Summer is here! And with it comes the sun, which has many benefits--extra vitamin D, cheering us up after a long dreary winter. Not to mention it’s finally warm enough to switch to our summer wardrobes and hang out outside. But the sun can also be incredibly dangerous. Sunburn, skin cancers, and even slower skin deterioration can all occur if we don’t take the proper steps to protect ourselves and condition our skin for summer. Clients too will have trouble coming in for facials and other skin treatments as well as makeup appointments if their skin is damaged and injured. Here are the top tips and tricks to ensure you and your salon clients keep your skin safe and healthy during these stronger summer months.
- Keep it light. Swap out the heavier moisturizers you were using in winter for one that is lighter. With the extra heat and sweating of being outdoors, the heavy creams and cleansers will be too much for your skin.
- Moisturize. However, you should still be moisturizing in the summer months and keeping up a face-care routine. Use lighter moisturizers so they don’t feel like a thick film where sweat and grime can get blocked. Heat and humidity open the pores of your skin, so consider adding a toner that will help your pores stay closed during the daytime.
- SPF. Even if your makeup contains SPF, it’s not sufficient to keep you protected from the sunlight. Make sure to apply a good sunscreen over it. You want sunscreen that blocks from all UV rays and lasts for a good long while. If you’re planning water activities, find a sunscreen that is waterproof or water resistant. Sweat proof sunscreen is also highly recommended, since you don’t want it to run into your eyes in the heat.
- Lip protection. This is often overlooked. We tend to associate lip balms and chapsticks with winter, when the dry cold dries out our lips, but dry heat has the same effect. The sun will also play a part in drying out and burning our lips if we aren’t careful. Make sure your chapstick of choice has SPF to protect your lips from the sun.
- Re-apply SPF. Your initial application of sunscreen will eventually wear away and all your careful work will go to waste if you don’t re-apply sunscreen at regular intervals. This is all the more important for water activities like swimming, where the water will wash away your sunscreen even faster. Once you are no longer protected, the damage can become critical fast, since the water amplifies the sun's rays, much like a magnifying glass, focusing harmful UV rays on your skin for maximum damage.
- Drink Water. Coffee and sodas don’t work here, since they will dehydrate you. Drinking will keep you hydrated while out in the heat, but more importantly, making sure you have plenty of water is one of the key secrets to keeping your skin supple and youthful looking.
- External Protection. Aside from a good SPF, you want to make sure that you are taking advantage of your wardrobe and environment to provide maximum sun protection. If your local has a place with shade, take advantage of it. Make sure to wear a sun hat. While it’s tempting to dress lightly in the heat, take care to bring a light garment to wear over a bathing suit that will help protect your skin.
- Eye Protection. This is another one that is overlooked almost as much as lip protection, but it’s important. The skin around your eyes is the most sensitive and some of the thinnest. Make certain you apply sunscreen all around your eyes (without getting it into your eyes!) and make sure to reapply it regularly, especially when swimming, as we have a tendency to rub our eyes more when in the water, wiping away the SPF protection. Buy sunglasses that don’t just look good, but protect from UVA and UVB. If you wear glasses regularly, consider getting sun safe coating on your lenses.
- Easy on the Showers. Do not shower too much or with too much hot water. Showering, while refreshing, dries out the skin, especially with very hot water. Consider taking a colder shower in the summer (it feels great after a day out in the heat) and avoid showering too much.
- Exfoliate. It’s recommended to exfoliate your skin only at the end of the day, since facial oils, dead skin cells, etc help create a block between your skin and the heat and sun. Washing that right before exposing your skin to direct sunlight is inadvisable and you run the risk of doing more harm than good. In the evening, wash your face with a light, foaming face wash to remove all the grime of the day. Much like your moisturizers, you want to use a lighter formula than you do in the winter.
- Sooth. After spending a day exposed to the sun, make sure to treat your skin with care. If you did get a sunburn, take measures to treat it--aloe is by far the highest recommendation, treating sunburn and hydrating and rejuvenating your skin. Even if you did not get a sunburn, it’s a good idea to treat your skin after a day outdoors, and there are many light moisturizers and after-sun skincare products created to treat and rejuvenate the skin.
- Shave/wax. Post-sun is the time to attend to all shaving and waxing. If you generally do this in the morning, consider switching to nighttime, since both leave the skin vulnerable to additional damage--whether it’s the tiny cuts created by a razor, or the red, sensitive skin from waxing.) Doing this in the evening gives your skin time to heal itself overnight before being exposed to UV rays.