Sunny Summer Days

This past Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. Now everyone can look forward to months of beaches and BBQs and fun in the sun. Summer can also mean dramatic changes in your skin that can often wreak havoc. Read on for some ideas on avoiding trouble and cruising through summer with a glow.

Changes of season are a great time to revisit your skincare routine.  Everyone experiences changes in their skin, and routines need to be tweaked accordingly. As temperatures rise, you may find that your oiliness increases as well. More oiliness calls for lighter textures and, for some, moderate use of oil controlling ingredients. You may find that adding a wash with salicylic acid will help to combat excessive shine and more frequent breakouts. Look for a wash with 2% salicylic acid. Use it daily for oily-all-over skin types, and try it three times a week for T-zone-oily skin types. Remember that overuse of salicylic acid can dry, so dial it back a little if you start to dry out.

Increases in oiliness can also often lead to more clogged pores, which can in turn lead to seasonal breakouts. These breakouts are easily controlled. Again, increasing your use of salicylic acid can help, adding either a wash or a light acne control serum. Remember that you still need to hydrate and protect your skin, so don’t skip your moisturizer for fear of making breakouts worse. Instead, switch to a light-weight hydrator, or use a hydrating serum under your sunscreen.

Warmer days often encourage extra sun exposure too, so it is also the time to increase your daily SPF protection. I generally recommend switching to a dedicated SPF and putting your moisturizer with SPF aside until fall. Make sure you amp up to an SPF 30 as well, as you need that extra coverage. You may find that dusting on a mineral SPF powder can give you a mid-day touch up, protecting your skin while blotting some excess shine. I’ve talked about sunscreens more in depth in other posts.

Pigmentation is also a concern in summer months. Diligent use of sunscreen is your best defense against those pesky brown spots. You can add a botanical brightening serum underneath your moisturizer. I usually do this morning and night in order to get a boost in repair, as well as proactively protecting against more damage. I recommend putting your prescriptions or products containing hydroquinone away for the summer since misuse of more aggressive products can actually lead to more damage.

Summer skin problems don’t have to stop your fun. [Tweet this!] A few simple changes to your routine can help keep your skin under control and glowing through the fall!

 

 

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The Anti-Aging Myth

I feel like I’ve heard it all when it comes to anti-aging. It’s often my clients’ number one concern, even if they’re just 25. I’ve seen every manner of claim from skincare products and marketing companies. But, in my opinion, most anti-aging products miss the mark…and not because they make claims that may or may not be true.

There are many factors that contribute to a more “seasoned” appearance. In my mind, many of these concerns are often overlooked when people shop for an anti-aging product. If you don’t address all of the factors that make you look older than your age (or, maybe just not younger than your age), you will still look older!

Texture

The texture of your skin is the number one reason that people look older to my esthetic eye. It’s the first thing I notice when I assess a client’s skin. Does the texture appear rough? Uneven? The good news is that this is the easiest problem to fix! Look for an exfoliating mask with glycolic or lactic acid that you can use 2-3 times per week, or a serum with the same ingredients, but in a lower percentage that you can use daily. Another option, depending on the extent of the texture and other concerns, may be retinoic acid. Retin-A can only be prescribed by your dermatologist, so be sure to use it according to his or her direction. Retinol is a lower percentage of the same ingredient and can be found over-the-counter. Retinoic acid can often cause irritation, so be sure to minimize your usage if you experience redness, flaking, or sensitivity.

Pigmentation

Ah, the concern that is near and dear to my own heart! People often think my freckles are cute, but to me, they are merging together into large brown spots and muddling my complexion. Research has shown that people will guess that someone who has uneven color to their skin is older than someone who has more fine lines! With this tidbit of information, I feel that every single person of every single color should have some form of pigment control in their arsenal, starting the minute that you begin a skincare routine. This can come in the form of a vitamin C serum (look for ascorbic acid or tetrahexadecyl ascorbate- my favorite form) or in a botanical brightener (try ingredients like arbutin, mulberry extract, or bearberry extract, to name a few). If pigmentation is already a concern for you, use one of each!

Ruddiness

Ruddiness is diffuse redness that is always present. This is often a sign of advanced sun damage, and often comes coupled with pigmentation. Here, look for anti-inflammatory ingredients like vitamin C (yes, again), aloe, green or white tea, and azulene. Make sure that your routine is gentle, using enzyme peels instead of scrubs, which can aggravate redness.

The true secret to having better, younger looking skin is targeting your routine to address specific concerns. Anti-aging products cover a broad range of concerns, so try targeting your concern with a serum and hopefully you will see better results. Fine lines may not be your biggest worry!