The sun, salt and the chlorine along with excessive heat and humidity (and sometimes dryness due to air conditioning) are some big things that can damage your skin during the summer. By mid summer it may leave your skin looking dry and dull with mottled pigmentation and a dull, leathery look. Don’t wait until fall to start cleaning up sun damage. The longer you wait the more these conditions become permanent.
ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN
You know this. But it’s easy to mess up and forget to apply daily, apply too little, or ignore other areas of your body other than your face. As part of your regular skincare routine you should apply a sunscreen enhanced moisturizer every day of your life. Considering the latest studies I recommend a 50 SPF broad spectrum screen which protects you from both the aging (UVA) and burning (UVB) rays. This of course will be enough to protect you from daily incidental exposure. When you’re spending more time out in the sun you must reapply every couple of hours and after swimming. When vacationing at the beach you might even consider a higher SPF. While my clients are very good about applying sunscreen to their faces every day, many forget to protect the other areas that are exposed. You might be able to get away with this when you're younger but pigmentation spots will creep up on you after you reach menopause. All of a sudden patches of brown spots seem to appear out of nowhere. This damage may have occurred decades ago. Estrogen suppresses the visible spots from exposing themselves before menopause. After menopause melanin easily rises to the surface of the skin upon sun exposure. Sometimes it doesn’t even take being out in the sun. Being exposed to excessive heat can cause melanin to rise to the top of the cell and become visible. I’ve alway been good about applying sunscreen on my face every morning. It’s just a natural part of my skincare routine, but I haven’t been as good about protecting the back of my hands. Now that I’m in my senior years the pigmentation on the backs of my hands has arrived. I went through a decade of leaving sunscreen in my car to apply it when I first got in the car - just to avoid this complication. But then I got lazy. Now I’m back to applying sunscreen on the backs of my hands as soon as I get in the car in hopes of undoing at least some of the damage. The best protection occurs when you make sunscreen application to hands, chest, arms and legs also part of your every day morning routine.
BREAKOUTS ARE MORE COMMON
Sun and humidity means that you are probably producing more oil in summer if you tend to have oily skin. Increased oil flow can lead to more breakouts. And dead cell buildup means the pores can become easily congested. The extra oil can be reduced using niacinamide and more breakouts are effectively treated with azelaic acid. Problems can happen because of heat and environmental factors, along with failing to use a proper nightly cleansing regime - because you're wearing extra sunscreen you might not be removing it properly. It's important to remove sunscreen thoroughly off your skin. Poor skin cleansing can lead to increased breakouts. You should opt for a double cleansing routine . First cleanse should be with a non-foaming milky cleanser which is better for removing makeup and sunscreen. Follow that up with a detergent free gel cleanser for a deeper cleansing. Morning cleansing for very oily or problem skin works best choosing a cleanser containing salicylic acid and smooth surfaced buffing beads.
Some clients find that their breakouts get worse in the fall. Oil production may have slowed down but the consistency of the oil becomes thicker and harder to flow out of the pores due to summer oil that was once fluid now becoming more solid at lower temperatures. This coupled with a layer of accumulated cells from summer sun creates a layer that traps the now hardened oil into the skin. Exfoliation is a key step in avoiding fall as well as summer breakouts.
EXFOLIATION IS A BIG DEAL
Some organs in our bodies are able to heal themselves or regenerate. Your skin just so happens to be one of those organs. For those of you struggling with skin challenges such as post-acne hyperpigmentation - there’s hope. Wrinkles can be softened and crepiness smoothed by adding good exfoliation to your routine. Through a process called skin cell renewal (where skin cells turnover and new cell regeneration occurs) the skin naturally sheds or overturns dead skin cells on the surface as healthy skin cells from deeper layers get pushed up to revealing a healthier, more even-looking complexion. Through exfoliation, new skin cells are created within the skin, in the layer we call the epidermis. The cells first begin their life cycle as a single layer of thick, column-shaped cells. Half of the cells in this layer stay behind to mature, and the other half migrate to the skin’s surface. As the cells continue to float upward, they begin to flatten. Once they arrive at the surface of the skin, they are essentially dead. With time, these dead skin cells continue to shed as newer, matured cells push their way to the surface. With sun, heat and humidity you end up with extra layers that look dull and crepey. Developing a summer skincare routine which includes exfoliation can make a phenomenal difference.
Throughout the summer you should continue your regular exfoliating routine. At one time they used to recommend avoiding retinoids in summer because it could make you sun sensitive. But sensible application of a non prescription retinol that is only applied at night can offer not only the long term exfoliating benefits of retinol but will step up the regeneration of cells, repairing some of the damage to your skin. Of coarse one needs to consider your personal skin type and how sun sensitive your skin is.
The same is true for alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic and lactic acids. These will dissolve the glue that holds the dead cells to the surface of your skin. AHAs offer instant gratification to a smoother skin’s surface.
By mid summer when your skin looks the dullest and most haggard consider an at home skin boosting treatment once or twice a week.
FOR THE FACE:
1) POWER BOOST
is a lactic acid based home peel that offers great spalike results. Lactic acid is more hydrating than most other exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids and it can be particularly effective for pigmentation when used regularly. This is a booster treatment that works particularly well for thicker, sun damaged skin but was not designed for more sensitive skin types because of the higher percentage of lactic acid in the formula. If your skin is particularly thickened by the sun you can try using a smooth surfaced scrub right over power boost after the Power Boost has sat on your skin for about five minutes.
is our most powerful repair serum to fight against DNA damage that’s happened from the sun. It contains exosomes derived from mesenchymal stem cells which directly affects and steps up the repair factors for fibroblasts found in the dermis through cell communication. Fibroblasts stimulate collage, elastin and other components that keep the skin firm and tight.
is a calming, super hydrating, soothing masque that doesn’t dry out (or on) your skin. Great after sun exposure or any time you decide to do a hydrating skin treatment.
FOR THE BODY:
is a longtime approved method of stimulating circulation and lymphatic drainage for your arms and legs. As you age your outer extremities don’t get sufficient circulation and lack nutrients and oxygen needed. Natural exfoliation declines and you are left with crepey skin. Before you get into the shower or tub take a few minutes to stimulate circulation using circular movements starting closest to your heart moving outward. If you have dry itchy skin on your back it might be easier to use an exfoliating cloth that is long enough to access this area.
was originally developed for the face but many clients apply a thin layer over the backs of their hands and arms. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse off in the shower with a washcloth. Skin feels super smooth after this treatment.
is the perfect body cleanser to use in the shower that won’t dry out your skin. Just squeeze some into a wet face cloth and wash. This is so much better than soap. Detergents in soaps rapidly dry out your skin and leave it dull and tight. Try this instead. You’ll never use soap again.
is a heavenly fragrant (not too much) massage oil that offers extra protection to freshly exfoliated skin. It feels comfortable on the skin and is not too heavy.