I love a lot of things about the summertime. Trips to the beach, BBQs, and an excuse to wear as little clothing as possible are all positives in my book, but the disgusting havoc it wreaks on my skin? No thank you.
In between sun damage (I always get freckles despite my daily SPF 50 habit) and breakout-causing gnarly sweat, I'm also outside a lot more, which means I'm exposed to even more pollutants. And since environmental factors make up for 80% of long-term damage to skin, it's enough to make me want to spend the summer camped out in a cold, dark, hermetically sealed basement. But that's not very realistic, now is it?
Thanks to the geniuses of the beauty industry, though, there's no need to hide. With a bit of diligence, you can protect your skin in the long run and keep it looking beautiful in the now.
To maintain skin sanity, I rely on the following summer buddies.
For a deep clean on particularly congested skin, I love Comodynes Easy Peeling Exfoliating Action wipes. These are an exfoliation addict's dream. Soaked with a formula full of gentle, cruelty-free, paraben-free AHAs — including prickly pear extract — these towelettes have a smooth side perfect for swiping over the face to brighten, soften, and decongest, and a nubbly side to give you that intensive scrub needed for breakouts on the neck, back, and chest, for razor bumps and ingrown hairs on legs, or for smoothing KP bumps on the arm.
The thing is, these wipes are nice and big; they unfold to a decent-sized towel so that you can do most of your body and face in one go. They can even be used to perfectly prep skin before self-tanning. If you throw one thing into your beauty arsenal this summer, I highly recommend these multitaskers.
Next up, it's time to keep pollutants from making their way into your body. Free radicals are the bad guys we need to worry about; their molecules can be up to 20 times smaller than our pores, so they have no problem getting into your skin as you make your way about town. And once they're in there, they do their best to break down your skin's natural ability to repair itself, causing long-term damage over time. Powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and ferulic acid are repeatedly recommended by dermatologists for their ability to fight free radicals, and the technology to deliver these ingredients to our skin is getting better every year.
Elizabeth Arden is leading the game with their Prevage City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Hydrating Shield. Not only does it filter out 98% of UVA and UVB rays to prevent damage from the sun, it also contains a powerful antioxidant blend with ingredients like green tea and the aforementioned ferulic acid so that skin can protect and repair itself with daily use. On top of that, it has a universal tint that won't leave behind an annoying white cast.
Your eyes need an extra boost in the summertime, too. A great pair of quality sunglasses (or six pairs in rotation — no judgment) does wonders for protecting your eyes and the skin around them in the long run, but Kiehl's is also there with their Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector SPF 30 (going steady with this fave) to brighten up dark circles and protect eyes from any damage thanks to its potent blend of vitamin C and SPF.
Finally, for happy summer skin, there's REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist. You've got your aforementioned free-radical fighting sunscreen, but you can never be too protected, and this stuff contains zinc and manganese amino acids to fight pesky pollutants, contained in a biosaccharide gum base which forms an invisible and light barrier over the skin. I mist this on right before leaving the house; it feels refreshing and leaves my skin with a dewy finish, and I like knowing it's providing an extra layer of protection against nasty city garbage air.
Between these products and spending as much time as possible in air-conditioned environments, I'm keeping cool and looking fresh, too.
- How do you keep your skin from revolting in the summertime?
- What's your favourite sunscreen?