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Summer Skincare Essentials

With temperatures soaring high, that hot sun is bound to cause damage to the skin. There’s the heat that dehydrates it, sweat and impurities that clog the pores, and makeup that further adds to its state of distress. So, whether you love basking under the sun or would rather avoid it as much as possible, you need to take ample steps toward giving your skin all the love and care it needs.


Skincare is not something that I have always been interested in. I personally burn really easily so sunscreen is always at the top of my list every time I go outside, but in recent months I have added other aspects to my skincare routine. This is because I really want to make sure that I am caring for my skin now rather than having issues down the road. This post will highlight some of the things that ideally should be a part of your skincare routine.

 

The skin is the largest organ of the body. The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection. The following are just some general products that are going to be beneficial to you as part of not just your summer skincare but all year round.

 

Sunscreen


Sunscreens are one of the most important skincare products that you just can’t do without. Their importance is undebatable for all the skin damage they protect us from. Apart from shielding our skin from harmful UV rays and the consequent damage, sunscreens also play a vital role in managing the signs of premature aging like dark spots, wrinkles, and pigmentation. Did you also know that continuous use of sunscreen also helps in reducing the risk of skin cancer? Not to forget, just ensure that you always wear sunscreen that has at least a minimum of SPF 30.


Cleanser


Cleansing makes for one of the first and most important steps of a skincare routine. It aims at removing all the dirt, oil, sweat, impurities, and product particles from your skin to leave it feeling refreshed and of course, clean. Our skin is exposed to a lot of harmful external factors and pollutants throughout the day and it is only befitting that you deep cleanse it twice daily. Always use a gentle cleanser according to the skin concerns you have and your skin type to ensure their efficacy.


Moisturizer


Moisturizers are as essential in summer as they are in winter. While you might use heavy and thick ones in winter to keep your skin hydrated with extra nourishment, you should avoid them in summer as they may feel sticky and greasy and weigh your face down. Opt for lightweight moisturizers that are gel or water-based and maybe even infused with an SPF. Summer heat tends to leave your skin dehydrated and looking dull and lackluster and hence it is of utmost importance that you give it all the hydration it needs, even if you have oily skin. Include a moisturizer in both your morning and night skincare regime—throughout the year in fact—however, use a lighter one especially in summer as it won’t clog pores. You can also use a hyaluronic acid underneath your moisturizer to retain it well.


Lip Balm


Extreme weather conditions such as winter and summer can make your lips vulnerable resulting in dryness, and cracked and chapped lips. One of the simplest ways to prevent this is by applying lip balm all year round to keep them nourished and hydrated. The skin on your lips is more sensitive compared to the rest of your body therefore a layer of protection is necessary to prevent damage. During extreme weather conditions, the thin protective layer gets easily peeled off leading to dry and chapped lips. Look for a lip balm that is infused with moisturizing and nourishing ingredients such as vitamin E and other natural oils.


Aloe Vera Gel


Aloe Vera juice is almost 96% water and immediately makes your skin feel cool and calm. After spending a day outside under the hot sun, an aloe vera face pack can help refresh and soothe your skin almost instantly. It can also help calm heat rashes and breakouts with its wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Sunburnt skin is a common skin concern during summer when you are exposed to direct sunlight for several hours at a stretch. It can lead to redness, sensitivity, and even blisters. Aloe vera has some amazing anti-inflammatory and healing properties that help your skin recover from a sunburn. So a tub of aloe vera gel is a must-have on a beach vacation to take care of sun-damaged skin. Due to excessive sweating during summer, dust and dead skin cells tend to build up leading to an itchy scalp. And the easiest way to find instant relief from it is by using an aloe vera hair mask for your scalp. Its soothing, cooling nature will reduce itching and even keep your hair hydrated. Even during harsh summers, your skin needs a moisturizer to stay hydrated and supple. And aloe vera gel is the perfect lightweight and nourishing moisturizer for all skin types. Whether you have oily, dry, dehydrated, or sensitive skin, aloe vera gel will keep your skin well-hydrated and even calm pimples and boils with its soothing nature. It also offers some protection from UV rays since it has antioxidants like vitamins C and E making it an essential skincare item for the summer.


Exfoliator


The primary job of exfoliants (both physical and chemical) is to remove dead skin cells and other pore-clogging impurities from the skin. Therefore, there is no reason as to why you shouldn’t exfoliate your skin in summer as well. And as much necessary as it is in this season, you should also ensure that you don’t over-exfoliate. Once or twice a week is just fine to achieve clean and glowing skin. While you can incorporate scrubs with natural ingredients you can also look for products that are rich in AHAs like glycolic acid and BHAs like salicylic acid. These are chemical exfoliants that do not require physical or manual scrubbing.


Body Lotion


Instead of opting for a creamy lotion, look for a lightweight formula that won’t feel too heavy on the skin. A gel-based texture is recommended for summers, as they are weightless and do not make the skin greasy. What’s more, the gel texture is water-based, which means it is less likely to bind to the natural oils of the skin and therefore attracts less dirt than a cream-based moisturizer, which lowers the chances of breakouts. While it may seem so, summers are certainly not the time to skimp on the body lotion. In fact, constant exposure to the air conditioner can rob the skin of essential moisture, leaving it dehydrated. While switching your skincare routine, make sure you pick a quick-absorbing body lotion for summer, which sinks into your skin instantly and makes it soft and smooth.


Sheet Mask


During the summer, all the dust and pollutants accumulate and stick to your face, leaving the skin looking dull and depressed. By wearing a face mask for a few minutes, the soothing ingredients (like aloe vera, cucumber, etc.) can seep through the pores and cleanse the skin. Additionally, using a gel cooling mask can even prevent oily skin and kill dead cells. The face mask also moisturizes your face, closes pores, prevents infections and breakouts, and leaves your skin feeling clean and supple. The cooling effects of the face mask ensures hydration and cures dry skin. The mask blocks any water loss from the pores while hydrating and profoundly nourishing the skin, which leaves you feeling refreshed. Like the valuable effects of ice on skin, cooling masks curtail puffiness and reduce dark circles. Moreover, after a long day in the sizzling summer sun, cooling masks are the perfect way to unwind. All you need to do is light some candles, watch your favourite tv show, put on a cooling face mask, and watch your worries dissipate into thin air. These should be used once or twice a week after cleansing your face, preferably at night before bed.


Another thing to remember about your skin for the summer is to make sure that you are drinking lots of water. This keeps not only you hydrated but your skin stays hydrated as well.

 

My Personal Skincare Routine


Personally, I use The Ordinary products and I love them. The regime I currently follow is Cleanser (Squalane Cleanser), Serum ( Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%), Oil (100% Plant-Derived Squalane), and Moisturizer (Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA). I also use a Salicylic Acid 2% Masque weekly. This routine will be changing though as my skin concerns have changed and I want to get a lighter moisturizer for summer. If The Ordinary is something that you are interested in looking into more check out this website for more information.


Another thing that I do weekly is I really try to use a sheet mask every week, I typically will do them when I am sitting at my desk in the afternoons as it is a nice way to relax while still doing school, at least for me. As for body lotion, I prefer to buy mine at The Body Shop, I really like the Almond Milk Body Yogurt, but all the body yogurts are equally amazing. I use Aloe Vera Gel as a hair mask every other week (I haven't in a while but I am going to buy some more soon), this is amazing if you get a sunburn on your scalp or you are prone to itchy scalp.

 

Everyone's skincare routine is different. Make sure that you are creating a routine that not only is unique to you but also is something that you are going to follow. It has taken me quite a while to create a routine that works for me and it changes per season (as it should).

 

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