The summer countdown is on. You’re already dreaming of more time outside, trips to the beach, and showing some skin. But what if the winter weather has wreaked havoc on your hide? Or perhaps it’s longtime acne issues that are threatening the possibility of the best summer yet. Don’t despair — there’s still plenty of time to overhaul your skin’s appearance before summer rolls around.
1. Tackle Problem Areas Head-On
If you spent last summer under wraps because of stubborn blemishes, use the spring months to banish them for good. Persistent acne, blackheads, and even body acne can crumble your confidence. Instead of baring your shoulders in a cute sundress, you’re sweating in a cover-up. If zits are keeping you from the summer fun, consider acne treatment from a professional.
When you’ve been battling cystic or hormonal acne, or even nodules, it’s time to call in the pros. That said, drugstore favorites still have their place. Many OTC products can be used alongside prescription meds to improve the condition of your skin.
Use physical or chemical exfoliants to improve flaky skin, which can even make your makeup go on more smoothly. Products with ceramides improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture, keeping it glowing for the summer months.
2. Identify and Eliminate Bad Habits
Can you remember the last time you switched out your pillowcase? Do you know if you’ve ever cleaned off your phone screen? Consider the things that come into contact with your skin and adjust your routine to keep them clean.
Change out pillowcases weekly if you have normal skin and twice a week if you’re acne-prone. Fabric can trap dirt, oil, and sweat, and resting your face on a dirty surface is a recipe for disaster. Stick to breathable cotton or silk bed linens instead of synthetics to allow for a cool, comfortable sleep.
Swipe your phone regularly with antibacterial wipes. Be mindful of where you rest your phone, keeping it in your bag or pocket instead of on questionable surfaces. If your hands are often on your face, work on kicking the habit immediately. Even the cleanest hands can press dirt and oil into your pores, increasing the chance of breakouts and blackheads.
3. Don’t Neglect Your Body
Spending time on your face is a no-brainer, but don’t forget the areas below the neck. The delicate skin on the neck and chest should be treated the same as the skin on your face. Imagine the effect of using anti-aging products on your face for decades and nothing on your neck. The contrast between smooth and saggy isn’t a look you want to cultivate. Be fair and equitable to your skin today and tomorrow and extend your skincare below your chin.
Your work doesn’t end there — the chest and back can play host to acne even for those with normal skin. Use OTC body washes and professional regimens alike on your body acne. Change out of workout clothes when you’re done exercising to reduce the time sweat clings to your skin. Stash body wipes in your gym bag to sneak in a quick cleanse if you’re not able to shower right away.
To improve your overall skin condition, do a sugar scrub a few times a week. Scrubs remove dead skin cells, retard ingrown hairs, and improve beauty product absorption. After your shower, apply a non-comedogenic lotion that helps your skin retain moisture.
4. Create a Routine You Can Stick With
Tackling skin issues can easily lead to a near-obsession with all things skincare. Plus, with the availability of information and influence on social media, it can be hard to decipher what works. Do your research, but pause before you buy or commit to products, routines, or practices. If a new tool or non-traditional miracle seems too good to be true, it likely is. Instead, work to identify products and tools that align with your lifestyle.
Those who find themselves on the go may prefer a simple routine, further supported by products that can be delivered. Even skincare devotees can be overwhelmed by complicated routines. Generally, five-step routines are sustainable and effective for most people. Select a cleanser, a toner, specific-use treatments for acne or aging, a moisturizer, and sun protection. Daily use of tools like jade rollers and cleansing brushes can also boost your efforts.
Save more time-intensive tools like gua sha, facial cupping, and microneedling for weekends. Keep your weekday skincare practice to an achievable and repeatable routine. By simplifying your approach, you stand a better chance of staying consistent and achieving your skin goals.
Showing Your Skin Some Love
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, protecting your precious interior from the threat of infection. While your skin often repairs itself from minor scratches and cuts, it’s on you to help defend it daily. Use SPF facial moisturizer year-round to protect sensitive skin that’s often exposed no matter the temperature.
Apply sunscreen on your extremities whenever you spend time outside, especially your chest and neck, which are often forgotten. Sun damage accounts for 90% of skin aging and can also cause melanoma, but daily SPF use can decrease your risk.
Take care of the skin you’re in before, during, and after the summer months. With a skincare routine to cleanse, care for, and treat your complexion, plus daily sun protection, you’ll be glowing year-round.