Redheads, what’s not to love about summertime: sunshine, warmth, swimming, traveling, outdoor activities. The list could go on and on. But along with summer comes a slew of skin issues. From sweating to sunburns, summer months require extra attention be paid to our skin.
To maintain healthy, youthful skin–particularly during the late summer months–it’s important to take preventative measures. Warren B. Seiler III, M.D., a board certified cosmetic laser surgeon, the executive director at the American Board of Laser Surgery and medical director at Seiler Skin Cosmetic Laser & Aesthetics Center, shares five common mistakes that people (especially redheads) tend to make with their skin during the hottest part of the year.
1. Believing “tan-screen” is actually safe.
Many start the summer with the best intentions and apply sunscreen liberally before heading outside, only to fall victim to complacency once they begin to see some color… or in a redhead’s case, a sunburn. Perhaps you think: it’ll turn into a tan, right? Wrong! Remember: there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Without sunscreen, even perfectly tanned skin will readily absorb the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, which cause deadly skin cancers and premature aging. Fully embracing the sunscreen lifestyle will be the most important decision you’ll ever make for the health and look of your skin.
Pro-tip: Always choose a medical-grade sunscreen with zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is the only ingredient that will block cancer-causing UVA rays, and reapply every 90 minutes.
2. Failing to hydrate your skin properly.
It’s easy to assume your skin is well-hydrated during the summer months, as it is more prone to greasiness. Unfortunately, greasiness does NOT equate to a healthy, intact moisture barrier. Excess oil can result in clogged pores and acne, and a lack of moisture can cause skin to crack or become scaly over time. It’s critical to maintain a proper balance of both water and serums/oil, especially during the hottest part of the summer when your skin may play tricks on you.
Pro-tip: The absolute best way to hydrate your skin is to use a high-quality hyaluronic acid. It’s a fancy term for a serum or oil that deeply hydrates and plumps skin to diminish fine lines and wrinkles. They’re usually rich with antioxidants. Make sure the product is pharmaceutical-grade to address your particular skin type. A one-size-fits-all approach to hydration will not produce the desired results.
‘Redhead Friendly’ Approved Hyaluronic Acid Products: Living Source Hyaluronic Acid Skin Serum, Paula’s Choice RESIST Hyaluronic Acid Skin Booster
3. Neglecting regular exfoliation.
It’s true: over-exfoliating skin during the summer months can increase sun sensitivity, and even leave your skin feeling irritable and dry. However, it’s an important part of achieving and maintaining healthy, glowing skin. Try to gently exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells and avoid clogged pores (remember: summertime = greasy skin). If done properly and regularly, exfoliation should leave skin looking fresh and bright – the perfect look for summer.
Pro-tip: The best time to exfoliate is in the evening before bed, as the skin repairs itself during the night while you sleep!
‘Redhead Friendly’ Recommendation: Use a Dew Puff to exfoliate every single day! It’s gentle, plant based and never irritates the skin.
READ: 10 Thoughts Every Redhead Has When Going on Vacation
4. Misusing makeup.
Whether you’re headed to the beach or out running a few errands, no one will blame you for wanting to look your best. However, heavily applying powder and foundation can wreak havoc on your skin health, as pores tend to open up while sweating. What works well for you in the winter may be a recipe for disaster during the summer, so rethink your makeup routine if you start experiencing issues with blackheads or breakouts.
Pro-tip: If you’re headed out into the sun, try a line like Sunforgettable by Colorescience, a mineral makeup brush with broad spectrum SPF 50 for added sun protection!
5. Not getting enough liquids.
Aside from obvious health issues related to dehydration during the summer, your skin will also pay the price if you fail to get enough liquids. Simply put, water helps your body function better, which, in theory, helps your skin function better. Staying hydrated will help the skin respond better to topically applied moisturizing products, which are important to maintain the health of the skin.
Pro-tip: Water is certainly good for the skin, but adding fish oil or flax seed to your diet will do wonders for it.
Rock it like a Redhead!