Of the many beauty goals you have, the one that probably tops the list is maintaining healthy, glowing skin year-round. But unless you’re lucky enough to be living somewhere where hot, blistering summer or humid, sticky weather isn’t a thing, keeping your skin flawless requires some seasonal maintenance. And it’s just not limited to swapping products but also changing up your skincare routine to better adapt to the hot Indian summer.
TC46 connected with Dermatologist Dr Smriti Naswa Singh of Fortis Hospital, Mumbai for hacks on summer skincare. Here are 10 smart tips to keep in mind to keep your skin pimple-free, looking healthy and hydrated, and non-greasy.
1. Switch to lightweight products during Summer
As we bid adieu to the winter breeze and welcome the summer season, the weather becomes hot and humid. One should switch from cream-based formulations to lotion or gel-based formulations. Moisturizers, sunscreens, night creams should be lightweight. The makeup should preferably be water-based, and not mousse-based. Sunscreen usage should become more diligent, even if you’re going out late in the evenings. Use a gentle face wash or cleanser to take the dirt off your skin twice a day. This will reduce oiliness, build-up of dirt, and reduce skin irritation which can occur due to excessive sweating.
2. It’s time to try AHA & BHA face washes
There is no need to be overzealous in switching to stronger face washes if you have dry, sensitive skin type, or skin with Rosacea. Continue applying gentle cleansers which preferably are non-lather / foam generating with mild Sulphates and free of detergents like Cetyl Alcohol and Stearyl Alcohol. While the normal skin, combination skin, acne-prone skin, oily skin type can try shifting to Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acid containing face washes.
3. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen or sunblock
SPF range signifies protection from UV-B rays. An SPF-15 gives 95% protection from UVB rays. An SPF-30 gives 97% protection. For normal skin’s routine care, SPF 15 is usually sufficient. Also, one should remember that the SPF doesn’t indicate protection from UVA – which is described by the “star rating”. Usually, a 3 out of 5-star rating gives good UVA protection, and that kind of sunscreen is called broad-spectrum sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied to all sun-exposed areas, 30 minutes before going in the sun, and should be repeated every 3 hours if out in sun. In case one sweats heavily, then sunscreen should be repeated every 90 minutes.
4. Use your moisturiser while your skin is still wet for great results
Moisturizing is food for the skin. A moisturized skin is glowing skin, dry skin is dull skin. In any season, everyone should moisturize at least once or twice a day. As mentioned before, one can shift from cream-based moisturizer to lotion based moisturizer. Use cream-based instead of sun-exposed moisturizer to lotion based moisturizer, as cream-based formulations are water-in-oil type, hence can be greasy, sticky and feel heavy. While lotion-based formulations are oil-in-water type, they are lightweight, have easy spreadability and don’t feel sticky. One very important thing is to moisturize on wet skin for a better outcome. Your skin absorbs and locks in moisturiser well if you’ve just come out of the shower and your pores are already open and ready to receive intense hydration.
5. Use vitamin-based serums in the summer
I would recommend using a Vitamin C based serum for the younger generation. As for people looking for solutions to ageing, a Vitamin A serum works wonders for wrinkles, fine lines and crow’s feet.
6. Don’t use chemical peels and body scrubs together
The accumulation of sweat, dust, dirt and oil on the skin blocks the skin pores, therefore exfoliation is a good idea especially for oily and combination skin. Exfoliation should be done once or twice a week. One can even exfoliate body skin (back, arms and legs once a month, especially after coming back from a tour/travel). It is recommended that one should not exfoliate using scrubs when one has active acne or some active infection like pus/ boils or Herpes. Stay away from scrubs in case one has sensitive skin or has Rosacea. Microdermabrasion is a good exfoliating procedure commonly referred to as body polishing. One who is undergoing chemical peels, should not use scrubs without a Dermatologist’s recommendation, because chemical peels are chemically exfoliating the skin, further scrubbing that skin could create complications.
7. Non-comedogenic makeup is the way to go
One should always opt for non-comedogenic makeup because the contents of that makeup won’t cause pimple outbursts. In this season, blocked pores are a concern due to sweat and oil secretion. Comedogenic components do increase the tendency of blocking pores, and one ends up with acne outbursts the day after the makeup application.
8. Use retinol-based serums at bedtime
Retinol is the scientific name of Vitamin A. Vitamin A based serums can safely be used in all seasons, especially if a person follows a good regime of sunscreen and moisturizing the skin. Other retinoids like Tretinoin and Adapalene should be used as per the advice of a Dermatologist. A person applying these needs extra skin moisturizing and good sun protection in the morning. Usually, retinol-based serums should be applied at bedtime just before going to sleep.
9. Wet wipes with Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid are great for busy women on-the-go
Oil-absorbing sheets or face pads are good while travelling, and can be a part of the cosmetic kit in one’s handbag. When outside the home, before a presentation or a meeting with no access to water and face wash, it can be used to cleanse the face and then topped up with a moisturizer. Some wet wipes also have Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid in them, those are very good for acne-prone skin.
10. Apply an SPF-15 lip balm frequently
Actinic Cheilitis is a condition of lip inflammation due to sun exposure. The lips develop dryness, chapping of lips, burning sensation, peeling off of lip skin. Apply an SPF-15 lip balm frequently, and not to increase the damage to lip skin by applying the tongue frequently which inflames the skin further.