Ah, summertime. Rest, relaxation, and time spent outdoors with family. It can be easy to neglect our skin when we’re busy having fun. Between sun, sand, chlorine and heat, it’s essential to make sure we’re taking the necessary precautions to protect the largest organ in our body: our skin.
UV levels can wreak havoc on unprotected skin, and contribute to wrinkles, age spots, premature aging and skin cancer. Your greatest ally in the fight against these is sunscreen, and lots of it!
There are two types of UV rays that can be damaging to the skin – UVA and UVB. UVB rays are what cause sunburn, while UVA rays penetrate more deeply, causing premature aging. Both are damaging to the skin, so it’s important to pick up a sunscreen labeled as “broad-spectrum,” which protects against both UVA and UVB.
Apply sunscreen at least 15-30 minutes before sun exposure to ensure the active ingredients have time to take effect. Be sure to re-apply every two hours, or immediately after getting wet to stay protected all day. This one from Neutrogena is great – it has a nice scent and is waterproof.
While it’s important to prevent sun damage, it’s equally as important to take care of and maintain the skin we’re in. Consistent sweat and sunscreen use can cause congestion in the skin, so you may need to switch to a heavy-duty cleanser during the summer. Try something such as the Algae Deep Cleanse from Source Vital Apothecary to keep pores clear – bentonite clay purifies, while red algae and geranium essential oil soothe the skin.
The skin around your eyes is especially delicate; extra care should be taken in the summer to guard against premature aging. To help prevent crow’s feet, be sure to wear sunglasses outdoors and invest in a good eye cream. We love this one from Mad Hippie – light enough that it doesn’t feel greasy, but seriously hydrating. Pro tip: If you want to up your eye cream game, keep it in the refrigerator. It feels great, and the cold helps soothe any puffiness.
If you find that your skin begins to look and feel dull during the day, you could benefit from using a facial mist. Sprays like this one from Evian are great at adding moisture back to overheated skin.
Despite our best efforts, sunburns happen. When they do, we need to be prepared. Aloe Vera gel has stood the test of time, and remains one of our favorite ways to soothe and treat nasty burns. Stock up on your own, or keep an Aloe Vera plant at home. Avoid hot showers, and be sure to use gentle products on your skin while it’s healing. If you’re sunburned, it’s probably not the best time to try a new scrub or peel.
What are your summer-skin must haves? Sound off in the comments below!