Changing seasons means changing your skincare regimen. Now that it’s summer, you’ll be sporting skimpier clothing and will need to think about your whole body—not just your face. Here are some top tips for your daily routine to help keep your skin healthy and fresh.
#1 MIND YOUR UV
Several factors determine the UV index, such as the season, time of day, cloud cover and more. But the big one to note here is that we are a mile closer to the sun than our sea-level counterparts. This is one of the first things Mona Sadeghpour, MD, board-certified dermatologist at SkinMed Institute, educates her clients about. According to the EPA, UV increases 2 percent for every 1,000 feet you gain in altitude. So, you do the math. And while we love our 300+ days a year of sunshine, it can wreak havoc on our delicate epidermis.
#2 CLEANSE GENTLY
Just because you’re sweating more and possibly outside getting dirty doesn’t mean you should go gung-ho on washing your face. Do wash—by all means—because you don’t want buildup clogging your pores. But don’t use harsh astringents. “Cleanser is not moving the needle for your skin health,” says Dr. Sadeghpour. “Just use a gentle cleanser—one that just does the job of cleaning.”
#3 PROTECTION MEANS MORE THAN SPF
There’s more to consider than just UV when it comes to your skin’s health. There are pollution and chemicals in the environment, and Dr. Sadeghpour reminds us: A particular concern we have in Colorado is pollution from wildfire smoke. The best way to create a protective barrier between the environmental assault and our skin is a topical antioxidant, and the most common is vitamin C. Adding vitamin C to your morning regimen is a must, and you should do it all year long, not just in the summer.
On to SPF: You should opt for 30 or higher. And when it comes to protection from light rays, there’s a whole new consideration: blue light. We know prolonged exposure to emitters like cell phones and computer screens can damage your eyes and is not healthy for your circadian rhythm, and now we know it can damage your skin. This affects those with darker skin and pigmentary skin issues, but you can combat it by making your daily sunscreen a tinted one. Most of them have iron oxide, a filter for blue light.
#4 DON’T OVER-MOISTURIZE
When it comes to a moisturizer, consider your daily activities. Are you in an office setting? If you are inside with air conditioning, your skin may feel dryer as air conditioning dehumidifies the air. In this case, keeping your moisturizer the same might be best. But when you’re outdoors and possibly sweating in the heat, opt for a lightweight moisturizer. “Heavier moisturizers are more blocking, so they cause acne or milia,” says Dr. Sadeghpour. “There is such a thing as overhydrating.”
#5 TAKE CARE OF YOUR WHOLE BODY
For whole-body skincare, Dr. Sadeghpour has two recommendations. First, photo-protective clothing takes all the guesswork out of sun protection. No need to worry about reapplying or if you’re sweating off your sunscreen—except for your face, of course. The fabrics are made to be breathable and sweat wicking, and with a UPF rating of 50, they block 98 percent of the sun’s rays. Her second recommendation is an antioxidant supplement such as Heliocare that helps the skin protect itself.
#6 DIAL-IN YOUR NIGHTTIME ROUTINE
“Nighttime is crucial for repairing damage to the skin that’s already been done,” says Dr. Sadeghpour. And the best way to do that is by focusing on skin turnover. Stimulating the growth of new skin is the best way to keep skin healthy and fresh, but the turnover cycle slows down as we age. In addition to vitamin C, ginseng, antioxidants and other collagen-stimulating methods, topical products such as retinol and hyaluronic acid can be great options, too. A dermatologist can help you determine which would be best based on your skin type. Amping up your skin turnover can decrease age spots, sunspots and even help shed precancer spots.