We all yearn for that sun-kissed glow all summer long (and into the fall). But you’re not going to get glowing skin spending your days poolside, gardening, or playing outside with your kids and grandkids. While fun in the sun can equal some wicked tan lines, all that heat and humidity can also dry out your skin, lead to sunburns, clog your pores, and cause wrinkles. And sitting inside in the air conditioning isn’t smart either. Overexposure to sun, dry air, and incorrect skincare products can keep you from having a radiant complexion, among other things.
Follow our simple tips and tricks for how to get glowing skin in the summer:
Use the Right Face Wash
You should always wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once right before you go to bed, no matter the season. But during the summer, your face produces more oil, so the facial cleanser you use in the winter may not work in the summer.
If you have oily skin, you want a foaming face wash that cleanses and unclogs your pores without overdrying your skin. For dry skin, you want a gentle face wash, preferably one that isn’t too soapy and doesn’t strip your skin of all its oil but hydrates while cleansing. If you have combination skin, use a face wash that removes oils and impurities, hydrates your dry skin patches, and balances your skin’s texture. You could even use two different cleansers on the different parts of your face that are oily and dry.
Apply Facial Toner
After cleansing, apply facial toner to your face. It will keep your skin clean and free of oil buildup, making toner a necessary choice if you have naturally oily or acne-prone skin. It can also reduce the appearance of pores, which can be more noticeable on your face, especially your nose and forehead. Focus on your T-zone since this area produces the most oil.
Whether you spend your time outside in the sun or inside in the air conditioning, your skin is drying out. The summer sun can dehydrate and damage your skin, while the cold air from your home, office, or car’s AC dries the air out—and dry air is not your skin’s best friend. So while you should be daily moisturizing year-round, it’s especially vital in the summer.
Some women ditch their heavy, creamier winter moisturizers for a lightweight, easily absorbable summer moisturizer or face serum. What’s the difference between the two? Moisturizers are a lotion or cream that form a physical barrier, sealing your skin so the moisture and nutrients stay in but irritants from the environment stay out. Serums are more lightweight than moisturizers, and they deliver natural vitamins and nutrients right onto your skin. They’re formulated to repair skin on a cellular level. Choose a natural face serum with Vitamin C serum or hyaluronic acid. Applying either type of face serum is an easy way to brighten your skin.
Some women use a face serum and then a moisturizer in their natural skincare routine, while others use only one. Your skin type, age, and the season may determine what you should do.
Don’t Forget Sunscreen
You shouldn’t leave your house without first applying sunscreen with SPF to any exposed skin areas if you plan on being out in the sun at all. SPF stands for sun protection factor, and we also like to remember it as summer’s protective friend. A sunscreen’s SPF tells you how well it’s going to help protect your skin from the sun’s UVB rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using an SPF of 30 or higher. Along with a good SPF, use sunscreen that works with your skin type and don’t forget to reapply it throughout the day, especially if you’re swimming.
Exfoliate 2-3 Times a Week
If you spend your summers outside, your body is most likely covered in sunscreen half the day. Plus, the hot wind and sweat cause dirt and debris to stick to your skin. All of this builds up, along with dead skin, clogging your pores, leading to breakouts, and making your skin look dull. You can get youthful, glowing skin by using an exfoliating facial scrub and lightly exfoliating your entire body 2-3 times a week.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Dehydration can lead to fatigue, bad breath, dry and dull skin, and more. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, females who are 19 and older should consume 2.7 liters (9 cups) of water a day. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding or live in a particularly hot climate, you should be getting a little more water each day. Most of this total water intake needs to come from drinking water, but some of this amount can and will also include water from other beverages and water consumed from foods. If you’re not much of a plain water drinker, naturally infuse your water with fruits and herbs or drink sparkling water.
Indulge in Fresh, Seasonal Foods
From outdoor farmers stands to your local grocery store, fresh fruits and vegetables abound during the summer. Blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, cucumbers, and other summer foods rich in vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants aid in collagen production, reduce inflammation, and protect your skin from the sun. Carrots and tomatoes are good choices too, as orange fruits and vegetables have been found to provide a sun-kissed glow thanks to carotenoids. So while ice cream or potato chips may tempt you, opt for eating more fresh fruits and vegetables this summer.
Take Shorter, Cold Showers
We know. This one may be the hardest to do. Even on a hot day, the thought of getting into a cold shower makes you shudder. But no one’s asking you to sit in an ice bath for 10 minutes. We’re just saying don’t take long hot showers or hang out in a steamy sauna during the summer. These dehydrate your skin. Taking shorter, cold or cool-temperature showers keep your pores unclogged and can also help prevent acne breakouts. You may not think it, but it will be refreshing and help radiate your complexion.