Summer Skin Care 101
Follow these tips to keep your skin radiant and healthy when you’re having your fun in the sun.
By Shazia Khan
Before you buy just any sunscreen, figure out what SPF level is right for you and your lifestyle. “That number [dictates] how long you can stay in the sun. The higher the SPF, the longer you can stay out without reapplying,” says Nina Laxamana, aesthetician and manager for the Canadian Aesthetics Academy (276 Danforth). She recommends a minimum of SPF 15, while those with fairer complexions should go for a higher level.
Everyone loves having a bronzed look during the warmer seasons, but if you’re thinking of getting sun tanned, think again. “First, it ages the skin rapidly. Second, sun damage shows up 15 to 20 years after the fact. So you really want to stay out of the sun,” Laxamana explains. To add some colour to your skin, use a sunless tanner like Jergens’ Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer or Shiseido Brilliant Bronze Quick Self-Tanning Gel, which work gradually to add a little pigment to your tone each time you use them.
Exfoliate and Moisturize
Summer weather can really dry you out, and some sunscreens can actually compound the problem, so remember your moisturizer. Laxamana suggests something water-based, like Dermalogica’s Ultrarich Body Cream, which also exfoliates the skin. “When you exfoliate and moisturize, new skin actually comes up better, and it’s just softer. It [prevents] build-up of dead skin – that’s how people get ingrown hairs.”
Lighten your Makeup Load
Laxamana says that skin is naturally dewier in the summer, so it’s a good idea to ditch the heavier foundations for a mineral-based powder, or better yet, a tinted moisturizer. “It still gives you that evenness, and gives minimal to medium coverage.” Skeyndor’s Aquatherm Tinted Defense Cream and Lise Watier’s Voile Du Jour Tinted Protective Cream both provide sun defence as well as colour.
Your diet can affect your skin’s health and radiance, so remember to eat and drink right. “What you eat is what you see in your skin,” Laxamana warns. The most important thing to remember this season is to drink plenty of water – it’s a lot easier to become dehydrated when it’s hot out. Foods with antioxidants are also helpful for skin health, like nuts, kale, and dried or fleshy fruits (e.g. blueberries, pomegranates, and plums).