It's no secret that black isn't the most comfortable choice for hot days, but it's not always foremost in our thoughts when we select summer clothes. When the forecast calls for a scorcher, skip the heat-attracting hue in favor of breathable, light-colored or white clothing, which allows for air transfer and can actually help reflect the sun's rays.
A wide-brim hat is another smart choice to help keep the sun off of your face and away from your scalp and ears. And oversized sunglasses for women with UV protection aren't just glamorous—they help protect your eyes as well as the delicate skin in that area.
You may want to purchase special sun-protective clothing or sun hats, but try your closet before you buy.
If you know you're going to be exposed to UV rays, skip the high-shine lip gloss and apply an SPF lip balm or lipstick with SPF 30 or greater liberally about every two hours.
Today, going for the bronze should mean one thing and one thing only: sunless tanner. Sun exposure and tanning—however "healthy" it may appear—are major contributing factors to skin's aging. Friends don't let friends tan!
So tell every sun worshipper or tanning booth-user you know to get smart and make the switch to self tanners, bronzers, and tinted moisturizers—or some combination of the three. Today's technology has made self tanning products better than ever, producing believable, streak-proof results. Whether it's tanning lotion, or self tanner in cream, gel, or spray form, the ingredient is the same. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) tints skin by reacting with amino acids in the dead surface layer of the epidermis—no sun required. Once those skin cells are washed or sloughed off, the color fades away.
Before use, make sure you've found the right self tanner by doing a small patch test to ensure the product you've chosen produces the color you want. And remember: just because it's a "sun" product doesn't mean it contains SPF. Read the label carefully to determine whether or not sunscreen is part of the package.
For great skin, drink up! That's especially true in summer when higher temperatures and more time spent in the great outdoors can lead to dehydration. And if you're a caffeine drinker, boost the amount of H20 you consume even more.
And of course, moisturize religiously—before sun exposure, after sun exposure, after the bath, and before turning in for the night.
You can apply face moisturizer, body lotion, and sunless tanner 'til the cows come home, but if you don't exfoliate, you're not going to get the results you want. Exfoliating dead skin helps the treatments and other skin care products you use to penetrate and, in the case of self tanner, go on more evenly.
How to exfoliate the face and help achieve smoother skin? Your first option is using a physical exfoliating scrub to slough off old skin a few times a week. The other option is to use a chemical or enzymatic peel as often as your skin can tolerate it comfortably. Just be sure to follow up your efforts with a hydrating moisturizer and remember to always protect freshly exfoliated skin with sunscreen.
The same goes for skin below the neck. Choose a body exfoliator that suits your skin type and has small grains of sugar, salt, or other naturally derived granules to polish skin gently. Avoid over-exfoliation and use a light-handed approach if you have sensitive skin.
All skin isn't alike, therefore every exfoliant may not perform the same way for all people. Check out our skin-care product finder to explore what will work for you or pay a visit to a dermatologist for an expert evaluation.