In many ways, summer is the ideal season. It’s the season of warm weather, long days, and pool parties.
But summer can be something of a nightmare when it comes to maintaining healthy skin. This is especially true for men, whose facial hair can result in increased wear and tear of the skin and exacerbate the effects of hot, dry air. Never fear, though, here are some tips to help your skin stay healthy and look its best during the hot summer months.
If you take nothing else away from this article, take this: Wear. Your. Sunscreen!
- Sunscreen is the most important weapon against skin damage (not to mention skin cancer). Stick to the 30/30 rule: for periods of prolonged sun exposure, choose an SPF of 30 or above, and apply 30 minutes before heading outside.
- Use a different sunscreen on your face than you do on your body, to avoid breakouts on sensitive facial skin. For the face, use screen that’s oil-free.
- Reapply every 2 hours if you’re staying dry. If you’re swimming, reapply after you get out of the water. Even “waterproof” sunscreen isn’t really all that waterproof, so play it safe.
- Don’t forget the oft-overlooked parts of your body like ears and tops of feet. And don’t forget to purchase a lip balm with an SPF to protect those lips!
- Be sure to check the expiration date on your sunscreen. The older it is, the less effective it is.
In summer, a rise in vitamin D and hormone production causes hair follicles to produce more, which can make facial hair a bit of a pain.
- Take a hot shower or splash warm water on your face to open your pores prior to shaving.
- Use shaving cream or gel- no unlubricated shaving! This should go without saying all year round, but it’s especially important in the dry summer months.
- Shave with the grain of your facial hair first, then go back over and shave against the grain. Increased hair follicle production means more work, unfortunately!
- If you don’t want to deal with shaving, summer is a great time to grow a beard.
It’s important to wash your face, but not overwash it.
- Use a gentle facewash, like Dermalogica’s Dermal Clay Cleanser, instead of bar soap or other harsh cleansers. Harsher facewashes will dry out the skin and cause it to produce oils to compensate.
- Wash your face once in the morning, and once at night. Washing more often than this will contribute to your skin drying out and overproducing oils.
- Always moisturize after washing your face– again, you don’t want your skin overcompensating for dryness with oils.
Exfoliate sparingly in summer to avoid overproduction of oils.
- Select a facial scrub that’s effective, yet gentle, so as not to dry your skin out. Bodyography’s Microdermabrasion Scrub is a great choice.
- Don’t exfoliate too often. Over-exfoliating can dry out your skin and cause it to produce oil to compensate. Limit exfoliating to 1-2 times a week in summer.
- Be sure to moisturize after exfoliating! Again, you don’t want your skin to overproduce oils to compensate for dryness.
Sorry, we know this is going to be an unpopular suggestion.
- Try to stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Sunscreen helps, but avoiding direct sunlight altogether helps even more.
- When you are in the sun, wear a hat that shades your face. The less direct sun your skin receives, the better.