Throughout the summer, it’s easy to enjoy the long, hot days outside without thinking about how the heat and sun can affect your beauty routine. If you want to ensure that you protect your overall health, including your skin, hair, and nails, you’ll need to switch up your daily beauty routine during the summer.
The summer heat can be extremely drying, and constant sun exposure can have long-term effects on our skin. Here are a few of our best summer beauty tips, to help you look both radiant and relaxed, even on the longest, hottest days.
One of the most important things to remember in the summer is that the heat can zap our energy, and will make us dehydrated much faster than in cooler seasons. When we’re dehydrated, our skin responds accordingly, and can quickly become itchy, dry, red, and irritated. The best way to ensure that skin gets the moisture it needs is to drink plenty of water — six to eight glasses a day as least.
If your face feels particularly tight, or if you’re in the sun all day, you can purchase a can of facial water, which has lots of added nutrients, and gives you a much-needed hydration boost, directly where you need it most.
Use sunscreen as much as possible (even on your lips)
Long, sunny days are one of the best things about summer, however; it’s easy to forget about the time, and spend much too long under the hot sun. UV rays are extremely harmful for your skin, and can lead to premature signs of aging as well as an increased risk for skin cancer. If you’re going to be in the sun at all, make sure you use sunscreen, all over your body — even under clothing.
SPF 30 is considered the minimum for adults, but if you’re fair-skinned, you probably want to use one that’s close to SPF 45 or higher. Don’t forget about your lips! There are plenty of lip balms that contain SPF 15 or 30.
Pick the right sunscreen
If you don’t use sunscreen because it’s too much of a hassle, or you find it too greasy, you’re probably not using the correct type. There are so many different brands and formulas on the market today — there’s no reason to use one that doesn’t work with your skin type. For everyday wear, a moisturizer with added SPF is the perfect amount of light coverage. If you’re spending the day at the beach or outdoors in intense sun, pick one with SPF 45 or higher, in a formula that can withstand prolonged sun exposure, like a heavier sport sunscreen. These heavier sunscreens are great for long days outside but can make you break out if you use them every day.
Wear a broad-brimmed hat whenever possible
Another great way to make sure that your face is protected from the sun is to invest in a broad-brimmed hat that you can wear whenever you’re in bright sunlight. Protecting your face from sun exposure will lessen your risks for skin cancer down the road, and will help protect your face from signs of premature aging that come with prolonged sun exposure at a young age. A hat like this also has the advantage of protecting your scalp from sun damage; many people forget to use sunscreen on the top of their head, or struggle with finding one that won’t make their hair white and greasy. Protecting your head with a broad-brimmed sun hat is great way to ensure that your most sensitive skin is protected.
Nothing makes skin feel drier and more uncomfortable than a day in the hot sun. Using an exfoliating scrub in the shower is a great way to refresh dry, rough skin. There are plenty of excellent exfoliating scrubs on the market, or you can make your own using ingredients you probably already have at home, like coconut oil, sugar, and salt. Use it before or during a shower, then make sure you moisturize as soon as your skin is dry. Exfoliating makes our skin so much smoother and ensures that moisturizer adheres evenly. However, you should be careful not to over-exfoliate, and irritate skin with harsh treatments or unfamiliar ingredients. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to do a patch test, where you test the formula on a small area of skin, then wait for 24 hours to see whether there’s any adverse reaction.
Take a cool shower to bring down body temperature
Although a hot shower at the end of a long day is relaxing for many people, you should consider switching to a daily cold shower, especially if you spend a lot of time in the hot sun. A cool or cold shower brings down our body temperature, which can be helpful if you have sunstroke or are suffering because of prolonged sun exposure.
Avoid scratching bug bites
Every region of the United States has its own pests—whether they’re mosquitoes, black flies, or horseflies—that thrive on the long days and warm nights of summer. Depending on where you spend your time, you may be exposed to certain types of insects that can leave red, itchy bites that are extremely tempting to scratch. If you can avoid it, don’t give in to the temptation to sooth the irritation by scratching — it will only spread the irritant around under your fingernails. Plus, bites that are inflamed can easily become infected, which could leave permanent marks. Instead, reach for an over-the-counter anti-itch cream, or stir up some of your own using a little bit of baking soda and water.
If you want that sun-kissed look, reach for a tinted moisturizer
Many people are embarrassed of their pale skin at the start of the summer, and reach for the mitts of a self-tanning cream, or tuck themselves into dangerous tanning beds in order to achieve a healthy-looking base tan. This year, instead of these inconvenient and downright dangerous tanning habits, reach for a tinted moisturizer, which will give your skin a little bit of color without looking unnatural. You don’t need any specialized equipment, plus it has the added bonus of moisturizing your skin while giving you a bit of extra glow.
Know how to soothe razor burn
If your summer uniform is shorts and a t-shirt, or a sundress, chances are you spend a fair portion of your time in the shower focused on hair removal. The more time you spend with the razor, the easier it is for your skin to become irritated and prone to razor burn, which is especially unpleasant if you regularly groom your bikini area. Watch out for razor bumps, nicks, and ingrown hairs. If you’re prone to ingrown hairs, you can buy a cream that will help soothe the irritation and exfoliate the surrounding area, which will prevent further damage.
Take advantage of summer’s bounty, and stick to a healthy diet
Although a variety of outside factors affect our skin in the summer, none is more important than what we put into our body. The best thing that we can do for our skin, and physical health in the summer is to maintain a healthy diet, and take advantage of all the fresh produce to introduce new and exciting fruits and veggies to our list of staples. Eating that funnel cake at the fair, or that foot-long hot dog at the beach is a fun indulgence, but a diet heavy with sugar, unhealthy oils, and carbs will only increase our risk for acne and other skin complaints.
Get outside and exercise
Don’t let the humidity and heat of summer keep you indoors — instead, you should strive to enjoy the long days and get as much exercise outdoors as you possibly can. The more we’re able to stretch and move our body, the better our circulation will be, which is what’s responsible for repairing damaged tissue, including our skin.
Take advantage of the challenges of summer to try new things
Too many people spend their summer bemoaning about what the humidity, heat, and sun can do to their hair and skin. This summer, instead of focusing on how the weather is interrupting your normal style, use it as an opportunity to try new things, like a sleek updo, or beachy waves.