By Dr. Sejal Shah, Dermatologist at SmarterSkin Dermatology
With summer just around the corner, it’s important to make sure you optimize your skincare routine to maintain your skin’s health. Here are some of my summer skincare essentials:
One of the most important things you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen daily. All skin types, regardless of color, are susceptible to sun-induced skin damage and skin cancer. Sunscreen not only reduces your risk for skin cancer, but also all the other badness that the sun can cause, such as skin aging and discoloration. Choose a sunscreen that’s broad-spectrum, which means that it protects against ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation, with an SPF of at least 30. Some of my favorites include:
- Coppertone Pure and Simple Sunscreen Lotion ($10)
- Blue Lizard Sunscreen ($15)
- Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen ($19)
- EltaMD UV sport ($25)
- EltaMD UV Clear ($35)
- La Roche Posay Anthelios ($20)
- MDSolarSciences Mineral Beauty Balm ($39)
- TIZO Tinted Face Mineral Sunscreen ($41)
I also love the Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush-On Powder Sunscreen ($65) for touchups throughout the day on those days you are wearing make-up.
Your skin is constantly bombarded with free radical particles generated from the sun, pollutants and other environmental sources. These free radicals can damage skin and cause skin aging. Antioxidants work by scavenging free radicals before that can damage the skin. While there are a number of antioxidants available, Vitamin C is one of the most established when it comes to skin benefits, so it’s the ingredient I recommend most commonly. Vitamin C will not only protect the skin and prevent damage, but has been shown to improve fine lines and wrinkles, brighten skin complexion, and even skin tone. Some of my favorites:
- La Roche Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum ($43)
- Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 30% ($119)
- Jan Marini C-ESTA ($110)
- Avene A-Oxitive Serum ($44)
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells that have accumulated on the skin’s surface, thereby uncovering a fresh layer of skin and allowing skin care products to penetrate more effectively. While exfoliation is important the process should be gentle and over-exfoliating can do more harm than good. There are 2 types of exfoliants-chemical and physical. Chemical exfoliants include acids and enzymes and work by dissolving the bonds that hold skin cells together. Physical exfoliants include scrubs and polishes and work by mechanically removing the dead the skin cells. Some of my favorites are:
- Fresh Sugar Polish ($62)
- nip + fab glycolic fix pads ($11)
- Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial ($80)
- First Aid Beauty Resurfacing Liquid 10% AHA ($55)
Besides these summer essentials, moisturizing and cleansing are key parts of any skincare routine. As weather warms up swap out your thicker moisturizer and cleanser for light-weight formulations such as lotions and gels. If you stick to these steps, you will be sure to have a healthy glow all summer long.
Sejal K. Shah, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in the Tribeca – Financial District of Manhattan, New York. She performs all aspects of dermatology with an expertise in cosmetic dermatology and lasers, hair loss, and ethnic skin at her offices inside SmarterSkin Dermatology.