Sweet Sun-Kissed Skin

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Special attention to skin care helps you stay hydrated and glowing all season long.

By Vicki Hogue-Davies

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Warm weather and hours of sunshine make being outdoors on a summer day feel like an indulgent treat. Bulky sweaters and winter boots are shed for lightweight styles and sandals to show off pretty pedicures. Even hairstyles change to make locks more casual and easier to manage during the laid-back days and warm nights.

With all the change that comes with summer, it makes sense that skin care routines should be seasonal as well. To ensure that skin stays hydrated and glowing in the sunshine all season long, follow these expert skin care tips and carefully consider the products you use and treatments you undergo to ensure they are sun-safe.

A Daily Regimen

“Skin changes with the seasons and with the years, and skin care should change, too,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. Jaliman is also author of the book “Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist,” which includes more than 70 tips about proper skin care.

Switching up skin care routines is rule No. 10 in her book: “In summer, the weather is much warmer and you perspire more so you should change to lighter weight products [to keep skin and pores clear],” she explains. “For example, if you use a facial moisturizer that is in a cream base in the winter, you can change to a lotion or a serum in the summer because a cream is too heavy in the warm weather.”

Changing from a mild cleanser to one that exfoliates is also beneficial in summer, helping to remove dead skin cells to keep skin radiant, Jaliman says.

“For glowing skin it’s important to exfoliate, and I like the sonic cleansing systems,” she continues. “The Clarisonic is my favorite. I like that they have different brush heads for different skin types.”

Colleen Sanchez, lead esthetician at The St. Regis Monarch Beach’s Spa Gaucin, agrees, adding that it’s best to exfoliate twice a week. Both experts concur that the regular use of sunscreen in summer is critical to healthy skin.

“The most important thing to do in summer is to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 every single day rain or shine,” Jaliman says. She adds that lighter weight lotion sunscreens and even sunscreen powders are available. “I prefer a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. You can also wear UV 400 sunglasses to prevent wrinkling around the eyes. A hat with a two-inch brim will help protect the face as well.”

“It is important to always reapply sunscreen after four hours if you are in direct sunlight,” Sanchez adds. She recommends a daily summer skin care regimen that includes applying an antioxidant serum, followed by a moisturizer and sunscreen with adequate SPF coverage during the day. “[Before bed] apply an appropriate serum, such as a firming collagen booster serum followed by eye and night creams.”

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A hydrating oxygen facial, performed here by Spa Gaucin esthetician Colleen Sanchez,
replenishes moisture in skin during the summer months.

Specialty Summer Treatments

Some spa and dermatological treatments are beneficial to skin during the hot summer months, while others can cause irritation or sensitivity.

“Hydrating oxygen facials are good to get because they replenish moisture,” Sanchez says. “And for the entire body, try a hydrating wrap to lock in and replenish moisture …  after a day in the sun.” The hair shouldn’t be overlooked either—a spa conditioning hair treatment will help keep it from becoming dry.

“I’m a big fan of hyaluronic acid in skin products; it helps the skin stay hydrated,” Jaliman says. “I also like green tea and resveratrol. I think they’re great antioxidants that help guard against free radical damage.”

Some products and treatments can increase sun sensitivity, and should be avoided in summer when the sun is at its strongest. “Strong glycolic or lactic chemical peels, and aggressive microdermabrasion treatments, should be avoided,” Sanchez says.

“You have to be careful with retinol in the summer,” Jaliman advises. “It makes the skin more sun sensitive. It decreases the cohesiveness of epidermal cells, thins the skin and sun penetrates more. If you use retinol or retinoid products, make certain to use sunscreen every day.

“You should also avoid Fraxel and most laser treatments like IPLs in the summer because they interact with sunlight,” she continues. IPL treatments use intense pulsed light to remove wrinkles, spots, redness and other skin imperfections.

“The problem with most lasers is you don’t want sun exposure after using them and that is harder to avoid in summer,” Jaliman adds. “If you do these treatments in summer and don’t stay out of the sun, you can affect your own natural pigment … so the only person who should have laser treatment in summer is someone who does everything to avoid the sun, like staying indoors, wearing a big hat and sunglasses and always using sunscreen.”

Jaliman notes that she is a big fan of treatments like Thermage CPT, which uses noninvasive lasers to tighten skin, and Exilis, which tightens skin and reduces fat. “They are both radiofrequency [treatments] and don’t interact with sunlight,” she says. “I also like Botox and fillers in summer because they are under the skin.”

Whether your outdoor activities include relaxing on the beach or being pampered at the spa, keeping your skin safe enjoying the warm sunshine is easy as long as you have a bottle of SPF 30 sunscreen and knowledge of how to protect yourself from the summer heat.