Your skin takes an intense beating in the winter. Cold weather and wind leave your skin looking dull, dry and damaged. Now that the temperature is rising, it’s time to recharge and invigorate your skin — just in time for summer. Get your skin ready for bare-it-all bikini season with these easy tricks and tips.
Brighten skin with an exfoliator
Start by sloughing off your dry, damaged winter skin with a mild exfoliating scrub. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and uncovers the fresh, glowing skin underneath. Dermatologist Dr. Stuart Kaplan recommends using scrubs that contain date seeds, pineapple extracts or papaya enzymes two or three times a week. These all-natural botanical exfoliators provide a mild, yet effective alternative to harsh chemicals and irritants.
Pamper your lips
Don’t forget your lips when exfoliating the rest of your face. Gently exfoliate in a circular motion to uncover plump, fresh skin. Then apply a creamy, moisturizing lip balm with a minimum SPF 20. Don’t leave the house without your lip balm to replenish parched lips and recharge your sun protection throughout the day.
Refine with a clay mask
To further refine skin, remove dead skin cells and tighten pores, Kaplan recommends using a clay mask on your face once or twice a week. Look for one containing white kaolin clay, a gentle, but absorbent clay — perfect for refining pores. Don’t use a mask on the same day that you exfoliate your face, as this can dry out your skin.
Hydrate with essential oils
Essential oils, like acai, argan and passion flower, moisturize, soothe, hydrate and repair the skin, according to Kaplan. Just add a small drop or two of a natural essential oil to your favorite moisturizer and mix in the palm of your hand. Then apply to your face for an instant pick-me-up.
Know your sunscreen
It’s time for sunscreen. Be sure you know your facts before you step out in the sun. The ideal sunscreen provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection with an SPF of 30 or more. Broad-spectrum protection means the sunscreen protects against skin cancer and early aging in addition to preventing sunburn. Sunscreen that contains physical sunscreens such as titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide will provide the utmost protection, reports Kaplan. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before you go out in the sun and be re-applied every three hours. Don’t forget to don a hat and sunglasses to protect your scalp and eyes.