Our Manhattan winter is finally over and the humidity and heat are definitely here. With this change in weather comes adjustments in our skin too! How do we maintain that fabulous glow from winter to summer? Here are my top 5 secrets to keeping you bright and beautiful all summer long!
Protect: My first priority is always protection. Maintaining spot free, crystal clear, and super smooth skin starts with protecting it from the elements, most importantly, the sun. High quality sunscreen should be your last step before any makeup every single morning. I have a few favorites, but when the weather is humid, I need a lighter product. EltaMD UV Clear is a zinc-based, SPF 46 product that comes in a universal tint that I love! Alastin HydraTint is my second favorite sunscreen with a titanium-based SPF of 36. It has a glowy finish and has the perfect amount of tint to keep me looking flawless.
Prevent: Antioxidant therapy is another critical addition to my summer routine. External factors such as UV radiation, infrared radiation, and pollution cause the formation of free radicals. Free radicals contribute to the premature aging of skin, hyperpigmentation, trigger conditions like eczema or acne, as well as skin cancers. Antioxidants are necessary to battle the stress caused by these free radicals and essentially neutralize their potential damage. L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is the most common antioxidant found in skin care, but there are so many on the market. I use a Vitamin C serum all year round, but I'm very particular about antioxidants in the summer. One of my favorites is Alto by SkinBetter Science . This is a great Vitamin C product, but also has 18 additional antioxidants! Another great product is Skin C Quench by PCA. This product combines stem cell extracts with Vitamin C and is great for under my makeup!
Illuminate: Unwanted pigmentation is the bane of my existence in the summertime. Melasma and sun-related pigmentation happens to me every year… even with my meticulous sun protection! Great news, there are so many products that can help to combat further pigment development. The most popular and likely the most effective ingredient is called Hydroquinone. This ingredient inhibits the production of the brown cells effectively reducing the appearance of brown pigment. This is the work horse of topical treatment of hyperpigmentation, but it comes with side effects, pushing many people to choose a more natural approach. There are several products I love in this category including Skin Medica Lytera 2.0, Discoloration Defense by SkinCeuticals , White Lightening by IS Clinical, and Brightalive by ZO Skin Health. These are each a little different, but they are designed to target pigmentation through a more natural approach. My routine includes one of these every morning and every night through the summer months.
Treat: Most people were told at some point not to use their retinoids in the summer, but this is a common misconception. Yes, it causes thinning of the outer layer of skin called the stratum corneum, which means you need to use sunscreen daily, but this doesn't change in the summer. Application of daily sunscreen is necessary no matter the season and thinning of the stratum corneum is helpful all year long. Who doesn't want increased collagen production, improved skin elasticity, improved skin texture, reduced acne and pore size, and decreased discoloration all year long? If you can maintain quality sunscreen use, you can continue your retinoinds. That said, there is one product that I love as an alternative to summer retinoid use called AlphaRet by SkinBetter Science. Technically this product isn't a prescription strength retinoid, but the studies showed it performed as good or better! I apply this product every night after cleansing!
Hydrate: What about that hydrated, dewey glow? One of the secrets to this look is hyalauronic acid (HA), a naturally occuring substance in our skin that holds a thousand times its weight in water! As we age, we gradually produce less and less HA, which holds and prevents moisture loss into the air. This is an excellent addition to your skin care routine and will give your skin a more dewy, younger appearance and improved skin elasticity! My favorite skin care products containing high-quality HA are InterFuse by SkinBetter Science and Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum by PCA. I love to apply these first thing after I cleanse and let them soak into my skin before applying other products.