When summer comes along, it is important for everyone to take care to protect their skin from the sun. While showering us with warmth, light, and much-needed vitamin D, the sun also transmits ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is a proven human carcinogen and can lead to skin cancer. Follow these skin care tips to keep your skin healthy and clear through the sunniest part of the year.
The following tips are general suggestions to help you protect your skin, no matter your age, gender, ethnicity, or skin type:
- Buy New Sunscreen: Sunscreen doesn’t last forever, and most people don’t use as much as they should. Buy a new bottle every summer and make an effort to use it all.
- Wear Sunscreen Daily: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 15 to 30 or higher) to protect against UVA and UVB sun rays. Wear sunscreen even on rare cloudy summer days, and reapply it every two hours if you are sweating or swimming.
- Apply Sunscreen 30 Minutes Early: For the best protection, sunscreen should be applied 20 to 30 minutes before going outside.
- Wear Lip Balm With Sunscreen: Use lip balm with SPF 30+ sunscreen to protect your lips.
- Avoid Tanning: Tanning has been definitively linked to skin cancer.
- Cleanse Your Face Daily: Daily gentle facial cleansing is an essential part of summer skin care.
- Wear Lotion and Moisturizer: Facial moisturizer and body lotion are essential parts of protecting the skin year round.
- Exfoliate: Exfoliate one to three times per week to keep your skin healthy and vibrant.
- Drink Lots of Water: Water replenishes moisture in the skin and should be consumed in larger quantities during warm weather.
- Shower After Swimming: Chlorine is damaging to the skin, so swimming should always be followed by a lukewarm cleansing shower.
These tips not only protect against skin cancer, but they also help keep your skin healthy and youthful. By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of premature wrinkles, skin sagging, and rough skin texture.
Summer skin care for the elderly is particularly important. Enjoy the shade, especially during the middle of the day. Liberally apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to any area of the body that could be exposed to the sun, especially the hands, feet, and any bald spots on the head. Seniors may benefit from special clothing that has ultraviolet protection (UVP) of 30 or higher. It is also a good idea to wear a broad-brimmed hat and dark sunglasses.
Summer skin care for seniors should include other precautions as well. If taking any medications, check the labels about sun sensitivity (some medications will advise you to stay out of the sun). Elderly individuals should apply moisturizer daily to prevent excessive dryness of the skin. Wear long sleeves and pants outside at dawn and dusk/evening to prevent mosquito bites.
Men have larger pores and are more prone to breakouts than women. Summer skin care for men should include cleansing the face twice daily with a facial cleanser that contains vitamins A, C, and E. Daily use of a toner is also recommended. It may be beneficial to reduce your frequency of shaving, as it is hard on the skin and the skin is already burdened with the task of counteracting sun damage. When spending any time outside and especially when wearing swimwear, sunscreen should be applied to the chest, back, arms, hands, legs, feet, and especially the ears and head (if your hair is thinning or gone). Consider wearing a hat to protect your head. If your skin is sensitive or light, you may want to wear a rash guard or swim shirt for extra protection.
Summer takes a toll on soft, sensitive skin. Summer skin care for women can include many of the same tips used year round, with extra protection for sun-exposed areas and combating the damaging effects of the sun. Wear minimal makeup to portray a natural, summery look and also be kind to your face in the harsh sun. Lotion should be applied right after a shower to lock in moisture. For a safe summer glow, use a sunless tanner.
Summer skin care for babies is simple. Babies under six months should be kept out of the sun. Infants older than this should be slathered in sunscreen from head to toe. Use a swim shirt, hat, and other means to protect a baby’s sensitive skin. Babies can overheat easily, so keep little ones in lightweight clothing.
Summer skin care for kids can be challenging, as children may complain about having to put on sunscreen every time they want to go play outside. Make it a daily habit so that they come to appreciate its importance. Have them wear lightweight, long-sleeved clothing when appropriate. Get them their own sunglasses to protect their eyes, and stick to the shade during peak sunlight hours. If you camp, hike, or live in an area with lots of mosquitos, apply insect repellant and dress your children in long sleeves and pants. Kids also need facial moisturizer and lotion just as much as adults.
For Those With Acne
The hot temperatures of summer can dry out the skin, increase its sensitivity, and contribute to sweat, oiliness, and clogged pores. These conditions are ripe for acne. Summer skin care for acne should include daily cleansing to clear the pores. Since they dry out the skin, use salicylic acid products only at night. Consult your dermatologist on what kind of moisturizer you should use. Wash your face gently after sweating a lot or spending a long day outside.
For Each Skin Type
- Oily Skin: Cleanse your face twice daily, but don’t over-scrub. Use a toner and switch to a lighter moisturizer during this time of year. Wear less makeup (avoid heavy foundation), avoid touching your face, and use oil-blotting pads as needed during the day.
- Dry Skin: Use only a gentle, mild cleanser for daily face washing. Use moisturizer daily and take advantage of facial mists. Shaving, swimming in chlorine or saltwater, and even air conditioning can all dry out the skin, so take precautions to minimize this effect.
- Sensitive Skin: Be vigilant about sunscreen, and minimize chlorine contact. Talk to your dermatologist to find the best sensitive cleanser for your needs.
Professional Skin Care
Summer skin care would not be complete without professional treatments at the medical spa. If your skin needs a little extra love this summer, our medical spa offers advanced skin care procedures that can help you achieve ultimate skin health. Some of our treatments include PicoSure® FOCUS™ laser skin treatment, Isolaz® acne laser, Fraxel® re:pair SST, and Clear + Brilliant® Perméa. These treatments can resolve many skin conditions and rejuvenate the skin to give you a healthy, clear, and even skin tone.
For more tips on caring for your skin during the summer, contact Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Alex Mesbahi. Call 703-287-8277 or contact Dr. Mesbahi online to schedule your appointment.