Summer is almost here, and you know what that means — spending time outdoors! Here in Central Oregon, we have long, cold winters and there’s no doubt our skin is ill-prepared for the summer sun. If you live in a milder climate that allows you to expose more than just your face to the sun for half the year, your skin may already be semi-prepped and you should be following these guidelines all year round. I have a few simple techniques to keep skin healthy and glowing all summer long.
Always Remember to Exfoliate
Exfoliation (removing dead skin) is vital to keeping your skin radiant and soft and ensuring that your leave-on products actually do the work they're built to do, especially in the summer heat. I always suggest people start the season with a chemical exfoliation- even using a gentle product like our Coconut Lactic Peel makes a world of difference, helping you shed dull winter skin and aid in your skin's transition into warmer, more humid weather. You can take it one step further and schedule a Hydrodermabrasion facial with your esthetician. I like to get a hydrodermabrasion facial every few months to "jump start" the exfoliation process- my skin always looks fresh and glowing afterwards.
Once you’ve done a chemical exfoliation, use a manual scrub 2-3 times a week, although if you feel any tenderness or discomfort, back off and scrub only once a week. More aggressive scrubs like our Sugar Scrubs are perfect for the shoulders and down, but stick with face-specific scrubs for the more delicate skin of your face, neck and decollete'. By utilizing a scrub at least once a week, you can remove dead, flaky skin from both your face and body, preventing blemishes as well as a dull appearance. Exfoliating weekly (not daily) can be extremely beneficial for the skins appearance and texture, especially to help with cell turnover and removing dirt and oils left on the skin’s surface.
The oil glands on your skin’s surface are much more active in warmer weather. Naturally, the more oil that's present on your skin, the more susceptible you are to breakouts. Acne can occur at any age. If you are someone who struggles with acne or oily skin, a facial toner can be a helpful addition to your daily skincare ritual. Try using a toner mid-day to remove sweat and oil that builds up (if you aren't wearing make-up), and use a topical blemish treatment like our Willow Bark Pore Refining Serum before bed to help control breakouts and smooth the surface of your skin. Make your daily skincare ritual a priority.
Hydrate Your Skin Regularly
Just as important as exfoliating is keeping your skin hydrated. If the moisturizer you were using this winter and spring feels too heavy in warmer weather, transition to lighter one for the hot summer months. I always recommend using a facial moisturizer with mineral spf, so you don't have to remember to apply extra sunscreen every day. If you're prone to breakouts, try the Yarrow Oil-Free Moisturizing Gel that works to prevent breakouts while you sleep. If you neglect to hydrate your skin on the daily, your oil glands can overcompensate and create more oil, which can lead to breakouts.
Apply an SPF Daily
As much as I absolutely love to soak up the sun, I also know it's the number one enemy of collagen. Applying an spf every day allows your skin to still absorb some sunlight (yea for vitamin D!) sufficient amounts of SPF each day will not only protect you from the sun’s harmful rays but keep skin invigorated and glowing as well. I believe that using a mineral-based SPF is one of the most important things you can do for your skin’s health. You should only use an SPF with Zinc or Titanium (mineral-based SPF) because these block UV A rays much more effectively than chemicals. Mineral sunscreen also doesn't harm marine life! After working on the formula for almost two decades, I'm proud to say that we consistently receive great reviews for our Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunshade Lotion spf 30+.
PRO TIP: Always turn the bottle around and check for Zinc or Titanium as the active ingredients- you'll be surprised how many "Mineral SPF Sunscreens" also contain chemical sunscreens like oxycinnimate, oxybenzone and avobenzone, among others. Additionally, don’t forget your scalp, or the tops of your feet — two places that often get neglected when you’re applying SPF. Reapply every two hours or so for optimum protection.
Drink More Water!
Whether you feel yourself sweating or not, you're releasing moisture to cool your body down in hotter weather, especially if you're in the sun. It may seem impossible, but I really do recommend drinking a gallon of water every day- even more if you're outside sweating for hours. Water improves the overall elasticity of our skin, plumps it up lessening the appearance of fine lines and keeps our cells functioning optimally. I always notice that if I'm feeling run down, anxious, have a headache or trouble thinking clearly, a few glasses of water almost always remedies the symptoms.
You'll notice a big difference in your skin’s overall quality by drinking several glasses a day. Make it a priority to consume water every hour if possible, and carry bottled water with you wherever you go. My husband, who's an MD and the outdoorsy-athletic type, and I have been experimenting and have found that adding electrolytes to one glass of water a day makes a big improvement in our hydration levels.
Summer is such a fun time of year and it's also crucial to prepare and take care of your skin with the changing season. Make the time to adequately hydrate and moisturize your skin before enjoying the warm temperatures. Cleanse your skin regularly and don’t let your busy schedule throw off your daily skin routine. Always remove your makeup before bed and remember to exfoliate to keep your skin glowing. Make the best of your summer by invigorating your body and rejuvenate your skin’s appearance.