What to do (and not do) to keep your skin healthy in the sun
Summer is officially here, and with that comes plenty of outdoor adventures and sun exposure. There’s something about this time of year that makes it easy to forget about taking care of your skin. You don’t have to go crazy - but you should prioritize a few simple rules to stay healthy (nothing ruins a good summer weekend like a gnarly sunburn). Consider these the six laws of summer skin survival, along with a few recommendations from the Olivers team.
Skip These Ingredients
You know by now that you need to add an SPF to your regimen come summer (and dermatologists would argue that it’s required year-round). But you might not know that there are common skincare ingredients that should be avoided when spending your days under the sun. Some can lead to sun sensitivity, redness and irritation. For instance, retinols can make skin very sensitive, because they help shed and turn over fresh skin faster. And benzoyl peroxide, a common ingredient in acne spot treatments, does the same thing. This can cause you to burn in those areas more easily. Vitamin C is also less effective in the sunlight and can increase your sensitivity when not paired with a sunscreen.
A Good Face Wash Is Key
Keeping your face clean is always important, no matter the time of year. But during the warmer months, you sweat more, which can make keeping your pores clear and skin healthy somewhat of a challenge. An effective foaming face wash will help clear away the gunk without over-drying your skin. Always make sure to wash your face at the end of the night, but if you have an active morning, a second wash in the afternoon couldn’t hurt.Our recommendation: Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash, $52 by Kiehl’s
Take Hydration Seriously
Remember, that heat and sun can kick your skin’s oil production into overdrive. Keep it in check by making sure your skin is properly hydrated, from both the inside and the outside. Drink more water and be religious about applying an evening moisturizer. If your daily facial lotion has a built-in SPF, you could cut out one extra step from your daily routine.
Sunscreen Is Body Armor
If you think all sunblock is the same, you could be causing yourself some problems. Using the same sunscreen on your body and face can lead to breakouts or irritate sensitive skin. You’re better off choosing two specific sun-protecting lotions. The one for your body should be water-resistant and long-wearing (and ideally reef-safe). The one you apply to your face should also be packed with skin-improving ingredients.Our recommendation: UV-Defense Moisturizing Balm for Face, $25.60 by Lumin
Our recommendation: Reef-Safe Sensitive Skin SPF 30+, $11.57 by Blue Lizard
Exfoliation Is Still Important
While most people think of exfoliation when it comes to dry, winter skin, it’s just as important in the summertime. Even if you’re washing your face religiously, a good exfoliating scrub can offer a deeper clean. A few times a week, use a product that offers both physical and chemical exfoliation to free your skin of pore-clogging dead skin and residue from sunblock and sweat. It can also soften up your beard and open up hair follicles, making shaving easier and safer.Our recommendation: Skin Renewing Face Scrub, $28 by Port Products
Soothe Skin With a Mask
Whether you’re suffering through a sunburn or simply spent too much time in the heat, a refreshing sheet mask (pulled from the refrigerator) can bring real relief. This one, infused with coconut water and cucumber extract removes any sting while providing an extra shot of hydration from plant-based collagen and hyaluronic acid.Our recommendation: Coconut Gel Sheet Mask, $16 (for a 4-pack) by Farmacy