As days are getting longer and temperatures are heating up, people are enjoying more time outdoors and this requires updating skincare routines for the months ahead. During the spring and summer, people are exposed to stronger UV rays from the sun and for longer periods of time, which makes it an important time to refresh daily regimens.
Top NYC dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D. shares advice for caring for your skin during warm weather months, so you can continue to look and feel your best — now and for years to come.
1. Safeguard against the sun
You should wear sunscreen all year round, but it is especially important during warmer months. Whether there are clear skies or it’s a cloudy day, apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays that cause wrinkles, dark spots and even skin cancers.
“Apply sunscreen a half-hour before going outside, and reapply it every 2 hours,” explains Zeichner. “And reapply immediately after swimming or heavy sweating.”
Beside wearing sunscreen, sit under an umbrella and wear a broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses and UV-protective clothing to provide added protection from the sun.
2. Turn to retinol for fresh and healthy-looking skin
“Retinol is one of the best studied ingredients we have to fight the appearance of fines lines and wrinkles, and I look at it like the foundation of any skincare routine,” says Zeichner. “Some people unnecessarily shy away from using it in the spring and summer because it can make skin more sensitive to the sun, but the truth is, you can use retinol all year round. Just make sure to always wear your sunscreen, which is important to add to your everyday routine whether you’re using retinol or not.”
Commonly regarded as the “gold standard of anti-aging ingredients,” retinol is a Vitamin A molecule that naturally occurs in your skin. It works deep within the skin to boost collagen production and increase skin cell turnover. Retinol has been shown to thicken the foundation of the skin, improve skin tone and texture, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. “I usually have my patients apply retinol at night along with a moisturizer,” Dr. Zeichner advises.
“Protecting your skin from signs of aging is more effective if you start now,” says Zeichner. “RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Night Serum Capsules use a high concentration of retinol combined with antioxidants, to smooth skin by helping the skin shed dead cells on the surface to reveal fresh, new ones, so your skin looks healthier. Serum capsules are a great option because they are easy to use and portable. They give a pre-measured perfect amount of retinol serum for one application and they are sealed tight to keep the formula fresh and stable. This makes capsules an affordable and effective way to incorporate this key ingredient into your nightly skincare routine.”
RoC was the first brand to stabilize retinol 25 years ago — and the brand’s heavy focus on clinical studies has helped it become the most awarded retinol brand of the past decade. Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Night Serum Capsules are proven to visibly smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and firm skin while you sleep. In fact, 97% of the product’s testers had visibly reduced lines and wrinkles in just one night. Designed to rival prescription skincare without the irritation, the Serum Capsules caused 0% irritation to the testers’ skin in a clinical study.
Even better, these capsules are 100% biodegradable and available for under $25. Find them in stores and online at Target, or during your next trip to Costco.
3. Hydrate from inside-out and outside-in
As we are sweating more during warmer months, it is important to keep your body and skin hydrated. Thanks to today’s variety of flavored water, sparkling water, herbal tea and sports drinks, it’s easier now than ever to find a drink for every personal preference. The most important thing to do is to actually drink it throughout the day.
“While drinking water is important for your overall health,” says Zeichner, “you still should apply a moisturizer if you have dry skin. There’s no data showing that drinking more water will hydrate your skin, and there’s no data showing that not drinking enough water causes dry skin. I recommend lighter moisturizers like gels and lotions when the weather is humid.”
In addition to applying moisturizers and drinking liquids to hydrate, consume fruits like watermelons, apples and peaches, plus vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce, which have a high water content.
4. Feed your skin for a healthy glow
The nutrients in your diet provide your body with the building blocks for optimal functioning. Getting enough nutrition from foods you eat can be a challenge when you’re on the go. Vitamin supplements can bridge the gap if you’re lacking essential vitamins or minerals. Always ask your healthcare provider for recommendations before starting a supplement.
“Some of the most helpful vitamins and minerals for your skin include Vitamins A, B complex, C, and E, along with zinc and selenium,” recommends Dr. Zeichner. These can be naturally found in foods like:
* Dark leafy green vegetables
* Olive oil
* Salmon and tuna
Healthy fats found in avocadoes, olive oil, fatty fish, nuts and seeds are also essential to keep your skin looking and feeling great, any time of year.
5. Be comfortable in your own skin
Take time to understand what your skin needs, which may change depending on the time of the year and your geographic location. If you live in a dry climate like a desert region, you may need a richer moisturizer than if you are living in a humid area. Your choice in cleanser may also change depending on your climate and skin type. When the weather is dry, hydrating cleansers may be best, but if it’s hot or humid, foaming options more fully remove oil. “You should also wash your face using warm water rather than hot, which can strip your skin of natural oils,” says Zeichner. “Pat dry then apply a moisturizer within five minutes to lock in hydration.”
Following these tips will help keep your skin looking and feeling its best this season and beyond.