While the (very accurate) word on the street may be to reapply sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen as we spend more time outside on sunny days, the experts say these lesser-known summer skin-care moves are smart to make with the changing of the season.
We hadn’t heard this one before, but New York aesthetician Vicki Morav says she does not recommend using oils during the summer because of what she calls the “negative effect” they have when in contact with the sun’s rays. “They can become rancid and can create discoloration on the skin,” she explains. “If you still want to use your facial oil, switch to using it only at night during the summer months.”
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), dermatologists recommend using sunscreen every day when you are outside—not just during the summer. The society’s official stance: “If you are using sunscreen every day and in the correct amount, a bottle should not last long.” While many sunscreens list an expiration date right on the bottle and the FDA does require all sunscreens to be formulated to last three years, if you aren’t sure (i.e., you have some hanging around from last summer), the AAD advises to look for visible signs that the sunscreen may no longer be good. “Any obvious changes in the color or consistency of the product mean it’s time to purchase a new bottle.”
Also in line with the “wear sunscreen” theme, Campbell, CA dermatologist Amelia K. Hausauer, MD always recommends carrying a powder sunscreen in your bag so you can touch up at all times. “I generally recommend this year-round but, in the summer, people are more likely to be away from their homes with less readily available sunscreen. Plus, they’re outdoors during peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so it’s important to reapply every two hours. Powders are a good way—in combo with SPF lip care—to do this frequently even if wearing makeup.”
While this one hits more fashion and less beauty, it has some serious skin-saving benefits all the same. “In the summer, you want to grab your brimmed hat and sunglasses!” says Prospect, KY dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD, who also advises reapplying SPF diligently and, in addition to the face, not forgetting the ears, neck, chest and hands. “If you summer lifestyle is spent mostly outdoors, I highly recommend rash guards as an adjunct,” adds Davie, FL dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, MD. Saddle Brook, NJ dermatologist Dr. Frederic Haberman is also a fan of SPF clothing: “Wear it whenever possible, along with proper use of sunscreen.”
As Morav warns, “If you are not going to be diligent with sunblock, switch to using your acids and retinoids at night—or just stop using them altogether. The damage will be bigger than the benefits they have to offer.”
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