How to Care for Your Skin During the Summer

by Emily Linehan on August 4, 2022
Updated June 21, 2023

Summer can be an unforgiving time for your skin. Rising temperatures, humidity, and increased sun exposure can leave your skin extra vulnerable to free radical damage, breakouts, and dehydration, among other things. Luckily, there are ways to maintain glowing skin while still enjoying some fun in the sun! 

Level Up Your Sun Protection

You already know that you should be wearing sunscreen as this is your best defense against the extreme damage that can occur from sun exposure. I recommend applying a “Physical” or “Mineral” sunscreen (like my Tinted Mineral SPF 40 or Pure Protection Tinted Antioxidant SPF 40), to create a barrier of protection that reflects and scatters the UV rays. 

When it comes to sunscreen, here are a few important tips to keep in mind:

  • For the face, you should apply a nickel size amount (if using an Emme Diane sunscreen, this is two pumps). For the body, you should apply about 2 tablespoons of sunscreen (or about a shot glass full). 
  • Sunscreen should be applied EVERY day. Be sure to reapply immediately after swimming, sweating, or towel drying. In general, it’s good practice to reapply every 2-3 hours when you are outside as you may have sweated or wiped it off unintentionally.
  • To ensure you get an even barrier of sun protection on your face, I always recommend using my press/pat method during application. To do this, first, warm the sunscreen between your fingertips. Then, with a pressing action, evenly distribute onto the skin and lightly feather until blended. This is similar to how you would apply foundation!
  • If you need to reapply your sunscreen over makeup, try using a beauty blender! Gently dot a small amount of sunscreen on at a time (being careful not to drag it across the skin as this may disturb your makeup). Although you’ll likely have to reapply your blush and/or bronzer, your foundation should remain intact along with your SPF. This tip is also great for reapplying when at the beach or poolside! The beauty blender will make it easier to reapply without using your hands, which could be sandy or grimy from the environment.

In addition to sunscreen, be sure to take further protect your skin from the sun by staying in shaded areas and by wearing sun protective clothing, like hats and sunglasses.

For more information, read: SPF, PA+++, and Everything Else You Need to Know About Sunscreen

Planning a Sunny Vacation? Stop Using Retinol

Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, meaning you are more prone to sun damage. Retinol is generally safe to use during the summertime, as long as you are diligent about applying sun protection and only apply it at night. That being said, if you have any plans that involve a lot of sun exposure, like a trip to the beach, I recommend discontinuing the use of retinol a couple of days before you leave (and definitely don’t pack it with you!). You can typically resume the use of retinol a few days after your event, as long as you didn’t experience sunburn or damage to your skin. While it may be tough to give up this staple in your routine, it will help minimize the potential for irritation or damage to your skin. 

For more information, read: Retinol Do’s and Don’ts

Soothe Your Skin After Sun Exposure

Regardless of how diligent you are with limiting sun exposure, sometimes things happen. If you think you got a little too much sun, don’t panic! Instead, follow these tips to help soothe your skin - 

  • Take a cool shower! The cold water will calm irritation, reduce inflammation, and help with dehydration. 
  • Give your skin a little TLC with a hydrating face mask. Our Cucumber Cooling Mask is formulated with moisture-locking hyaluronic acid and glycerin to deliver intense hydration to dehydrated or stressed skin. 
  • Avoid exfoliating products. Since your skin is already over-stimulated from the sun exposure, you’ll want to hold off on products such as retinol, acids, or exfoliants as they may cause additional irritation to your skin. 
  • Calm the skin with soothing ingredients. Aloe Vera (found in our Skin Quencher Gel) is great for not only soothing the skin after a sunburn but also encouraging healthy cell regeneration to help heal sunburns. Allantoin is another great option! Found in several of our products, including Dew Drops Hydrating Serum, this hydrating botanical is soothing and hydrating, prevents transepidermal water loss, and encourages healthy cell proliferation. Finally, our Firming Peptide Serum is a really good option as well. It contains Hyaluronic Acid which is super hydrating and peptides that help the skin heal quicker! 

Care For Skin Before and After Swimming

Whether you’ll be swimming in salt water or chlorine, both have high pH levels that can be drying to the skin. To minimize dryness, I recommend applying a water-resistant sunscreen, like our Tinted Mineral SPF40. Since these products are typically formulated with heavy emollients, like dimethicone, they create a breathable barrier that repels water. This not only keeps the salt or chlorinated water from penetrating the skin but also helps with preventing transepidermal water loss, reducing the chances of dryness.

It’s essential to wash your face immediately after swimming to rinse away any residual salt or chlorine, which will help prevent any damage to your moisture barrier. In addition, follow your cleanser with an alcohol-free toner to help restore your skin’s natural pH. Bonus: soothing toners, like our Calm Down Toner, can also give your skin an added boost of hydration! 

Load Up on Antioxidants

Antioxidants are one of the best ways to help protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. Since we typically are exposed to more free radicals during the summer through pollution and increased sun exposure, it’s important to load up on antioxidants, not only topically but through your diet as well! 

For a topical solution, I recommend applying our Brilliant-C Serum each morning. Formulated with two forms of Vitamin C, this hydrating serum vigilantly protects while also rejuvenating and repairing the skin. Plus, when combined with sunscreen it acts as a powerhouse to prevent sun damage, so be sure to apply it in the morning!

Incorporating antioxidant-rich foods into your diet will help keep your skin protected and glowing all summer long as well! Many fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, but here are some of my personal favorite skin-loving foods:

  • Blueberries 
  • Broccoli 
  • Spinach
  • Avocados
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Almonds
  • Wild Salmon

So, although summer can be a trying time on our skin, these tips should help you maintain your complexion without missing out on any of the fun!

xoxo, Emme

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