You’ve found the perfect new sundress and pretty makeup shades for summer vacation, but are you ready to deal with sunburns and shiny skin? Are you worried about streaky self-tanner mishaps or a new bout of acne? Read on for tips and products that’ll prepare you for summer.
In your quest for that glowing summer complexion, sometimes you’ll run into some beauty mishaps. Did that golden self tan end up in an orange and streaky disaster? Are you frustrated by dark freckles and hyperpigmentation? In this article, you’ll learn how to adjust your daily regimen and combat acne and shiny skin, soothe sunburns, bug bites and shaving irritations, fix a bad self-tan and more.
- Acne. Even if your complexion has been crystal clear all through winter and spring, you might start to see more blemishes as summer starts up again. Hot temperatures and outdoor activities mean you’ll be sweating more, and when that sweat mixes with dirt and oils on the skin’s surface, the result is clogged pores. “The trick is not just to wash twice daily with a cleanser formulated for oily skin—at night, you also want to apply an ingredient that will dissolve the slick stuff deep down in pores, like glycolic acid and salicylic acid,” New York dermatologist Neal Schultz, MD tells Woman’s Day. Try Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel.
- Shiny skin. Even if you don’t normally have an oily complexion, heat and humidity can turn anybody’s skin into an oil-slick after a few hours outside. Adding a toner formulated with salicylic acid into your morning routine can help. “It minimizes shine by removing the dead, sticky cells from the top of skin that hold on to oil,” New York City dermatologist Amy Wechsler tells Real Simple. Just make sure your toner isn’t stripping your skin and causing irritation; the magazine suggests a toner with 0.5 percent salicylic acid, or a product with naturally-derived salicylic acid, such as Burt's Bees - Natural Acne Solutions Clarifying Toner.
- Sunburns. No matter how careful you are about sunscreen application, you might find yourself with a sunburn at some point during the summer. Don’t despair – with a little TLC, you can soothe the burn at home. The most important thing to do is keep cool – this means staying out of the sun as much as possible, covering up when you’re outside and taking cooler showers. Give your skin a break by skipping aggressive scrubs or skincare products, and apply aloe vera or a light moisturizer as often as you need (this will soothe the burn as well as prevent skin from drying out and peeling). Try Kerstin Florian Aloe Gel with Algae for Face and Body.
If your sunburn is more severe, though, make sure to contact your doctor instead of relying on home remedies.
- Bug bites. Mosquito bites will generally go away fairly quickly on their own – if you leave them alone and don’t scratch. This can be especially difficult for kids. Relieve the itch by using a hydrocortisone cream or anti-itch formula. For a natural option, try Burt’s Bees Bug Bite Relief.
Before you start digging through your medicine cabinet to find that tube of anti-itch cream, though, make sure that you know what type of bug you’re dealing with; if you’re not sure what bit you, it’s wise to do some research and contact a health professional if needed.
- Blisters. Sometimes the cutest footwear is also the most painful! Prevent blisters from happening in the first place by sprinkling some absorbent foot powder on your feet to keep them dry and prevent your new sandals from rubbing too much on your skin. You can even find specialized blister treatments like Dr. Scholl's Blister Defense Anti-Friction Stick. If you already feel blisters forming, try placing a bandage or a piece of moleskin on hot spots.
- Razor burn. Bumps, rashes and ingrown hairs can make going out in a swimsuit a dreaded occasion – but smooth and pain-free shaving just takes some preparation. First, if you already have razor burn, don’t shave again until the rash clears up – you’ll only make matters worse. In the meantime, use an anti-inflammatory cream that contains hydrocortisone, or a soothing treatment that contains ingredients like aloe vera to calm the skin. Whish Flawless Bump Fighter is a post-shave gel that prevents ingrown hairs. If you get razor burn on a regular basis, look into getting a better razor and using a richer shave cream like Whish Almond Shave Crave Shaving Cream Pump.
- Freckles and age spots. A smattering of freckles across your nose might be cute, but dark spots and hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage aren’t so flattering. Your first line of defense should always be sunscreen, but if you’re looking to correct prior damage, try incorporating a targeted treatment into your daily regimen. A product containing alpha hydroxy acids, such as Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Gel, can help to even your skin tone and reveal younger-looking skin. Or, try a treatment that targets hyperpigmentation, like Peter Thomas Roth De-Spot Skin Brightening Corrector.
- Self-tanner disasters. If you look more like a tiger than a bronze goddess, you’ll be glad to know that you don’t have to wait days for that tan to fade. Look for a tan remover like St. Tropez Tan Optimiser Remover, which can erase mistakes up to four hours later – which is perfect if you end up with orange-tinted hands and fingernails. Exfoliating with a good body scrub can also help.
Don’t let summer skin concerns – like irritations caused by sunburns and shaving, mosquito bites, clogged pores and shiny skin – ruin your vacation. With a little know-how, you can fix any disaster – from repairing a messy self-tan to fading age spots and freckles. A few adjustments to your daily skincare regimen will ensure that your complexion is smooth, clear and even-toned during the summer months.
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