How to Get Great Skin In the Summer Heat
Showing off flawless skin during the steamy summer season can be as difficult as finding the perfect bikini. With air conditioners on full blast and the sun beating down, it’s important to both prevent and eliminate dull, dehydrated skin and damage from wrinkle-causing rays.
READ: How to Avoid a Makeup Meltdown This Summer
The good news? Experts say some sweat-inducing temperatures can actually help achieve a picture-perfect face.
“Summer heat can be problematic for the skin in a number of ways,” explains Dr. Julia Tzu, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine. “It can exacerbate acne, rosacea, hives, and fungal infections.”
READ: 10 Foods That Can Help You Get Amazing Skin
“However, summer heat is also beneficial to the skin in many ways as well,” she adds. “It improves overall circulation, opens up pores, and because of the association with high humidity, can help with moisturization of the skin.”
There are some tricks you can master from the pros for looking youthful, glowing, and dare we say cool, even beyond summer. Find out to make the heat work for your skin:
Moisturize with Avocado Oil
You now have a new reason to love avocados other than for making guacamole. In a 2012 study, it was reported that avocado oil can protect against free radicals, which causes signs of aging. Beverly Hills-based aesthetician Gina Mari recommends avocado oil for those who suffer from dryness, which can be caused by excess air conditioners during the summer. “A natural remedy I love and find most beneficial is avocado oil,” she explains. “Not only is it hydrating for skin, it also contains healing properties.” To soften skin, add a few drops to a warm bath or gently massage onto the areas where it needs it most.
Develop a Good Habit
Drinking water isn’t just essential for staying hydrated. It’s also a natural cure for those suffering from dry, flaky skin, which is a sign that you’re in dire need of hydration. If that’s not bad enough, those pesky signs of dehydration can ultimately lead to wrinkles and other signs of aging. Use the summer as an opportunity to drink more water, a good habit to keep all year round. Keep a bottle near you at all times to ensure you’re drinking enough throughout the day and night.
Can’t get enough of rouge? Embrace those red cheeks and give the makeup brush a break. “There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of rosy cheeks,” explains Dr. Jessica Krant, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. “A rosy glow in the cheeks is a sign of youth and health. In the heat of summer, a little flush to the cheeks is not a bad thing, as long as it’s from heat and not sunburn. A natural blush means good circulation to the skin, drawing away toxins and bringing healthy oxygen to cells.” Avoid a makeup meltdown and wear sunscreen instead with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. This will allow your skin to breathe without getting burned. To avoid unwanted shine, Krant recommends using a mattifying powder or lotion. “I especially like products made with rice protein complex, since it’s highly absorbent and invisible over sunscreen,” says Krant.
Be Wise About Your Diet
Make sure your summer diet includes protein. High-quality protein, like wild salmon and grass-fed beef offer optimal amounts of collagen-building amino acids,” explains JJ Virgin, nutritionist and author of “The Virgin Diet.” Another way to get a protein boost and beat the heat? Virgin says to begin your day on a right note. “I start every morning with a protein shake that combines plant-based (but not soy) protein powder, unsweetened coconut milk, berries, kale, and flax or chia seeds.”
Don't Forget Salt and Chlorine
Hitting the pool or beach may be refreshing, but all that salt and chlorine can dry out your pores. To keep your skin supple without compromising on summer fun, West Hollywood-based esthetician Trina Renea says it’s crucial to cleanse thoroughly daily. “Buy products made for sensitive skin during the summer,” she states. “Sensitive skin products are gentle and keep the skin cool and inflammation free.” For an extra boost of coolness, Renea says to keep those products in the fridge. Also, she says after getting home from the beach or pool, take a shower with cool water as warmer temperatures will only dry out your skin more.
Fight Acne (and Win)
Have a pesky pimple? Heat may be key to achieving clearer skin faster. “Pores in our skin dilate with heat, which means that the debris inside can be eliminated more easily and existing comedones (a term for whiteheads and blackheads) can be expressed more easily,” says Tzu. “If you’re looking to get your comedones extracted, the summertime heat will help with that. Because an increased pore size also means easier penetration of topical medications, such as pore-targeting medications used to treat acne.”
If you don’t use toners, now may be the time to start. An astringent can help to fully cleanse and hydrate skin after washing. “A toner makes a great summer addition to a skincare routine, as it exfoliates without adding the weight of another cream,” says Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C. Skip the alcohol-based products and consider using witch hazel, which aids in de-greasing oily skin and soothes inflammation.
Cool Off with Yogurt
A cooling mask can not only provide much-needed relief from rising temperatures, it can also keep skin hydrated, maintaining elasticity. You could go to a spa that specializes in cooling facials, or you can prepare one at home. “For a cooling mask, mix ¼ cup of yogurt, 3 Tbsp. aloe, and 2 Tbsp. oat grass juice or wheat grass juice,” says celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas. She says that these ingredients soothe stressed skin and help remove dead cells that may clog pores.
Bye Bye, Dullness
To make sure your skin is in tip-top shape, it’s especially important to cleanse properly when the temperature rises. Experts say now is the time to thoroughly exfoliate every week to remove impurities from the skin and keep pores clog-free. New York City-based celebrity facialist Shizuka Bernstein suggests applying a hot towel to the skin for five minutes after removing makeup and washing skin thoroughly. Follow this by exfoliating gently with a scrub that’s ideal for sensitive skin.
Embrace the Heat
Don’t be afraid to hit the sauna during a relaxing spa date. That heat is good for you. “Steaming the skin or utilizing a wet or dry sauna will help release toxins, which in turn, detoxifies the skin,” says Dr. Stafford R. Broumand, associate clinical professor of plastic surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. “It’s also important to remember that not everyone is a candidate for this treatment. If a person has rosacea or similar skin sensitivities, the heat can aggregate those conditions, causing the skin to look worse.”