Summer is finally here! We all know this means outdoor fun, shorts, sandals, suits and sun-kissed skin. But with beach hair and tan lines comes the dangers associated with too much or unprotected sun exposure. No one wants sun damage or premature signs of aging skin; so now is the time, no matter your age, to be sure to take preventative measures to keep your skin in tip-top condition during this ultimate skin-baring season.
1. Apply SPF Daily…and then Reapply!
You probably don’t need me to tell you how important it is to lather yourself in SPF. I think most people have picked up on the fact that baking your face in the sun is out and sunscreen is in. But, if you still need a quick reminder, listen up: wear your sunscreen. Please! At least SPF 30. Without SPF, you’re exposing your skin to an array of preventable and potentially dangerous effects, including fine lines & wrinkles, dark spots, and skin cancer.
If you need help choosing a sunscreen my personal favorite (which is also the top recommended sunscreen in my practice), is RFA UV Spray + Protect. It is a broad-spectrum SPF 50 hydrating body sunscreen in a convenient spray! This lightweight, sweat-resistant formula is enriched with science backed ingredients and antioxidant protection to help protect your skin from future sun damage. It is water-resistant up to 80 minutes and highly effective for active lifestyles and long hours in the sun, which makes it PERFECT for those days at the beach/pool or long hours at the baseball field! Fragrance free, paraben-free, and noncomedogenic. Oil-free and hydrating, which makes it perfect for all skin types! It is eco-friendly and reef safe, too!
2. Avoiding and Treating Sun Burns, Heat Rash, & other Inflammation
What should you do if you have taken all the necessary precautions but still end up with a sunburn?! I know, you’re probably asking for a friend 😉
Mild sunburn symptoms typically include skin redness and pain. After about 4-7 days, skin peeling may occur
You definitely want to stay out of the sun until the redness fades. Stay hydrated, and keep your skin cool. Helpful home remedies for sunburn and heat rash include cool compresses and baths, loose fitting clothing, and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. Use a medical grade lotion like our Rescue Cream, that combines aloe vera with a pop of hydrocortisone to soothe and moisturize sun-burnt skin. You can use the calming cream twice daily to alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Petroleum jelly, Aquaphor ointment, or Vaniply from the drugstore will help sunburned lips and areas where the skin has peeled and is raw. Keep those areas coated while they epithelialize and heal. You can layer the Rescue cream with ointment.
While it’s important to exfoliate all year long, your skin may need an extra boost over the summer, as it clogs with sunscreen, sweat, and dead skin from dehydration. Exfoliating your face is priority, but you can exfoliate the rest of your body, too! I love our RFA Exfoliating Scrub 2in1 cleanser + mask. Without getting too technical, it uses a combination of amazing acids which brighten and keep the skin hydrated. Acids do not always dry out your skin! The RFA Exfoliating Scrub also helps to exfoliate the skin and improve pigment, without irritation.
The tiny beads are man made hydrated silica that is non-abrasive, which feels like tiny crystals brushing over your skin. I LOVE the feel, I’ve never loved a scrub more and it gives you a really deep clean. This cleanser is a great addition to any skincare routine and can be used 2-3 times per week. It is great to alternate this with your everyday cleanser. It also doubles as a mask simply by leaving it on for 5-10 minutes for an even deeper clean before you rinse.
PS. *Fragrance Free, Paraben Free, Propylene Glycol Free.
Pro-tip: Pair with Lux Pads or other weekly pads, to allow the RFA Exfoliating Scrub to offer a deeper cleanse! This due acts as a great at-home facial tool in place of dermaplaning!!
Drink water to hydrate your body, as well as your skin. A well-hydrated body keeps skin looking dewy, and leaves you feeling energized, too. It is generally recommended to drink a minimum of 8 cups (8 oz) of water per day for adults. This is a minimum and does not consider sweating, working out etc. So you likely need more! When I’m drinking 12+ cups a day I feel more energized, my skin is brighter and my digestion is better. Water is so powerful! Some ways to get your water in:
- Commit to 3 cups before your morning coffee
- Drink another 3 cups during your workout
- 3 cups post workout
- 1 cup with every meal
- Carry around a reusable water bottle at all times! Look for 24oz minimum (3 cups)
That’s 10 right there!
5. Give Your Skin a Vitamin C Boost
Vitamin C heals our skin from deep within by fighting free radicals that damage our skin and can even lead to skin cancer. Although you should be using an antioxidant serum year round for optimal skin health – summer is definitely the time to start if you haven’t yet! If you’re looking for a recommendation, Radiant Vitamin C Serum, is a high potency antioxidant formula. It combines Vitamin C with Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid to brighten the skin, smooth texture and protect against the effects of photo-aging (sun caused damage). Antioxidants protect the skin from oxidation and elemental damage. This Vitamin C stimulates new collagen growth and fortifies the skin’s dermis which is the second layer. We know if the dermis is being affected that the serum is penetrating down through our pores and providing additional benefits to the next layer. This is a sign of good, potent products!
Read more about Radiant Vitamin C here.
6. Tan Safety
Hat + Sunglasses are a MUST! Although we all know a good tan makes us happier and feel 5 lbs lighter (or maybe that’s just me!) we live in an era with plenty of research to support the dangers of overexposure to the sun. No more sunbathing (guilty!) or tanning beds (also, guilty!) We’re talking wrinkles, brown spots, and even skin cancer – it’s not worth it! It is also a myth that having a “base tan” will protect you from a sunburn. A base tan does not provide nearly enough protection for your skin, even on the cloudiest day.
In all honesty, a tan signifies the skin’s response to being damaged by the sun. Sit poolside and read your book, just make sure you shade under your hat & umbrella. Make the switch to self-tanners or professional spray tans to achieve that skin-baring summer glow.
Pro-Tip: Do not use spray tan or self tanner on your face. It is normal for your face to be a shade or two lighter than the body. To build color on the face, use a tinted moisturizer + bronzer, foundation or BB cream. The pigment from self tanner can bind with sun damage pigment and leave the skin looking uneven for weeks after the self-tanner is applied. I spray tan regularly from the neck down.
7. Try a Hydrating Serum
Hydrated skin is happy skin, and sometimes 12 cups of water in a day just doesn’t cut it. Think of your moisturizer as giving your skin a big drink of water (our skin is almost always thirsty!). I recommend moisturizer in the AM & PM. For normal to oily skin types choose a hyaluronic acid serum moisturizer called HA Peptide Serum. This lightweight moisturizing serum really absorbs into the skin to improve hydration, glow, and fine lines and wrinkles. For more dry skin types I love to use HydraLipid Moisturizer. For very dry skin the best trick is to layer both! Apply HA Peptide Serum first and then layer the HydraLipid Moisturizer on top!
8. Don’t neglect the lips and eyes
When you are ready for the next step, we add hydration and anti-aging products to specific areas of the face like our eyes. While there are several signs of aging skin near the eyes, fine lines and wrinkles are the most typical initial symptoms of the aging process. Sun damage, UV radiation, lack of collagen, toxins and lack of hydration all cause damage to the skin around the eyes. Medical grade eye creams are going to contain the most powerful ingredients that are scientifically proven to penetrate and CHANGE the skin around the eyes. If you are especially concerned with fine lines, wrinkles or milia around the eye, I suggest an eye cream with retinol and I absolutely love Youthful Eye Cream Retinol + Niacinamide. I apply eye cream all underneath my eye, then onto my eyelid and underneath my brow each night.
Little pro tip – you can always use your eye cream on your lips for anti-aging and extra hydration there too!
When you’re out in the sun, make sure you are applying a Lip SPF protection frequently, your lips are one of the most common places people forget to protect. My favorite product is our RFA Lip Balm, SPF 15.
9. Treat Pigmentation
Do you suffer from uneven skin tone? This is known as hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of pigment on the skin due to sun damage or melasma. Another form of hyperpigmentation is PIH or Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation. This type is when you see small little dark spots left behind old acne marks.
Uneven complexion isn’t fun and I’ve seen how it can really affect self-esteem. I know this because I’ve suffered from it before. After my son was born I was dealing with a combination of sun damage and melasma and my skin looked horrible.
I went on a mission to get my skin pigmentation restored which meant little to no sun exposure and my saving grace, Koji-C Pads + Lumify Pads! It is easy to feel like you are “stuck” with bad pigmentation or uneven skin tone, but no matter how minor or severe – it can be improved. It takes both time and effort, but it can be done! Time and effort. If you ever need help or advice – I’m here to help.
Exposure to sunlight and heat are 2 of the most common triggers of melasma. The UV rays of sunlight cause a significant increase in melanin synthesis in our skin, leading to hyperpigmentation in melasma. Studies have shown that heat increases pigment production by dilating underlying blood vessels. So how can you prevent your melasma from returning? Sun protection & consistency with your medical grade skincare. A mineral sunscreen is a preferred choice as it physically blocks both UVA and UVB rays before damaging the skin. Sunscreens containing Zinc oxide, Titanium dioxide or Iron oxide are the best options in this regard.
10. Consider an in-office Treatment
If a cosmetic treatment is going to make you feel better about yourself and more confident then of course you should do it! Take the time. Make the investment. You ARE worth it. Here are some of my top treatments to mix in throughout the summer:
- Botox every 3-4 months (see my Botox 101 blog for more info)
- Fillers to enhance your natural beauty or correct volume loss (Fillers 101 blog here too!)
- Hydrafacials + Dermaplaning (learn more about these here)
- Intense Pulsed Light therapy at the end of every summer
This post is packed with tons of info! You absolutely do not need to go invest in 20 new products and try and implement these 10 tips overnight. I’d definitely suggest starting with good sun care and tanning safety, then consider high quality products or in office treatments based on your unique needs.