Easy ways to get in touch with summertime skin care
By Chandra Orr
Copley News Service
Pack your bags. Store up the medicine chest. With the unrelenting heat and humidity headed your way, it's time to stock up on summer essentials for great skin.
Luckily, you don't have to look further than your local drugstore to find spa-worthy skin treatments for a youthful, glowing complexion.
Follow these five steps for softer, smoother, more radiant summer skin. You'll look polished - and stay protected - without breaking a sweat.
Like a layer of residue on a window, the daily buildup of sunscreen, makeup, sweat and excess oil can quickly obscure your skin's natural radiance and lead to dull, unhealthy looking skin.
Invest in a powerful yet gentle facial scrub to remove that daily buildup and prime your skin for sun.
"Exfoliate before heading out to the beach or applying any tanning products so the tan can grab onto fresh, new skin cells," said Joyce Carboni, founder and director of Skinsational Skin & Body Spa in San Diego.
Licensed skin-care therapist Stacey Cox, owner of Pampered People spa in Los Angeles, recommends 24.7 Daily Purifying Facial Scrub from CVS/pharmacy ($16). It contains deep-cleansing, micro-exfoliating jojoba beads to transform lackluster complexions and the new cosmeceutical Argireline, which has been touted as a topical Botox.
"It answers our lust for top-of-the-line anti-aging ingredients," Cox said.
"In the summer, less is more," Cox said. "We often want to leave our foundation and eye shadows in our makeup bags and let our complexion take center stage with a little mascara and lip gloss."
With barely there makeup, small imperfections become more apparent. To get fine lines, dark circles, red spots and puffiness under control in an instant, look for a hydrating eye gel or serum. Cox recommends Olay Definity Eye Illuminator ($25), which penetrates multiple skin layers with a glucosamine complex to help strengthen delicate skin.
HYDRATE AND REPLENISH
Sun and heat, saltwater and chlorine - they all zap your skin of moisture. If you don't have one already, now is the time to start a daily skin-hydrating regimen to replenish moisture, prevent wrinkles and prolong that gorgeous golden tan.
Cox recommends Olay Ultra Moisture In-Shower Body Lotion With Shea Butter ($6).
"It's a revolutionary rinse-off lotion that you apply while showering," she explained. "It works with the warmth and humidity of your shower."
For anytime moisturizing, try Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15 ($7), which pulls double duty. The unique colloidal oatmeal formula soothes dry skin, while the active photobarrier complex provides long-lasting broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
PROTECT TO PRESERVE
It's no secret that prolonged, unprotected sun exposure is your skin's worst enemy.
"The single most important product to carry with you during the summer is SPF 30," Carboni said. "It prevents your skin from taking on that wrinkled, leathery look and, best of all, it protects you from the harmful ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer."
However, not all sunscreens are created equal.
Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock ($10) with Helioplex technology, which combines dual sunscreens for long-lasting protection against UVA and UVB.
Be sure the sunscreen is oil-free to avoid breakouts, and skip those that contain vitamin A, which can make skin more sensitive to the sun. Instead, opt for sunscreen with the antioxidant benefits of vitamin C.
Your skin tingles. It itches. It burns. It's beet red.
If you forget the sunscreen, skip the fancy elixirs. Think natural instead.
"If you get sunburned, try a milk compress to ease the discomfort," Carboni said. "The fat content of the milk will help soothe the burn and facilitate healing."
Soak a soft cloth with cool whole milk and press lightly on the skin to calm inflammation and speed your recovery.
Aloe gel frozen in ice cube trays works equally well, offering instant cooling, soothing relief for overexposed skin.
For an all-over treatment, try a bath infused with calendula, a flower with natural antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
For sunburn relief in a pinch, be sure to carry a few single-serving packets of honey in your bag.
"If your face is sunburned and red you can apply the honey as a light mask to condition and calm down your complexion," Cox said.
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