Like it or not, summer can take a toll on your skin. The harsh effects of the sun and your body’s sweat can have a negative impact. But they don’t have to! With just a little bit of forethought, there are some easy summer skin care tips to keep your skin glowing—even in the hottest weather.
We’ve rounded up these eight summer skin care tips to help you look great all season long:
1. Eat more Fruit and Veggies.
You already know that filling up on fruits and vegetables is a great way to satisfy your hunger with meaningful calories. Fruits and veggies pack in an abundance of nutrients that have a host of benefits. But, did you know that eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can also help your summer skin care routine? A study out of the University of St. Andrews school of psychology, which was published in the online journal PLOS one, found that eating more fruits and vegetables may lead to a rosier and healthier looking complexion—which was judged to be more attractive. Specifically, participants eating more fruits and vegetables saw increases in red and yellow tones in their skin which was attributed to the carotenoids in produce.
2. Avoid High Glycemic Foods.
A comprehensive review of 50 years of clinical studies determined that foods with a high glycemic index (GI) may contribute to acne. High GI foods include sugary fizzy drinks, cakes, pastries, white bread and potatoes—also foods that can contribute to weight gain. Low GI foods include fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods. The review, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that there is greater reason for dietitians and dermatologists to work together to determine the ideal diet for acne sufferers. But anyone can benefit from aiming for a diet full of lower GI foods.
3. Improve Skin Clarity and Texture with Sunscreen.
You already know that your daily summer skin care routine should include the application of sunscreen when you’re spending time outdoors. Sunscreen protects the skin from harmful UV rays. However, a study published in Dermatologic Surgery found that the daily use of a facial broad-spectrum sunscreen over a year reversed common sings of photoaging—like wrinkles, texture, overall tone and fine lines. With a daily application of moisturizer with SPF 30, study participants saw improvements of 52 percent in sun spots, 40 percent in skin texture, and 41 percent in skin clarity.
4. Drink More Water.
Drinking water can absolutely have overall health and weight loss benefits—but it also seems likely that it has some skin care benefits as well. The research has been limited on this but many dermatologists say that their patients who are well-hydrated appear to have better skin with less problematic concerns. If that anecdotal evidence doesn’t have you convinced, there is a little bit of research backing it up. A 2007 study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that drinking 2.25 liters (9.5 cups) of water every day for four weeks altered skin density and thickness. A second study from the University of Missouri-Columbia showed that drinking 500 milliliters of water (about two cups) increased blood flow to the skin. Considering ample water intake will also insist in your weight loss efforts, it’s something worth trying either way.
5. Skip the Makeup at the Gym.
According to dermatologists, sweating can lead to breakouts. If you have acne-prone skin, remove your makeup before working out and wash your face when you return from a run—or the gym. These simple steps are a simple addition to your summer skin care routine and can ensure that your healthy exercise habits don’t have a negative impact on your skin.
6. Wash Your Face Well.
In general, you should be washing your face daily—even if you haven’t worked out. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, how you wash your face can make a difference in your appearance. Be sure to use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain alcohol (which is drying). Use lukewarm water—and resist the temptation to scrub your skin, as this only irritates it. Pat your face dry gently and apply moisturizer. The Academy advises limiting washing to twice a day and after sweating.
7. Get your Daily Dose of Vitamin C.
Whether you cut up an orange every morning, or you like to snack on sliced peppers—getting a boost of vitamin C in your diet may also help promote healthy skin. Many skin care products also use vitamin C for topical application purposes. Research has shown that vitamin C can repair wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging both when used topically as a serum or when consumed in the form of food. According to one study published in the Archives of Otolaryngology: Head Neck Surgery, study participants using vitamin C had improved wrinkles, texture and general complexion. Adding some extra vitamin C to your day certainly won’t do any harm and it just may improve your summer skin care regimen.
8. Skip the Tanning.
We don’t have to tell you that the sun can have majorly damaging effects on your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology has done a fantastic job of making the skin cancer prevention message loud and clear. However, there are lots of people who still say they love the look of “sun-kissed skin.” If you’re one of them, skip the long hours in the sun—and definitely the tanning beds—and instead, opt for a great self-tanner product. These products have come such a long way and are quite successful at mimicking the look of sun-tanned skin.
Check out 5 Risk Factors for Skin Cancer You Need to Know >