Summer is chock full of obstacles that keep you from looking your best: heat, humidity, and the sun’s UV rays that can not only cause painful sunburn but also premature aging.
Which is exactly why it’s especially important to continue using a skincare regimen during the warmer months when sun exposure is at its highest and skin’s susceptibility to sun damage is at its peak. Products such as sunscreen and anti-aging treatments by brands like Obagi and SkinMedica can help to protect your skin and correct texture, tone and laxity issues, thus ensuring you maintain a youthful glow all year long.
One of the common misconceptions surrounding tretinoin (an anti-aging product) is that it thins the skin and makes it more vulnerable to sunburn.
Although this may seem to be the case during your skin’s initial adjustment period (as redness, sensitivity and irritation can occur), with continued use of tretinoin, the epidermis is thickened and strengthened. While your skin is adjusting to retinoic acid/tretinoin, it is important – as always – to regularly use sunscreen.
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Battling Pigmentation Issues
“I have often found that patients that need medical-grade skincare products the most are those with pigmentation issues such as melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation,” noted world-renowned dermatologist Suzan Obagi, MD. “These are conditions that typically flare and worsen during hot, sunny weather. For patients to have adequate control over these conditions, it is recommended that they continue to use their skincare products as instructed.”
Obagi also explained how people with pigmentation conditions should also follow extra precautions to protect their skin during summer, including avoiding the sun during the peak hours of 10 am to 2 pm; wearing a hat while outdoors; and reapplying a broad-spectrum sunscreen every two hours while outdoors and after swimming or sweating.
Successful Retinoid Use
Doris Day, MD, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the New York University Langone Medical Center, says summer is also a good time to start a retinoid, as humidity makes your skin less likely to dry out as it adjusts, but offers some application recommendations.
"The ingredient itself is sensitive to sunlight, which is why you should apply it before bed at night. A retinoid shouldn't make your skin any more vulnerable to UV rays than it would be after buffing away dead skin with a face scrub,” Day stated. “Of course, apply sunscreen (SPF 30, at least) as diligently as you always do."
Another Summer Skincare Tidbit
In addition to using a sunscreen, incorporate a topical antioxidant into your morning skincare routine. Antioxidants assist in fighting against free radicals and sun damage. They also help stabilize collagen, which aids in reducing the aging effects the sun inflicts on our skin.
Vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid is believed by many experts to be the most stable and effective in protecting skin. Apply a few drops, first thing in the morning, after cleansing and toning.
Following these tips and expert advice will help to keep pigmentation in check, wrinkles at bay, and your skin looking healthy all year long.