Think all summer means for your skin is a flawless, golden tan? Think again! This sunny season may be great for your spirits, but it can wreak havoc on your skin without the right precautions. First of all, in the summer you show more skin to begin with. Second, the sun’s rays are more intense than ever in these months, which makes skin damage a bigger risk. Here’s what you can do to keep your skin safe and beautiful even in the dog days of summer.

Load up on SPF before Your Vacay

If you’ve ever prepared for a physically demanding athletic event, you’ve probably been given the advice to “carbo load” to improve your performance. You can apply the same loading principle to protecting your skin before a big summer vacation.

Starting about three weeks in advance of your beach or tropical vacation, start wearing sunscreen to bed. We know it sounds crazy, but applying sunscreen every night will help it build up in the part of your skin called the stratum corneum. We’ll spare you the anatomy lesson, but, in English, that just means your skin will be less vulnerable to sun damage thanks to an extra layer of protection.

Don’t Forget to Keep Your Lips Luscious

You’re probably pretty good about remembering sun screen to protect your skin outdoors. But do you remember to protect your lips as well? In the summer, we recommend a lip balm with a minimum of SPF 15 every time you go outside. Remember to periodically reapply when you’re in the sun for longer periods of time. UV-blocking lip balm will prevent your lips from burning, chapping, and becoming dry.

Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate

No matter how religiously you use moisturizer and sunscreen, only so much of it can get through if your skin is clogged up with dead cells. Exfoliating clears this cellular debris from the surface of your skin. As a result, your skin will better absorb moisture and UV-blocking creams. Remember to always use at least SPF 30 protection on freshly exfoliated skin.

Hungry for more professional skin care tips? Make an appointment with one of our experienced aestheticians for personalized summer skin care advice.

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