Stripped of winter’s tights and turtlenecks, summer skin takes center stage.
But getting your skin summer perfect and keeping it that way throughout the season takes a watchful eye and extra effort. Fresh color, shine-free style and a golden glow are all hot for summer.
Sun-kissed is one color. Sunkist is another.
While spray tans can give instant gratification with none of the damage of the real thing, they can also leave you looking like one of Gene Wilder’s Oompa Loompas.
Artificial tans look orange and patchy when more product is held by areas of dead skin cells, so getting rid of those problem spots is critical to an even, natural-looking tan.
Exfoliating the entire body before applying the tan is key.
But don’t think that an artificial tan gives a free pass for hitting the beach. In fact, you absorb more of the rays because you are darker, so you need to be more cautious if you have self-tanner on.
Adding a topical vitamin C serum to your daily skin routine fights the free radicals that are going to cause brown spots, plus, it is a non-chemical lightener, so if you have some spots it will help lighten them without being on a medication.
If you end up orange, time and scrubbing are the only options. The cellular turnover rate on the body is slower, so you will need more exfoliation than on your face. Products containing salicylic acid, and body products that have glycolic acid will help increase cell turnover and get rid of the orange glow.
Even the most conscientious sun screener can end up with a burn – whether it’s that mid-back patch that few humans can reach with the SPF, an outing that runs longer than expected or even a brief lunch on a beach patio that results in a scald.
If you do find yourself in the pink, use cool cloths to sooth the skin, and take an inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, to reduce swelling and help with pain. Avoid glycolic acids and Retin A until the skin totally heals, and use gentle mineral make-up over a sun burn. Mineral makeup often contains bismuth oxychloride, which calms redness.
The best course of action is prevention every day. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin before your leave the house – even if you are just running errands and don’t anticipate prolonged exposure.
Sporting goods stores generally carry a variety of clothing with up to SPF 50 built in, adding another layer of protection to skin care products. Other sun-safe must-haves include a broad-brimmed hat and quality sunglasses and a high SPF lip balm to protect the sensitive skin on you lips.
You can race from the bathroom to the car, from the car to the next air-conditioned locale, but even a few minutes in the summer heat can wreak havoc on make-up.
Sweat and excess oil can make summer make-up seem like mission impossible.
Switching to non-liquid make-up and avoiding creamy concealers will help your look stay in place. Pressed mineral powders with kale and clay will absorb oil and take longer to sweat off. Using a primer will also help keep make-up in place, then finish it off with a translucent powder.
Micro-dermabrasion can also help keep oily summer skin under control, however, you may want to hold off on treatments that require very vigilant sun protection, such as intense pulse light laser treatments, until after the peak of summer.
Pale in comparison
Those who choose to embrace their pale complexions year round can still find ways to feel sunny.
A light bronzer will give a touch of color without overpowering pale skin. And If a spray tan is too big of a commitment, there are many every day tanners that can be applied to precisely the color you wish.
Dress in colors that enhance a pale complexions rather than the fun summer colors that are meant for tan and olive skin. While neutrals, black, and red look beautiful on creamy skin, this summer’s neon greens, pinks and oranges will be less than flattering.
Wax on, hair off
Keeping skin smooth and fuzz-free is a big part of most women’s summer skin routine. Exfoliate well before, and baby your skin after. Freshly waxed skin is extra-sensitive to sun, so schedule waxing a few days to a week out from your big beach day to give skin a chance to recover.
Smooth, smart and sexy skin may require maintenance, but a little prep work will leave you short-short ready on short notice.