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Summer is time to rethink your skin care routine
By Linda Miller | Published: May 29, 2012
Summer isn't always kind to your skin. Blame it on the heat, wind, humidity and maybe a bit too much fun in the sun or the pool.
Serums, cleansers and moisturizers that work well on your skin in the winter don't always do the best job when the sun comes out to play and the weather warms, yet it's amazing how many women put their beauty routines on autopilot year-round.
Oklahoma City aestheticians recommend women re-evaluate their beauty products and routines each season to keep their skin moisturized, hydrated, protected and primed to fight signs of aging.
They all agree that sunscreen is a must, and it's best to pump a high number.
“I'm a strong believer in 50 SPF if you're going to be outside,” said Kathleen Dickey, a nurse aesthetician at Balliets at Classen Curve. “I think a 30 is OK if you're going to work.”
Reach for a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, and reapply often if you sweat or get wet.
Many eye creams, foundations and moisturizers have 10 to 20 SPF, but for outdoor activities, it's not enough safeguard, she said. An additional sunscreen is necessary.
As extra protection, Dickey suggests women wear a visor or hat to shield their faces from harmful rays. “The sun is so damaging to the skin that you want to protect it at all costs.”
Keep it fresh
When it's hot and sticky, as it often is in the summer, it's important to keep skin refreshed.
“The best way to do this is to add toner for your appropriate skin type,” said Alex Mendez-Kelley, an aesthetician, makeup artist and owner of The MakeUp Bar. “After washing, the added toner can be refreshing, be an astringent or, in the case of mature skin, can actually be hydrating.”
During hot summer months, she suggests women switch to a lighter moisturizer formula and consider using a mask.
“Many masks are earth- or clay-based, but they can be very hydrating,” she said. “Some are good for more intense cleansing. And some help with excess oil. Once a week for those is the standard, but they can be done every couple of days for the superbly dedicated.”
Out with the old
Exfoliation is also important, and if you only exfoliate once a week, you may need to increase it to twice a week in the summer.
“I call them the holy days of exfoliation: Wednesday and Sunday,” Mendez-Kelley said. Between exfoliations, she suggests using a scrub, but don't overdo it, especially for those with sensitive skin.
“If you have a Clarisonic, while good for deep cleansing, it's not a substitute for exfoliation, and should be used just a couple of days a week. Overuse of anything that might strip your skin will only create more oil that could then produce more clogged pores and blackheads,” Mendez-Kelley said.
Marjorie DeLong, co-owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa, agreed that problems that can come from overusing devices such as the Clarisonic. Enthusiasm for the product often leads to dehydrated skin — the very thing most women are trying to avoid, she said.
It's important to remember that exfoliation, while important, doesn't have to be intense.
“Exfoliate in a reasonable manner once or twice a week,” DeLong said. “Even a washcloth is a method of exfoliation.”
Exfoliation is just one ingredient in DeLong's recipe for keeping skin hydrated during the summer. The triple threat? Moisturize, exfoliate and drink plenty of water, she said. It helps the body from head to toe.
Know your skin type
For a quick treat for parched skin, consider a spritz or two of hydrating mist. It's cool and refreshing to the skin and can be used on the face or the entire body.
DeLong said women with combination skin may need to cut back on heavy, thick creams and moisturizers. Consider a lightweight lotion or gel that makes your skin feel good. Or use a combination product, maybe a tinted moisturizer that has a sunscreen. What you don't want to do is skip moisturizer completely, even if you're a bit oily, she said.
“That can cause more problems. You need a barrier between makeup and skin. People who do that may end up with more blocked pores and maybe more breakouts,” DeLong said.
Knowing your skin type helps determine what kind of products you need. Here's a clue: Women with combination skin tend to have larger pores. Dry skin people have small pores, as a rule.
Summer does bring good news for women with dry skin.
“For drier and mature skin types, sing hallelujah,” Mendez-Kelley said. “The extra heat and humidity make your skin feel more comfortable than the dry cold air of winter.”