8 Things Dermatologists Do Every Summer

By Kelsey Kloss

Expert advice on skin protection and care in the hot weather.

8 Things Dermatologists Do Every Summer
photo: istock

1. Lose old layers
Twice a week, scrub skin with a soft brush, an exfoliating scrub, or a salicylic acid wash to brighten it and allow lotions and serums to be absorbed more deeply. If your skin becomes irritated, exfoliate just once a week.

2. Cleanse without cream
As the weather warms, switch from a cream cleanser to a gel variety, which is lightweight yet still effective. If you have oily skin, try a foam cleanser. Be sure to wash your face every night in the summer. More time outside means more exposure to harmful air pollutants, which can attach to moisturiser and make-up and exacerbate the signs of ageing.

3. Lighten the lotion, too
Heavy creams contain lipids that can cause clogged pores and pimples in more humid months. Instead, opt for serums, lotions or hydrating gels, which are all lighter.

4. Strategise sunscreen
In the morning, before you apply your make-up, slather on a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30. Reapply sunscreen every two hours if you’re outside. If you’re worried about smearing make-up, use a mineral sunscreen powder that is easy to reapply throughout the day. Be aware that moisturisers that contain sunscreen are not as effective as sunscreen itself.

5. Consider covering up
Each centimetre on a hat’s brim increases coverage of your face by four per cent. Working or exercising outside? Wear sun-protective clothing. Look for a swing tag with a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF 50+) rating to be sure. You can cut exposure further by heading outdoors before 10am or after 4pm.

6. Be wary of clouds
Sunburn can still occur on cloudy days, when cooler air persuades you to skip sunscreen. However, clouds block only about 20 per cent of the sun’s UV rays. Apply sunscreen as you would on sunny days.

7. Remember the sly spots
A surprising number of skin cancer cases occur behind the ears and on other areas that you may ignore when applying sunscreen. Cover your ears, the tops of your feet, and your hands for full coverage.

8. Eat for sun protection
Studies show that certain foods may offer an extra level of UV protection from within or reduce
the risk of skin cancer. Foods high in antioxidants (colourful fruits and vegetables, such as cherries, citrus fruits and pomegranates), Swiss brown mushrooms, green tea, nuts, probiotics (Greek yoghurt with live active cultures and kombucha, a fermented tea) and oily fish (such as salmon) are all star performers.

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