Today marks the official first day of summer! Pack your best bikinis, cover-ups, wedges and flip flops and head to the closest pool, beach or lake for some major fun in the sun. While you’re packing your summer tote, don’t forget to pack special products for your skin. Summer is the one time during the year when many of us women of color toss all common sense aside and bare our skin to the elements only to wind up getting sunburned and damaging our precious skin all of which could have been prevented. Even though as women of color we have more melanin in our skin which means we have built-in sun protection, it doesn’t mean that we cannot get skin cancer and other skin disorders and diseases like our white and fair skinned counterparts. Here are some easy yet important summer skin care tips to help keep your skin healthy and cancer-free this summer and hopefully many summers to come!
- Be sure to use a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or higher. It’s imperative not to skimp on SPF just because you’re naturally brown or dark-skinned. Your skin can burn just like someone with red hair and freckles so be sure to slather on a face moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher and a body moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher whenever you leave the house.
- When heading to the beach or pool, you will need to reapply your sunscreen or sunblock every hour as the product dissipates whenever you get into the water and when you sweat. The best sunscreens to use at the beach or pool are the spray sunscreens as they are super easy to apply and leave skin protected without the sticky or greasy after-effect of traditional sunblock or suntan lotions.
- Protect your scalp just like you would the rest of your body by slathering your hair with conditioner before laying out or by wearing a wide-brimmed sun hat. Your scalp is highly susceptible to burning and that could lead to hair loss.
- For after sun care, opt for a natural alternative to lotions or salves and pick up a bottle of aloe vera gel from your local health food store. This all-natural skin-soothing treatment is a great way to treat sunburns or other skin ailments.
- Exfoliation is very important during the summer season as your skin tends to get very dry and flaky after being exposed to large amounts of heat, humidity and sun. It also can be affected by air-conditioning. In order to keep your skin looking its best during the summer season, look for a body exfoliator and a facial exfoliator. For the body, I prefer the fruit scrubs as they work hard to remove dead skin and flaky skin patches. For the face, opt for a glycolic or fruit acid exfoliator as they are less harsh for the sensitive skin on the face and produce less irritation or inflammation.
Enjoy the summer and be sure to keep your skin healthy, glowing and most importantly protected!