- 1 All of Your Summer Skincare Questions Answered, from an Expert Dermatologist
- 1.1 How should you switch up your skincare routine for summer?
- 1.2 What skincare ingredients or treatments should you avoid in the summer?
- 1.3 What kind of SPF should we be using?
- 1.4 What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays?
- 1.5 How often should we reapply sunscreen?
- 1.6 Where in our skincare or makeup routines should we anchor sunscreen?
All of Your Summer Skincare Questions Answered, from an Expert Dermatologist
How should you switch up your skincare routine for summer?
In the summertime, you may want to switch up your heavier face creams for lighter gels to avoid clogging your pores. You can opt for a foaming face wash, which will help with excess oiliness that tends to be an issue in the warmer months. Lastly, be more diligent about the use of sunscreens if you aren’t already! Excessive sun exposure can cause wrinkles, dark spots, leathery skin texture and of course, skin cancer. You want to protect your skin from the sun at all costs, while still being able to enjoy its warmth to the fullest.
What skincare ingredients or treatments should you avoid in the summer?
Our skin cell turnover tends to slow down in the colder months, which is why exfoliants are so commonly used in cooler weather. In the summer, with increased sweating, activity and sun exposure, our skin cell turnover normalizes or speeds up, so you may not require as frequent use of physical scrubs or exfoliating acids. The same goes for treatments in the office like deeper chemical peels and some types of lasers. It’s best to either wait until the cooler months or be extremely diligent about sun protection and avoidance after resurfacing treatments of the skin.
What kind of SPF should we be using?
In general, it’s best to choose a sunscreen that has at least two things on the label:
- Make sure your sunscreen says “broad spectrum”, this means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays — it’s so important to have both!
- Choose at least an SPF of 30 or higher. When applied correctly, an SPF of 30 can block 97% of UV rays. No sunscreen can block at 100%, even if applied perfectly.
If you’re looking for a sunscreen for a day at the beach or pool, it may be better to also look for a sunscreen that is labeled “water resistant” for up to 40 or 80 minutes. There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen but it’s important to pick a water resistant one when swimming or sweating for better protection. Newer research shows that choosing a higher SPF number can be more beneficial, especially for days where sun exposure is more intense as we tend to not apply enough sunscreen to get the proper protection!
What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays?
UVA rays penetrate the skin on a deeper layer and tend to contribute to tanning, wrinkles, and skin aging. UVB rays cause sunburns and are the main type of rays linked to skin cancer. It’s important to note that both types of rays can technically contribute to the development of skin cancer, so you want to choose a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” coverage, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
How often should we reapply sunscreen?
In general, it’s best to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when outdoors or sooner if swimming or sweating. During the work week or if indoors most of the day, I tend to apply my sunscreen in the morning after finishing my skincare routine and then reapply prior to leaving work and driving home on my commute home or heading outdoors. Sunscreen should become a habit, rain or shine, so get in the habit of applying your sunscreen daily! Use a spray one to easily apply on the go or even in your home. If you’re wearing makeup, many brands make a powder sunscreen you can use to reapply during the day over your foundation.
Where in our skincare or makeup routines should we anchor sunscreen?
Sunscreen should be the last step in your skincare routine. It’s best to apply it after moisturizer but before any makeup.