

Unfortunately, dehydrated skin rears its unwanted head more often in the summertime. This is definitely the time to double down on your moisturizer and really break out the big guns.

But here’s the thing: the most hydrating ingredients won’t do you any good if they just sit on top of your skin and get washed off (which, in part, is why regular exfoliation is so important).

That’s why it’s especially important to use moisturizers and humectants that deeply penetrate the skin and moisturize from within. Some of our top picks include:

  • Hyaluronic acid: This humectant is the perfect solution for a non-greasy, ultra-dewy glow. It moisturizes using the water that’s already in your body, drawing up moisture from the deepest layers of skin. And it’s extremely effective: just one gram (0.03oz) of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water, and it’s capable of binding 1,800 times its own weight in water! That’s why it’s proven as such an effective anti-aging ingredient today.
  • Peptides: Peptides are proteins found naturally in skin that communicate with cells to trigger collagen production. They minimize wrinkles and plump the skin, promoting healthy, youthful skin.
  • Vitamin E: This powerhouse ingredient works a little differently. It’s a powerful antioxidant that defends the skin from free radicals, pollution, and other environmental stressors. It helps maintain tight, firm, and moisturized skin.

4. Balance Your Routine

If you’re dealing with breakouts and dry skin in the summer months (an unfortunate reality if you have clogged pores and a compromised skin barrier), it can be tricky to know what to do.

The secret to skincare success? Don’t use harsh acne products that dry the skin or strip it of its natural barrier.

This is often the main issue. So if you feel like your skin is tight and dry after you use face wash, your natural barrier is likely compromised. This can lead to congestion, breakouts, and infection. Your barrier is your skin’s first line of defense.

So if any of this hits close to home, chuck the salicylic acid or the over-drying masks. Opt for nourishing and cleansing products that get rid of harmful, acne-causing bacteria without negative effects.

5. Pack on the Antioxidants

Antioxidants are a great addition to any skincare routine because they neutralize free radicals caused by UV rays, cigarette smoke, and other pollutants.

Here’s the short version of what that means: free radicals are unstable molecules that attack your cells in an attempt to stabilize themselves. This can cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and even skin cancer.

Antioxidants neutralize those free radicals by donating their own electron back to the atom, stabilizing the free radicals and reversing the damage. This tightens skin, improves tone, reduces inflammation, and restores a natural glow.

In the summertime, you’re exposed to more free radical damage. It’s a perfect time, then, to up your antioxidant game. Our top pick? Vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant brightens and protects skin while supporting your SPF product.

Here’s to glowing summer skin!