Published: July 22, 2020
With summertime in full swing and everyone spending more time outdoors, it’s the perfect time for a summer skincare reminder. While going out to soak up some sun and get a glowing tan might be tempting after spending the past few months in quarantine indoors, spending extended time in the sun without taking care of your skin can have lasting, damaging effects.
When it comes to skin damage caused by the sun, there are immediate and long-lasting implications to consider. Sunburns are the most immediate consequence and while burns can vary from mild to severe and blistering, they will typically go away after a few days. However, that doesn’t mean that the damage is temporary as burns, especially severe sunburns, can increase your risk of developing skin cancer or other serious skin issues later on in life. If how your skin looks is important to you as well, photodamage (sun damage) is the main culprit when it comes to multiple skin concerns and issues we battle with such as pigmentation, rough texture, and fine lines and wrinkles. Sun damage plays a significant role in how fast your skin will age.
I recommend my clients take a proactive approach to keep their skin healthy rather than work to resolve the damaging effects of exposure. There are a number of steps to consider before going out in the sun that ideally should be a consistent year-round daily routine to maintain healthy skin. The step is the prevention of further damage starting now while working on resolving current concerns.
Here are my top tips for keeping the skin healthy in the sun:
The sun depletes Vitamin A in your skin, which leaves our skin more susceptible to burns and more importantly, causes photoaging. There are a number of products out there that will work to restore your Vitamin A levels, but only at night so you’re always working to replenish the Vitamin A lost during the day. One of my personal favorite products are in Environ’s Step Up System, which works differently from Retinol and Retinoic Acid. Environ’s Vitamin A products in this System are able to be used during the day which allows you to maintain a healthy level of Vitamin A in the skin and prevent photoaging rather than trying to play catch up at night. So if you are happy with the results from your nighttime regimen of Vitamin A, you will be in for a happy surprise when you add in the patented Step Up System which can be used morning and night. I consider the morning application of Vitamin A crucial. Remember when we said prevention is better than correction? That’s the point.
Don’t forget your Body!
Replenishing vitamins in the skin doesn’t stop at your face, especially in the summer when your skin is more exposed and we tend to spend more time outside. This increased sun exposure rapidly depletes Vitamins which leaves skin dry and dull and in the long term crepey, pigmented with loss of elasticity. For total body skincare, I recommend Environ’s Body Kit. It’s made up of two products, one has your essential topical Vitamins – A, C, and E Oil so it works to protect your skin while replenishing lost vitamins. This product is often used to heal skin after medical procedures and improve scars post-surgery as well by replenishing the skin’s vital nutrients. It’s mixed upon application with the Derma-Lac Lotion which mildly exfoliates and hydrates your skin. You can count on these two products to leave your skin dramatically silkier, smoother and looking younger and more radiant. You will feel instantly gratified when your skin looks soft and supple in your summer clothes while preventing and correcting the long term effects of sun damage. There are two levels to the Body Kit – regular and Forte.
Probably the most popular skincare tip for the summer is to wear sunscreen and reapply often, but the importance simply cannot be overstated! There are a lot of misconceptions around sunscreen and best practices, and having the wrong information can be detrimental to the health of your skin. I recommend wearing a sunscreen with SPF of 30 or lower and reapplying at least every two hours. Sunscreens with higher SPF mean higher doses of chemicals which can be detrimental to skin health and we are all about healthy skin. For example, the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is only a sun protection factor of 1%. I feel reapplying is a better choice.
Applying a lower SPF product early and often is going to be better for you in the long run than applying a high SPF product less often. I recommend applying a product with SPF every morning, even if you’re not planning on being in the sun for an extended period of time, to protect the skin and help make SPF application a part of your regular, daily routine.
Environ’s Antioxidant Gel is one of my absolute favorite products for the summer or anytime! The Antioxidant gel is calming to the skin and reduces inflammation and is the perfect cooling and soothing product after a day spent out in the sun. It works for all skin types from the most sensitive to problematic oily skin. This product was created to protect the skin from environmental factors like pollutants and sun exposure and internal stressors that impact your skin regularly. So whether it’s the stress of these times or you’re sitting by a smokey grill or doing your favorite outdoor activity in the sun, this is an all-around great product for your skin It includes Beta-carotene which is the natural form of Vitamin A which is an active antioxidant that is essential for your skin’s health. If you do find yourself with a sunburn, Antioxidant Gel is wonderful to apply along with Aloe Vera to accelerate the healing of overexposure. It is safe even for pregnant women so you needn’t worry about foregoing Vitamin A in your skincare regimen if that applies to you!
As we all know, staying hydrated and drinking lots of water in or out of the sun is essential for skin and overall health. In addition, we need to eat smart and include healthy fats in our diet even if we feel it’s the last thing our waistlines need. Fortunately, we can keep a consistent healthy weight by eating the right foods for our body constitution (or type). As a certified Ayurveda specialist, (Ayurveda which has been around for over 5,000 is the oldest eastern healing science) the whole body connection is applied to our skincare practice. How I use Ayurveda is a topic I go into much deeper later. Remember we have to take care of ourselves otherwise, our skin is going to be damaged and break down more easily. So stay hydrated, eat smart, stay active, and take a look at your skin care regimen.
My favorite products to recommend are the Super Moisturizer and Hydrating Serum. The Super Moisturizer will replenish the moisture in the skin while the serum works to help hold in the moisture that you have, so together these will work wonders to moisturize and keep skin looking and feeling healthy.
Whenever a new client comes into Total Glow, we start off with a complimentary in-depth skin analysis and a personal consultation with an experienced Aesthetician. We use both analysis to design a personalized professional and home regimen to ensure skincare goals and skin health is attained. The in-depth analysis displays the different aspects of a client’s sun damage and other conditions. Even if it’s not apparent on the surface, sun damage can be seen in the deeper layers of the skin. This leads to premature aging of the skin as well as increased susceptibility to developing skin cancer.
We consider this the best approach since everyone’s skin is unique and there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all solution for all skin types. So if you are concerned about damaged skin or are just looking for a skincare plan that is right for you, it’s best to find a licensed esthetician with lots of experience that can analyze your skin and provide a plan specific to your needs. Each time we see a client or client we learn something new and we pass that hands-on knowledge to our treatments.
Skin health is a passion of mine year-round, but during the summer there are some unique challenges and steps to take to prevent damage and keep skin healthy and beautiful. Remember to take the first steps towards maintaining and promoting healthy skin.
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