This week’s “Love The Skin You’re In” post will focus on products that will help you care for your skin in the summer months. Lately, I have been very interested in learning about products and treatments that will protect my skin, as well as treat any existing issues. It can be confusing to know what to buy, what really works, and which products are worth splurging/saving on. I needed someone to help me navigate through all of the choices. I knew my friend, Sarah Humphrey, would be the perfect person to ask for guidance! Sarah is an aesthetician and certified laser technician at Bella MD medical spa in Dallas. I am very excited about featuring her product picks for summer! Because of her experience and knowledge in this area, I highly regard her skin care recommendations. I knew that I needed to update my skin care regimen, and she has helped me do that! Sarah also treated me to a Hydrafacial this past week, and I am looking forward to telling you all about it in an upcoming post. Thank you, Sarah, for contributing to this series! Read Sarah’s full guest post below…..You can click directly on the pictures of the products or on the links in the descriptions for product information.
Most of my patients share one thing in common: summer is crazy and “normal schedules” don’t exist! Between running around with kids’ activities, vacations and extended pool/lake time, skincare often takes a backseat in the warmer months. My best advice is to keep things as low maintenance as possible, but to keep yourself protected so that you aren’t full of regret come fall!
Not all skincare products or clinical procedures are appropriate for the summer months due to sun and heat exposure, skin color shifts, etc. So, below I have listed my fave must-haves that are safe year round and especially important during the sunny months. But don’t worry— I have kept it extremely basic so it’s actually doable for everyone!
1. SPF: Obviously. Guidelines are changing for sunscreen packaging, so soon, a product will be required to differentiate if it is protective from UVA rays or UVB rays. Your best bet is to choose a product that clearly states that the sunscreen is “broad-spectrum” and protects from both.
Always use an SPF of 30 or higher, BUT beware of the super high SPF’s. An SPF 100 for example, is perfectly fine to use, but be aware that the difference in actual protection versus an SPF 30 is super negligible (about 97% coverage for the 30 vs. 98% coverage for the 100). However, people tend to reapply the higher SPF’s MUCH less often because they think they are more protected. Rookie mistake! No matter which SPF you choose, reapply every 2 hours and once an hour if you are swimming or sweating.
So, with all that said, my FAVORITE SPF for summer hands down is Elta MD UV Physical 41. It has a velvety, matte finish with a light tint and is slightly water resistant (perfect for hot and sweaty Texas weather!). It gives me just a tiny bit of coverage for the gym or running errands, and it can work as a first layer under other makeup. If you need more moisture, I also recommend Elta MD UV Daily 40 (it comes in a tinted and non-tinted version), which is full of hyaluronic acid that moisturizes and plumps without being heavy or sticky. All three of these awesome sunscreens are available at Bella MD and all are priced under $30!
2. A CLINICAL ANTIOXIDANT (VITAMIN C): “Antioxidant” is such a popular buzzword in skincare, but not all antioxidants are created equal. Not even close! This is definitely where you want to invest in a pharmaceutical-strength product, and not buy something over the counter. There are tons of different antioxidants out there, but Vitamin C is one of the most popular and most effective. Unfortunately, Vitamin C is an extremely unstable molecule, so when it’s an active ingredient in products, the price rises significantly.
The reason it’s important to use Vitamin C is that it protects the skin on the cellular level. A good vitamin C serum will boost the efficacy of your sunscreen by at least 100%. It prohibits environmental pollutants from damaging the cells. For those plagued by continual pigmentation problems, it’s important to know that HEAT alone can trigger pigment, not just UV exposure. Vitamin C counteracts that process by acting as a thermal protectant to cells.
My fave vitamin C product on the market is Skinceuticals CE Ferulic (for normal to dry skin) or Skinceuticals Phloretin CF (for oilier skin types). Both are equally potent. These serums last a long time; just three drops for the whole face, layered under your SPF, will do the trick. The Skinceuticals brand of vitamin C product also stimulates collagen, breaks up existing pigment, and gives the skin a gorgeous glow. What more could you ask for in a product???
3. A CLARISONIC BRUSH: There’s a reason these brushes are so popular- they really make a huge difference! Using a Clarisonic forces you to not only cleanse the skin thoroughly, but also exfoliate properly, too. It has a built-in timer, so you actually take the time to do it the right way for the right amount of time. (You get significantly better exfoliation from using light pressure and exfoliating for a longer amount of time, instead of exfoliating for a shorter time, while pressing harder.)
The Clarisonic is great year round, but especially helpful when sweat, oil and sunscreen tend to clog pores over the summer. If you aren’t quite ready to bite the bullet and buy a real Clarisonic brush, opt for a manual handheld brush instead. I prefer one without a motor, with a half dollar size head. Earth Therapeutics has a great one that is $6 at Ulta! Use this manual brush as a sort of “training wheels” for your future Clarisonic…if you like the results you see, the Clarisonic will be a worthwhile purchase since it is higher quality, will last longer and will exfoliate even better.
4. A BELIEVABLE FAUX TAN: Let’s face it: Everyone looks better with a little glow. When I am going to the beach or have a special occasion, I often go and get a professional airbrush tan. Pro airbrushing can make you look 5 pounds lighter and much more defined! I always say that a good fake tan can cover a multitude of sins: unsightly veins, cellulite, uneven coloring, etc. The sunless tanning industry in general has really upped its game, and the color (no more orange!!), coverage, and smell are so much better than they used to be. Even if you have a sunless tanner horror story from years ago, it would be worthwhile to try again!
On a daily basis, I swear by Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer. I have tried nearly every self tanner under the sun, and Jergens is still one of the best. It gradually builds color the more you use it, but it also hydrates the skin and reduces the appearance of cellulite. The color is great and you can go lighter or darker depending on the time of year. On the days that I am not tanning, I love to use Jergens BB Body Skin Perfecting Cream. It also firms and makes my skin glowy and radiant. It’s definitely a new favorite body product of mine!
5. HYDRAFACIAL MD TREATMENTS: A lot of lasers and light therapies aren’t appropriate for skin that has been exposed to sun. So, I like to devote the summer months to caring for the basic needs of my skin: good exfoliation, deep pore cleansing (even the dreaded extractions) and rehydrating the skin. Because of excessive sun and wind exposure in the summer, most of our patients have dehydrated skin, even if they are naturally oily. The Hydrafacial uses all water-based hydrators, so even the richest ingredients won’t clog pores. The visual change in the skin before and after a Hydrafacial is amazing: plumper, smoother and younger looking. You see huge changes with just one, but results are cumulative and just keep getting better the more treatments you do. Go to www.bellamd.com to learn more about how the Hydrafacial works.
I hope these tips will help you have your safest, healthiest and happiest summer yet!
**Note: Skinceuticals and Elta MD products can be purchased at Bella MD, or if you are not in Dallas, through your local dermatologist’s office.
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