Keeping your Summer Skin Soft

What a heat wave we just had. And with the higher temperatures comes a range of skin care questions. We talk a lot about how to care for your skin through the seasons but summer can have us a little…well… hot and bothered. Do I exfoliate more or less often? Do I need to use a moisturizer if I feel like I am just going to sweat it off? Well I am here to tell you that a good skin care routine is just as important in the summer as it is in the winter. The summer heat and sun exposure can damage delicate skin, but keeping up with your exfoliation can help keep your skin smooth and strong.

What is exfoliation?

Exfoliation is the process of removing the layer of dead surface cells from your skin. Your skin goes through its own regeneration process but it slows down as we get older. Because of this, we need to exfoliate to help this process along. 

Why is exfoliation important in the summer?

Everyone tends to be more dehydrated in the summer as we are spending more time outside in the heat and not usually drinking enough water or keeping our skin hydrated. Now keep in mind, dehydration is different than dryness. Dehydration = lack of water. Dryness = lack of oil. It is important to know, that our skin does produce more oil in the summer which can lead to breakouts and clogged pores. Because these are two separate concerns, they need to be treated a little differently. Most people recommend exfoliating 2x a week if using a physical exfoliant. If you are using a chemical exfoliant with AHA’s or BHA’s they can be used more often (depending on percentage) and work on more of an enzymatic level.

AHA’s or Alphahydroxy Acids used in skincare (ie: glycolic acid or lactic acid) are safe to use in the summer depending on the amount of the ingredient in the product. AHA’s tend to “eat away” the dead skin cells and promote cell turnover and collagen and elastin production. These can make your skin more sensitive so you may choose to use products like this at night only. Please note that using a retinol in the summer is safe if you are using the product properly. Retinols can cause sensitivity to ultraviolet light and skin can feel more dry in the summer if you are using retinol. It is important to always use your retinol at night, and you may decide to use it less often.

Salicylic acid is a BHA that is a good ingredient to look for in your summer skin care routine. It helps exfoliate the outer layer of your skin but also helps decongest the pores and minimize oil production. It can also help relieve signs of inflammation in the skin from breakouts.

Exfoliating scrubs and lotions should still be limited usage, about 1-2x a week depending on which one you are using. Over exfoliating your skin can cause sensitivity and weaken the barrier so please keep that in mind when you are scrubbing away!

But with all the products out there, which one do I choose? What is best for my specific summer skincare needs? Well, lets take a look!

This anti-pollution exfoliant resurfaces and detoxifies skin. It helps fight pollution in your skin and environmental aggressors that accelerate skin aging. Activated charcoal detoxifies the skin while niacinamide improves the appearance of large pores. Lavender calms and soothes the skin. This exfoliant is great if you’re spending more time outside as it fights pollutants from the environment. This is a daily exfoliant, however it is rather active so start by using it every other day.

Non-abrasive liquid exfoliant that uses salicylic acid to promote cell turnover and decongest pores. All you have to do is apply with a cotton pad or gauze and leave on your skin. Results are smoother and refined skin! Can also be used daily.

This exfoliant should be used 1-2x a week. It is a scrub that uses bamboo to exfoliate and tourmaline is a mineral that energizes. Apply to clean skin and exfoliate, rinse and moisturize!

Use beautifying compostion oil or Aveda BK hydrating treatment lotion to emulsify and add further hydration.

What else should I do for my skin this summer?

1) Hydrate – up your regiment with masks and serums to give your skin that extra boost of hydration in the summer months! Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid. Also stay hydrated by drinking water!

2) Apply SPF – Apply, reapply and apply enough! Protect your skin from UV damage which can cause accelerated skin aging and pigmentation.

3) Soothe your skin – Well if the damage has been done than we need to repair and soothe! Cooling balms and gels with help calm your skin. Look for ingredients with Aloe to keep this cool and hydrated.