With summer in full swing, there are a few things you should be changing up in your skincare routine to protect your skin and keep that glow. Don't let fun in the sun damage your skin by following these simple tips for glowing skin in summer.
Now before I talk about topical products, I want to go over some basic skin anatomy so you can truly understand how skin care products work and know what you really need.
According to MedlinePlus:
Although skin has many layers, it can generally be divided into three main parts:
The outer part (epidermis) contains skin cells, pigment, and proteins.
The middle part (dermis) contains blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, and oil glands. The dermis provides nutrients to the epidermis.
The inner layer under the dermis (the subcutaneous layer) contains sweat glands, some hair follicles, blood vessels, and fat.
Each layer also contains connective tissue with collagen fibers to give support and elastin fibers to provide flexibility and strength.
Skin changes are related to environmental factors, genetic makeup, nutrition, and other factors. The greatest single factor, though, is sun exposure.
So sun exposure is the biggest cause of aging skin and premature wrinkles. And we all know it is much easier to prevent damage than it is to reverse it. So a good daily skin care routine to protect your skin is so important if you want to maintain a youthful glow, and even more important in the summer when we tend to spend more time in the sun.
The two key areas you'll see experts harp on over and over are hydration and sunscreen. This needs to be your focus if you want to prevent sun damage and premature wrinkles, and slow down the skin aging process.
Tips for glowing skin in summer
So here is your basic plan for glowing summer skin:
- keep your skin hydrated
- moisturize if you need to
- maintain a good daily skincare routine
- protect your skin with a good diet
- protect your skin by using a mineral sunscreen
- restore your skin after sun exposure
Keep reading for the full details on having glowing skin in summer.
How to keep your skin hydrated
Adequate Fluid Intake
This is mostly internal. You can slather on the best hydrating serums, creams, and masks but if you don't drink enough fluids it cannot make up the difference.
You've likely heard the advice to drink water equal to half your weight in ounces on a daily basis. I have tried this many times but I truly end up in the bathroom every hour because I have a small bladder. So while this is a good recommendation, it's not exact. So drink as much water as you can.
What you need to focus on is the type of drinks you're having and that you're drinking enough to not feel thirsty. It should be mostly water, but foods with high water content count, as do other drinks like tea. Coffee on the other hand actually dehydrates you so you need to add a cup of water to your daily total for every cup of coffee you drink. Sorry, but it is what it is.
I like to infuse water sometimes with fruit and herbs when I get bored or just make teas. It's such an easy way to still drink water without the extra ingredients like food coloring and sugar which aren't good for your skin. Green tea, like the matcha latte pictured below, is a great skin nourishing drink.
Hydrating and Moisturizing Products
Aside from drinking enough fluids, you do need to use hydrating and moisturizing products designed for your skin type. And yes, even oily skin needs hydrating products. In general, the drier your skin, the heavier the products you'll need.
Now there is a difference between hydrating and moisturizing. Hydrating means it contains water which everyone needs. This includes toners, essences, lotions, and creams. This DOES NOT INCLUDE oils, oil serums, butters, and balms. Your skin is dehydrated if it is dull, or has fine lines and wrinkles, but all skin needs hydration.
Oils, oil serums, butters, and balms do not include water and are therefore moisturizing products. Moisturizing products seal in the hydration and trap the moisture. Not everyone needs these but many people do. If you are only using these types of products then you have to apply them to wet skin in order to hydrate. Your skin needs a moisturizer if it tends to be dry and flaky.
During the summer, you'll likely need lighter products than other times of the year thanks to higher humidity. Look for lightweight lotions and facial mists to keep hydrated.
Acure has a great range of affordable lightweight lotions and Cocokind has nice facial mists. Hyaluronic acid is also perfect to use for hydration and this one is the best I've tried.
How to Protect Your Skin
You can protect your skin from environmental stressors like the sun through internal and external methods. Internal includes using antioxidants to prevent damage while external includes skin care to protect the skin.
Having a good diet is important, but not always easy to maintain. Getting a variety of antioxidants in is very important because these are the “direct line of defense against free radicals, unstable molecules that cause cellular damage when left unchecked,” according to Sundaily.
Take a daily supplement and eat a diet rich in antioxidants. Foods like dark leafy greens, berries, nuts, fatty fish, collagen, and bright veggies are full of antioxidants that will strengthen your skin.
For topical products, OSEA has numerous antioxidant rich products to choose from.
My favorite lotion is the OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream. This lightweight moisturizer provides barrier protection against extreme climates, wind, and air pollution. Infused with antioxidant rich oils and organic seaweed firm skin, to leave skin with a silky finish.
It's great for all skin types and leaves a matte finish making it great to pair with other products.
Their toners, the Sea Vitamin Boost and Sea Minerals Mist booth give you hydration and nutrients to protect against the environment. I love to use them right after cleansing as they help lotions and oils absorb better.
The Sea Minerals Mist helps to soothe sun drenched skin and is also great to use after sun exposure.
Mineral sunscreen is very important to block those harmful UVA and UVB rays. You need to apply it before going out in the sun and don't forget to reapply as often as the directions indicate. Chemical sunscreen is now under fire for being harmful to the environment and actually not that great for your skin. You can read more about that in my mineral sunscreen post.
I have an affordable mineral sunscreen roundup where I share over 10 natural sunscreens for face and body. Check it out if you're still looking for a mineral sunscreen.
Ideally, you want to wear facial sunscreen year round so a product like a primer would be best. My favorites are from Suntegrity and Blissoma, but again check my sunscreen guide for more product suggestions.
And if you want to tan the safe way, go with a natural self tanner like NKD SKN.
Post Sun Exposure Tips
If you do spend too much time in the sun without the proper protection, then you need to restore your skin. You will need to focus on soothing, hydrating, and moisturizing skin.
Please don't trap the heat in by applying oil right away as this might cause the burn to get worse. Use light lotions and pure aloe vera instead. Straight up aloe or apple cider vinegar will both soothe a burn, and apple cider vinegar helps with itching. Peppermint essential oil also helps reduce itching but be careful with how much you apply to your face. Start with something to soothe the skin.
Daily Summer Skincare Routine
- AM cleanse with a micellar water, cleansing oil, or gentle cleanser. My favorites are Leahlani Skincare Pamplemousse and OSEA Ocean Cleansing Milk. Cocokind and Acure are 2 other more affordable options.
- Spritz a toner for extra hydration and nutrients. This antioxidant rich toner is my favorite but rosewater is a good budget option.
- Follow with a serum, lightweight lotion, and oil if needed. I love using this hyaluronic acid serum, facial lotion, and facial oil. Acure and Cocokind both have more affordable options.
- Use a primer or lotion with mineral sunscreen like Blissoma Photonic or Suntegrity.
- PM cleanse with a gentle exfoliating cleanser like this glycolic acid cleanser or lactic acid cleanser.
- Follow with a toner, lotion, and oil if needed.
- Use hydrating and purifying masks as needed (once a week)
- Exfoliate with a scrub or facial brush twice a week.
And that's it. With these top tips for glowing skin in summer you'll have radiant skin in no time.
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