Before you bare all, it’s time to buff, smooth, and shield your skin to silky perfection. With a little time and the right tools, you’ll be able to kiss blah winter skin goodbye.
Exfoliate. Dry skin in the winter is expected, but some dryness will last all year long, if you let it. Body scrubs with sugar (anti-bacterial) or sea salt (detoxifying) are great for bumpy feet, knees, or elbows. Once or twice a week, gently polish your face with a microdermabrasion cream or fine face scrub (harsh pressure or large particles can cause tiny tears and irritation in the skin) to slough off leftover dead cells. A good Alpha Hydroxy, Retinol, or Glycolic Acid serum can help keep skin baby smooth all summer.
Hydrate. Even though the summer sun is sparkling and winter winds are a distant memory, your skin still craves moisture – nature’s elements can still wreak havoc on your natural moisture balance. If you’re on the oily side, look for oil-free face lotions with mattifying complexes to keep the shine at bay. But if dry patches persist even into the hotter months, the newer formula gel-creams are a perfect middle ground between heavy creams and lightweight lotions – some even have a cooling effect that’s especially appreciated in the summer. For those that are super-dry year-round, stick with a cream containing Hyaluronic Acid, a mega moisture-binding agent. Whatever your skintype, look for moisturizers with antioxidants like Vitamins C or E, Pomegranate, Grapeseed Extract, Coenzyme Q10, or Alpha Lipoic Acid that help neutralize damaging free radicals in the environment. As for legs, try a moisturizing lotion that contains hair-minimizing agents, which can cut down on shave time. Also, don’t forget to hydrate from the inside out – nothing makes you look better than hydrated skin!
Protect. The number one factor in aging: the sun. Shield yourself with at least an SPF30 every day, whether you’re just running errands or spending the day by the pool. Try to use a separate sunblock for your face, since these are formulated to be less sticky and minimize pore-clogging. Look for a bottle that says “broad spectrum” sunscreen, which means it protects from UVA and UVB rays. And make sure you slather it on your face, arms, hands, legs, and feet (especially if you’re wearing flip-flops) to protect yourself from harmful rays. Check last summer’s bottles for expiration.
Treat. Skin problems can multiply when you add the sweltering sun. Sunburns are best treated with Aloe Vera-rich gels that moisture as they cool. Some even contain the topical analgesic Lidocaine to relieve the sting. As for the occasional beach-induced breakouts, the best course of action is a spot treatment containing Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide. Best-selling Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is a power-packed choice to dry up blemishes overnight with Calamine and Salicylic Acid.
Beautify. A full face of makeup is too much in the summer sun. Pare down your beauty routine by switching your foundation for a tinted moisturizer, your powder blush for a bronzer or highlighter, and lipstick for tinted lip balm or gloss. As for adding a touch of tan, easy Tan Airbrush in a Can makes getting a little glow safe, quick, and oops-proof.