8 Things Dermatologists Do Every Summer That You Don’t

Updated: Feb. 09, 2017

Insider advice for glowing, low-cancer-risk skin

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Lose old layers

Twice a week, scrub skin with a brush, an exfoliating scrub, or a salicylic acid wash to brighten it and allow lotions and serums to absorb more deeply. If your skin becomes irritated, exfoliate just once a week. Here’s what derms do to wake up with younger-looking skin.

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Cleanse without cream

As the weather warms, switch from a cream cleanser to a gel variety, which is lightweight yet still soothing. If you have oily skin, try a foam cleanser. Be sure to wash your face every night in the summer. More time outside means more exposure to harmful air pollutants, which can attach to moisturizer and makeup and exacerbate signs of aging. Check out the nighttime beauty routines of people with great skin.

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Lighten the lotion too

Heavy creams contain lipids that can cause clogged pores and pimples in more humid months. Instead, opt for serums, lotions, or hydrating gels. These are other sneaky reasons for acne breakouts.

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Strategize sunscreen

In the morning, before you apply your makeup, slather on a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30. Reapply sunscreen every two hours if you’re outside. If you’re worried about smearing makeup, look for a mineral sunscreen powder that is easy to reapply throughout the day. Don’t make these sunscreen mistakes.

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Consider wearables

Each inch on a sun hat’s rim increases coverage of your face by 10 percent. Exercising outside? Wear sun-protective clothing (look for the ultraviolet protection factor, or UPF, on the label). You cut exposure further by heading out before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

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Be wary of clouds

Burns can still occur on cloudy days, when cooler air persuades you to skip sunscreen. However, clouds block only about 20 percent of the sun’s UV rays. Apply sunscreen as you would on sunny days.

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Remember the sly spots

A surprising number of skin cancer cases occur behind the ears and on other areas that you may ignore when applying sunscreen. Cover your ears, the tops of your feet, and your hands. Here are some of the most shocking places skin cancer can strike.

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Eat for smoother skin

Studies show that loading up on foods high in antioxidants (such as colorful fruits and vegetables, iced green tea, and nuts) and probiotics (such as Greek yogurt with live active cultures and kombucha, a fermented tea) may offer an extra layer of sun protection from within.

Sources: Whitney Bowe, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital; Binh Ngo, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at Keck Medicine of USC; Doris Day, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City and a clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center; Patricia Farris, MD, a dermatologist and a clinical associate professor at Tulane University

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest