The Summer Skincare Changes Derms Want You To Make

Expert Advice

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You might not realize it, but the weather actually has a big impact on your skin. Just think about your skin in summer; it has to deal with increased sun exposure, climbing temperatures, and humidity – all of which can wreak havoc on your skin. Think excess oil, dehydration, dark spots, and potentially, sun damage. This is why it’s essential to shake up your beauty routine so that you can combat these issues and avoid dealing with them altogether.

We spoke to the incredible Dr. Sherry Ingraham, a board-certified dermatologist based in Houston, for her top tips for having your healthiest and happiest skin all summer long. Here’re the changes you need to make to your beauty routine now that summer has officially arrived.

1.  Protect Your Skin

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Possibly THE most important product that you need to apply each morning is a good sunscreen; at the very least, an SPF 30 with 4-star UVA blockers. This will help protect your skin from damaging UV rays that cause wrinkles, sagging skin, uneven tone, and even the formation of skin cancer. Just make sure you apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before entering the sun to ensure it is thoroughly activated. Dr. Ingraham also says that “It’s essential to not only apply sunscreen under makeup during your usual morning regimen, but you should also reapply throughout the day.” Check out our ultimate guide to protecting your skin this summer.

2. Less is more 

Dr. Ingraham insists that “Summer is the time to ease up on the number of layers you put on your skin and limit the number of products you use.” This is why it’s the perfect time to opt for lightweight products that have a dual purpose. Dr. Ingraham recommends the “La Roche-Posay Micellar Water $14.99, as it’s very good at removing dirt and debris, without over stripping the skin as a facial soap would do,” but it’s also super hydrating. When it comes to makeup, Dr. Ingraham also suggests trading in your foundation for a lighter alternative, “I love reaching for a tinted sunscreen during the summer months. Although, if you still prefer more coverage, switching to a matte foundation will help reduce mid-day shine and the appearance of oil.”

We always recommend double cleansing every evening to thoroughly remove SPF, makeup, and pollution.

3. Treat Sun Exposure with a Soothing Mask

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Sometimes no matter how much sunscreen you apply, your skin can still feel parched or sensitive. That’s why one of  Dr. Ingraham’s summer essentials is the calming SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque, $58, which she keeps in the fridge to use whenever her “skin is feeling red or even just after overexposure to the sun.” We also recommend avoiding clay masks or peels after a day spent in the sun, as these can be too harsh and drying on the skin.

A hydrating sheet mask is another good way to give your skin a hit of hydration and nourishment if you’ve spent the day in the sun. We love the WISHFUL Thirst Trap Cocoon Mask, $9, which is parked with soothing rose, aloe vera, and sodium hyaluronate that will leave your skin feeling supple and replenished after just 15 minutes. You can also make your own face mask with aloe vera, as it’s mega hydrating and bursting with antioxidants and vitamins to help repair and restore sunburned skin.

Aloe Vera DIY face mask:

Start by slicing off a 3-inch chunk of Aloe Vera leaf, then cut it in half lengthways, scraping out the gel into a bowl (or use one tablespoon of pure Aloe Vera gel). Then blitz half a cucumber in a blender and mix with the Aloe Vera. Combine the mixture with 1 tablespoon of natural greek yogurt. Apply it to cleansed skin and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash off with cold water and follow with your favorite moisturizer.

4. Exfoliate, Carefully

During the summer months, your skin is prone to creating more oil, which means your pores are likely to become more congested. To combat this, exfoliation is key. We’re big fans of using lactic acid and AHA toners to gently exfoliate the top layers of our skin. Still, Dr. Ingraham explains that you should use “products with glycolic acid and lactic acid sparingly, as both ingredients expose skin to the sun and may cause sensitivity.”

This means that it’s important only to use any exfoliating acids or exfoliators at night, and preferably not before days that you’ll be spending in the sun. If you do, be sure to use a factor SPF 50 sunscreen with a minimum 4-star UVA rating to protect the delicate layers of ‘fresh’ skin.

5. Ditch the Gloss During the Day

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Trade in your lip gloss for a lip balm that contains SPF to protect your lips from sun damage. It’s also a hotly debated topic among the internet and dermatologists that lip gloss, like baby oil, will absorb the sun’s rays and increase your chances of burned lips. So, either apply a protecting balm before you gloss or wait till the sun goes down. Check out our fave sexy tinted lip products with sunscreen in here.

6. Don’t Over-Cleanse

As the temperature begins to rise (yay!), unfortunately, so does our oil production. Dr. Ingraham says not to panic if your skin “is more oily and acne-prone, especially around the T-zone.” Although you may feel like you should cleanse more to remove the oil, please don’t. Excessive cleansing can strip healthy levels of your natural oils, which could trigger your skin to produce more oil.

Limit the amount you cleanse to twice a day and use the right cleanser for your skin type. We also recommend double cleansing in the evening to thoroughly remove SPF, excess oil, and makeup. Dr. Ingraham suggests adding a product into your routine that combats excess oil production, like the SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense, $91, which “works to improve the appearance of blemishes, uneven skin tone, and helps to decongest clogged pores.”

7. Invest in Protective Supplements

When it comes to protecting your skin, topical creams and serums just don’t cut it, which is why it’s always a good idea to add some beauty-boosting supplements to your diet. Dr. Ingraham recommends Heliocare, “a great supplement that can boost your body’s antioxidant defense system. It uses the unique ingredient of the Polypodium leucotomos fern (native to Central and South America). The plant has even developed its own protection against harmful free radicals in the environment.”

Make sure you check out our fave sunscreens to protect your skin this summer!

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