Summer is almost here, so here is your five step crash course to really beautiful skin this summer.
Step 1. Let’s start with your face. It is time to regain your face's brightness, luster, clarity and color and this is done with a very simple routine of five topical skin care products, consisting of a cleanser, toner, sunscreen, antioxidant, and an exfoliant. Any major brand will do and these products are all available at your local stores like a CVS or a Duane Reade, and they are available for a total of forty dollars or less. In the morning, start with your cleanser. Your cleanser is to get your skin ready and to remove oil and debris. Then follow with a toner which synergizes with the cleanser in achieving an all important oil and water balance and also makes your skin fresher. Next, use your sunscreen. I recommend a sunscreen with an SPF between fifteen and thirty that is also marked with UVA protection and that is appropriate for your oil and water skin balance. Very, Very important: put your sunscreen on before your moisturizer, not moisturizer before your sunscreen. In the evening, use your cleanser and toner the same way as in the morning, and then follow them with your gentle chemical exfoliant containing either glycolic acid or salicylic acid to make your skin smoother. Lastly, apply your topical antioxidant. I prefer Vitamin C products. They help to protect the skin and further renew it. Use this routine daily for two weeks and in that time you will start to see improvements in color, texture, luster and brightness. A lot of my patients tell me that within that period of time they consider this a bonus but they also see that they need to use less make-up to cover and the make-up goes on much better. If you are inclined to address lines and wrinkles with botox and fillers, May and June are the best times to do it because the results will last all summer long.
If summer rolls around (with it's higher temperature and humidity) and you're already using a skin care routine involving topical products, then step two for you involves an adjustment to lighter weight products. As a result of the higher temperature and the higher humidity, you do not want your products to be too heavy or clogging. In fact, you should be making this adjustment every year, twice a year for summer and winter. The adjustment for summer is to lighter, water-based, oil free products.
For step three, it's time to clear up those blemishes on your back and chest that have been hiding under your clothes all winter long. The easiest way to do this is to use acne cleanser twice a day on these areas, then using a spot treatment with salicylic acid or benzoly peroxide twice a day (again on theses areas), and if you really want to push the process ahead, then use a topical exfoliant with glycolic acid every day. Again, these products are all easily available and inexpensively available at your local stores.
Step four is to use a self-tanner to start your season a little bit ahead of the crowd with a tan look. Whether you are going to do this on your face or on your body, it is very important to prepare the area with a topical exfoliant every day because the self-tanners work by staining dead cells and you want to make sure that the layer of dead cells on the surface of your skin is even so you get a nice even color from the self-tanner. To prepare it, for your face I recommend glycolic acid, a lot of my patients tell me for their body they prefer physical exfoliants, things like louffas and exfoliating granules because they say it feels like, "it's doing something." That's fine; the chemical exfoliants work just as well.
Lastly, for step five, it is time to plan how you are going to manage unwanted body hair that is less covered in the summer, particularly bikini and underarm hair. It is not too late to get one or two more laser hair removal treatments which become more difficult in the summer when your skin is tan. For the bikini area, I highly recommend using laser hair removal if you are prune to ingrown hairs from waxing.
So there are your five steps for beautiful skin this summer.