Your skin is likely to be on show much more in the summer than in the winter, meaning that you need it to look its very best. If your skin is still showing signs of winter dullness, here are a few tips to help you to prepare it for the summer months.
Exfoliating the Face and Body
Exfoliation is important no matter the time of year, but you may want to increase the frequency at which you exfoliate in the run-up to summer.
While you may have focussed on exfoliating your face in the winter, you will need to exfoliate both your face and your body if you want to show off your skin in the summer.
Of course, there are huge differences between the skin on your face and the skin on your body, meaning that you should always use separate exfoliants.
The skin on your face is much thinner and more delicate, meaning that a milder exfoliant is essential. Opt for a gentle scrub or peel, or an enzymatic exfoliant if you have sensitive skin.
When it comes to your body…
Scrubs are usually the easiest way to keep your skin looking fresh and smooth, just be sure to avoid scrubs containing particles from nuts or fruit seeds, as these tend to be far too harsh for the skin.
Since exfoliation basically removes the outermost layer of your skin, this leaves your skin much more vulnerable to sun damage. Try to avoid being in the sun shortly after exfoliating, and make sure that you are extra diligent about wearing sunscreen.
Do you often experience breakouts in the summer, but not in the winter?
This is actually extremely common. The reason for this is due to the extra moisture in the air during the warmer months, which encourages your skin’s oil glands to produce more sebum. This excess oil then ends up getting trapped within the skin’s pores, resulting in breakouts.
If you know that you are prone to warm weather breakouts, then now is the time to take the necessary prevention steps.
Not sure what these are?
Begin with a cleanser that contains acne-fighting ingredients, such as salicylic acid, as this will help to ensure that your pores are kept clear.
Clay face masks, when used on a weekly basis, can also really help, as these are fantastic at absorbing excess oil.
Make sure that any other skin care products you use, whether this may be moisturizers or serums, are water-based rather than oil-based, and have a lightweight quality that allows your skin to breathe.
Do you experience acne on your body too?
This is also extremely common, and is referred to as bacne. The same tips for facial acne apply when it comes to dealing with body acne, so make sure that you are doing everything from cleansing to watching ingredients on your body too.
Swap Heavy Products for Lighter Alternatives
As mentioned above, the skin naturally produces more oil in the summer months, so even if your skin type is dry, you will likely notice that your skin feels softer and smoother in the summer.
However, this does mean that you need to pay attention to the products you are using on your skin.
While thick, rich and greasy products are ideal to keep your skin hydrated and protected during the dry days of winter, you need to swap these for lightweight alternatives to use during the warmer months.
What happens if you do not do this?
You will notice an increase in clogged pores and breakouts, no matter your skin type.
Were you using sunscreen throughout the winter months?
Hopefully, your answer is yes, but even if it is not, you will most definitely need sunscreen now that the weather is warming up.
Although the sun’s UV rays are just as strong in the winter as they are in the summer, people tend to spend more time outdoors in the summer, and also wear less clothing, leaving their skin more exposed to sun damage.
When it comes to choosing a sunscreen…
You have two main options available to you:
- Chemical Sunscreens – these contain certain chemicals that absorb the sun’s UV rays and convert them into a form that makes them no longer dangerous for the skin
- Physical Sunscreens – these contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which physically deflect the sun’s UV rays away from your skinNot sure which one to choose?
Not sure which one to choose?
Physical sunscreens are best for those who have sensitive skin, although they can often leave a white cast behind on the skin, so look for a newer formula that does not do this. For all other skin types, give both types of sunscreen a try to see which works better for you.
Already have a bottle of sunscreen at the back of your bathroom cupboard?
Be sure to check the expiry date, because a sunscreen that has expired will not work as effectively as it is meant to, leaving your skin vulnerable to sun damage.
Using Accessories as Sun Protection
In addition to making sure that you are always wearing sunscreen, there are other ways in which you can protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
A pair of UV-blocking sunglasses can make a huge difference, because the skin around your eyes is even thinner than the skin on your age, which is why this is often the first area where wrinkles develop. Wearing a pair of sunglasses can go a long way in helping to prevent these signs of aging, especially if you opt for a wrap-around style that protects the whole side of your face.
For even more protection…
A wide-brimmed hat will shelter your face from the sun, and is actually one of the best ways in which you can keep your face safe.
Loading Up on Antioxidants
No matter how much you try to protect your skin from the sun, a small amount of sun damage is still inevitable.
The way in which your body, as well as your skin, reacts to this depends on how well-equipped it is to deal with the damage.
Wondering how to strengthen its line of defence?
With the use of antioxidants. These help to neutralize all of the harmful free radicals that the sun creates in the body, preventing everything from premature aging to cancer.
So, where should you be getting these antioxidants from?
To begin with, you should be applying them to your skin topically, so that your skin can directly benefit from their properties. Serums and moisturizers that contain antioxidants are always beneficial, because these remain on your skin for a longer period of time.
Here are some of the top skin-boosting antioxidants to look out for:
- Vitamin E
- Green Tea
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
In addition to applying these ingredients topically, you should also be consuming more of them through your diet, as this will also benefit your skin.
Try increasing the variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, nuts and seeds, that you eat, as each one of these healthy foods will contain their own range of unique antioxidants.
On Hair Removal
Since you will likely be showing off your legs, as well as other parts of your body, more often during the summer, now is the time to take a look at all of your options when it comes to hair removal.
Here are some of the most common:
- Shaving – quick and easy, although it does not take long for hairs to grow back, and in-grown hairs can often be problematic
- Depilatory Creams – easy to use, although make sure that you always follow the instructions when it comes to where on your body you are allowed to use the cream
- Waxing – can either be done at home or by a professional, and while the process can be painful, the results last for over a month
- Laser Hair Removal – this is one of the longest lasting of hair removal methods, but requires multiple sessions and can get quite expensive
Not sure which one to go for?
Your decision should be based on a few different factors, from your budget, to how quickly you need the results, to how much maintenance and upkeep you want to be doing.
Many people feel much more confident about showing their body off when it has a bit of color, but tanning your skin out in the sun is a big no-no.
Fortunately, there are several safe, sunless tanning options now available.
Lotions tend to be the easiest, and most effective, to use, as these are applied on the skin each day, in the same way you would apply a regular moisturizer, and build up your skin’s color as the days progress.
When it comes to skin care, many people often neglect the skin on their lips, forgetting that this area also needs attention.
The skin on your lips is actually quite delicate, and handles quite a bit in the winter months, especially in terms of dryness.
To ensure that your lips are soft and smooth just in time for summer, you need to begin exfoliating them, preferably with a product designed for the lips. A lip balm that contains SPF is also important, because not only will this keep your lips moisturized, but it will also protect them from the sun.
Switching to Creamy Makeup Formulas
You will naturally be sweating more in the summer months, and wearing a powdered foundation and blush means that the powder ends up mixing with your sweat, making it clump and look quite unsightly.
When it comes to liquid foundations and concealers…
These can often end up washing away quite quickly with sweat.
Your best option is to go for cream-based products, from creamy concealers to cream cheek stains. These formulas work so well in the summer months, and will also give your skin a healthy glow.
Did you know that exercise is one of the best ways to give your skin a healthy glow?
It does this by increasing blood flow, which means that your skin is able to receive a better supply of oxygen and nutrients. This results in a fresh, rosy vibrant glow, especially since exercise also helps to encourage skin detoxification.
If all of that was not enough…
Exercise decreases stress, which would otherwise have a severely negative impact on the skin, causing everything from acne to premature aging.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to exercising more?
If you aren’t quite ready to sign up to your local gym, try doing some exercises at home, even while in front of the TV. You could also sign up for a dance or sports class, or even just take a brisk walk around your neighborhood each evening. Smaller efforts, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, also make a difference.
Don’t Forget About Your Feet
If your feet have been stuffed away in socks and close-toed shoes and boots all winter, then they will definitely need a bit of attention before the summer months roll around.
Is the skin on your feet quite dry and rough?
Try using a foot file to remove any areas of thickened, rough skin, before applying a rich cream all over your feet. Then, cover your feet up with some plastic wrap and then some thin cotton socks, as this will help to ensure that the cream really soaks in. Leave this on overnight, and you will find that your feet have become so much softer and smoother in the morning.
Foot scrubs are also great for exfoliating your feet, and can be done more frequently than exfoliating the body and face, as the skin on your feet is much tougher and thicker.
The colder months can really take their toll on your skin, which is why some extra care is always needed in the run-up to summer. From exfoliating more often to treating your feet, these tips will help to get your skin in shape just in time for the summer months.