With warmer weather upon us, people are looking for any opportunity to go outside and enjoy some fresh air. And fortunately, socially distanced summer fun is still in the cards. Right now, business is booming for makers and sellers of outdoor goods, as hikers, bikers, swimmers, and campers are jumping right into the season.
No matter what activities you have planned, it's a good idea to learn how to prepare your skin for summer so that you can ease into the sunshine as safely as possible. That means protecting against damaging rays as well as preventing dry skin, acne, and other problems that arise when things get hot and humid.
Read on for a few tips to help you get started.
Stock Up on a Good Sunscreen
Regularly wearing sunscreen is the best thing you can do for your skin. Not only can it help lower your risk of skin cancer by up to 50 percent, but it also helps keep your skin bright and wrinkle-free as you get older.
Hopefully, you've been wearing sunscreen all year long: While the sun's rays are strongest in the late spring and early summer, you can get burned at any time of year.
Even so, now's a great time to check your supplies. A family of four typically goes through a full bottle of sunscreen in one outdoor afternoon, so make sure you stock up. For best protection, look for a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
Rethink Your Skin Care Routine
As the seasons change, you may want to modify your skin care regimen to protect skin from sun exposure, heat, and humidity. Consider using the following:
- Cleanser: Sweat and muggy weather can raise your risk of summertime acne, so opt for an oil-free facial cleanser for a refreshing clean. If you're particularly embattled by clogged pores, you may want to use a deep pore cleanser to remove excess oils or heavy makeup.
- Moisturizer: If you live in a hot climate, switching to a lighter product that melts on contact may help you feel more comfortable and hydrated without clogging pores.
- Lotion: Whether it's shaving, waxing, or laser treatments, hair removal can irritate hair follicles and lead to bumpy, itchy skin that grows more uncomfortable in the sun. Preempt those problems by picking a good therapeutic lotion that can help your skin retain moisture all over, especially around the legs, underarms, and bikini area.
Keep in mind that although sun exposure can dry out your skin, water can too. So after swimming, it's always a good idea to quickly rinse off and reapply your skin care products to replenish hydration. Moisturizers in particular do best when applied to damp skin, so it's a perfect time to get that extra hydration boost.
Give It Time After Aesthetic Procedures
As eager as you may be to show off your rejuvenated skin after laser therapy, microdermabrasion, or other aesthetic procedures, ask your aesthetician or Dermatologist how long you should wait before sun exposure. Some experts recommend holding off for up to two weeks so that your skin can heal and refresh after the procedure.
And always follow their directions for post-procedure skin care, such as using an antimicrobial gel to prevent infection or healing ointment to jumpstart recovery.
Know Your Skin and Check with Your Doctor
Some people may need to take extra precautions, such as those with polymorphous light eruption (PMLE). Known for its itchy rash, PMLE tends to affect people in the spring and summer when they experience a sudden uptick in sun exposure, like during a vacation or early-season outing. Talk with your Dermatologist to learn how to prepare your skin for summer based on your individual needs.
Without a doubt, this summer will be a little different than usual—but sunshine and fun still await. Just make sure you practice safe skin care, and you'll be hiking, biking, or swimming your way into another memorable summer.