Season 1 Episode 8: Preparing Your Skin for the Summer
The change from spring to summer can bring great things. Spending more time outside is a given, from beach trips to pool days to camping trips. However, with the summer months comes more UV exposure from outdoor activities, higher humidity levels, and more seasonal events where alcohol can be provided. Unfortunately, many people fail to consider how they should prepare their skin for these activities that can otherwise cause skin damage. Summer should also mean applying changes to your skin routine to keep it healthy and protected all season long!
The Skin Report is a podcast created to educate listeners on methods to improve skin health for people of all ethnicities and ages. For this episode, host Dr. Sethi discusses many common ways that summer weather changes and outdoor activities can pose a threat to our skin’s health and how we can properly protect our skin. This episode also dives into topics like UV protecting sunscreens, ways to combat breakouts from humidity, the importance of hydration, and more. So tune in to learn how you can adopt healthy lifestyle habits to keep your skin looking and feeling its best this summer season!
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This transcript was exported on July 5, 2022 -view latest version here.
Skincare can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether it’s finding the right products, ingredients or treatments. There’s a lot out there, but not always for women of color. That’s why I set out to educate myself and others so that we can all feel beautiful in our skin. Hello and welcome to the Skin Report. I’m Dr. Simran Sethi, an internal medicine doctor, mom of three and CEO and founder of RenewMD medical spas, and Skin by Dr. Sethi. Today, I want to talk about preparing your skin for the summer. As the weather changes for many of us so do our lifestyles [inaudible 00:00:40] and more. So as we embrace the freedom of summer, let’s make sure our skin is ready to embrace it, too. The warmer months are a time for summer Fridays, weddings, travel and sunnier days. Whether you’re visiting family, continuing at your office job or attending more happy hours, you may have a shift in habits and lifestyles, which may also call for changes in your skin care routine.
In this episode, we’re going to cover a few things to keep in mind so that you and your skin can feel happy and healthy all summer long. The first thing I want to talk about is the UV index. The UV index is the international rating system by which we measure the strength of sunburn producing ultraviolet radiation. It changes hourly, daily and depends on your geographic location. A common misconception is that the UV index is high only when it is sunny. But even on cloudy days, the UV rating can be significant because thinner cloud cover allows more sunlight inthan you think. You can find your UV index rating anywhere you get your weather, your phone, TV, smart watch, et cetera. And while you should always wear UV HEV protection, as we’ve discussed before, the UV index gives you an idea of how much protection you may need and how often. For those with light skin tones that are sensitive to the sun, the UV index can also give you general times to avoid the outdoors throughout the day.
So quickly, what do you need to know about how to use the UV index to your advantage? On a scale from zero to 11, with 11 being the strongest, we can also gauge what we need for our skincare. Typically, a UV index of zero to two requires little protection, three to seven requires your standard protection and anything above an index of eight demands extra protection, such as stronger SPF, more reapplication and items like hats, visors, or umbrellas.
We’ve covered the importance of wearing a full spectrum sunscreen and sunblock before. But I do want to talk about how brands offer convenience and functionality with their sun protection so that everyone can find the right sunscreen for their lifestyle and taste. For example, a tinted sunscreen is a convenient way to use sunscreen as a light makeup product too, which actually gives you additional sun protection because the iron oxide used in making the tinted color actually adds to the sun protection factor. Even reapplying sunscreen every few hours has become more convenient with SPF mineral brushes, that are an effective and sanitary way to get sun protection on the go. One of the first things that can affect your summer skin care routine is humidity. With sunnier weathers, sometimes comes more humidity and this is one of the first things that can affect your summer skin care routine.
In many states, such as Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and more, the humidity can average 90% in the summer. Even states on the east coast like Ohio and Massachusetts, average about 70% humidity throughout the summer. Either way you’re more than likelyfacing increased humidity this season. Humidity can cause extra sweat and oil, but in following a simple and essential four step skin care routine, as we discussed in episode six, your skin’s moisture levels will be bounced enough to not look oily or trigger acne breakouts. The key is to keep your skin clean by washing your skin twice a day and not applying heavy amounts of makeup. Also, keeping your body hydrated and eating as clean as you can, without restricting yourself, of course, will help keep your skin glowing all summer. Eating clean doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Frozen vegetables or dried foods can be convenient ways to add more balance to your diet.
In the summer, more produce is also available, which means you can eat fresh berries, cherries, summer squash, tomatoes, watermelons, and grapes, which are packed with skin essential vitamins, like vitamin A, B1, B6 and C. Your skin reveals your health so if you can have a clean, balanced diet most days, your skin won’t react poorly to weather and you won’t be prone to breakouts and clogged skin. These things can balance your skin and body so even in most unpleasant weather, you simply feel good on the inside and out. As people take more time for events, weddings and other gatherings, youmay find yourself outside more, taking more pictures and wearing more makeup. Interesting fact, with long engagements over COVID and backlog of delayed events, The Knot, a popular wedding website, predicts that over 2.5 million weddings will take place this summer. So if you’re looking for some tips to help keep you protected and looking fabulous, I’ve got you covered.
First, apply a tinted sunscreen over your skincare to act as a primer underneath your makeup. Remember, even if a makeup product states that it has SPF, it likely does not have enough sun protection to replace your sunscreen. And if you’re attending an outdoor event, you definitely need proper sun protection. A tinted sunscreen can nicely blend into the skin and will compliment any makeup foundation or powder applied over it. If you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, let’s say about a few hours, I would recommend carrying an SPF mineral powder. As mentioned earlier in the episode, you can conveniently reapply your SPF witha mineral powder that can also be used as a blotting powder and cover up for photos. If you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, let’s say about over a few hours, I would recommend carrying a SPF mineral powder.
As mentioned earlier in the episode, you can conveniently reapply your SPF with a mineral powder that can also be used as a blotting powder and cover up for photos. Finally, if you want your skin to glow during special events, what you put inside your body is just as important aswhat you put on it. With parties and weddings, comes a lot of alcohol or sugary drink intake, which can definitely start showing up on your skin. Alcohol contains a lot of sugar and the sugar levels increase even more when combined with mixers. Now, it’s not the end of the world, but it is important to remember that alcohol can cause dry skin, dark circles, flushing, and decreased skin elasticity even suddenly over time. Alcohol in excess can also cause dehydration, sugar spikes and mood swings that can disrupt sleep, which is important for recovery for your body, mind and skin. Combined with the heat, drinking can catch up to you very quickly.
That being said, there’s a way to drink responsibly and safely. You can choose drinks with little sugar, such as aclear spirit like vodka or tequila with just soda water. You also want to be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after drinking alcohol so you can combat some of that dehydration. Water is the best way to beat dehydration from alcohol consumption, which also means that you should stay away from drinks like Gatorade, Liquid IV, or Powerade, because these are actually very sugary and just introduce more calories into your system without providing additional rehydration benefits. Another thing that many of us are doing this summer is traveling. When we travel, we inevitably spend a lot of time outdoors and are likely in a climate that may be different from our home climate. This means that our skin care routine has to work hard to give us much needed sun and moisture protection throughout the day. It is also much more convenient to use products that can double up on functions.
As when you travel, there usually is a restriction on what and how many products you can carry with you. I recommend following the basic, tried and true, four steps skin care routine we discussed in episode six, which effectively cleanses repairs, replenishes, and protects the skin throughout the day. I’m now going to give you a few skincare travel tips that will allow you to enjoy your vacation along with glowing skin. Wipes are a great cleaning option if you cannot wash your face or if you’re sweating a lot. But remember, always choose wipes that are fragrance free, as fragrance is the most common skin ingredient that causes skin sensitivities and breakouts. Also, wipes are really only an option for cleaning your skin in the middle of the day or while traveling on an airplane. But washing your skin with a cleanser and water is still the best way to keep your skin clean and clear and should be done first thing in the morning and before going to bed, without exception.
Multipurpose makeup also works great. A tinted sunblock, as I mentioned earlier, can work as a foundation and a mineral sunblock powder can be used multiple times throughout the day as a way to reapply sunscreen and blot away any excess oil, just like a blotting powder. There are even cheek colors that can be applied as lip color to offer a look that is easy, well balanced and does not take up a lot of space in yourhandbag. Less is more. Using lighter weight makeup that can multipurpose as sun protection will allow skin to breathe and leave it fresh and blemish free. Now, before we end this episode, I would like to share some of my go-to strategies to keep my skin healthy during the summer, especially when I’m traveling.
I love visiting Europe in the summer because it is filled with so much history, diverse foods, and it’s overall very walkable, which makes the travel experience even more immersive. My first tip is actually on how to keep your skin glowing after a long flight. I carry all my skincare and dental products in my handbag, so that if my luggage is lost, at least I have my essentials. Next, on long flights, I like to clean my skin with a fragrance free wipeat the beginning of the flight, and then apply a clear hydrating mask that will keep my skin from drying out from all the air that is circulated in the plane. I know that you are probably thinking that applying a mask on an airplane might make you look a little strange, but that is why choosing a clear mask, not a sheet or a clay mask is important as it just looks like any other skincare product.
Before landing, I just wipe the mask off and reapply all my skincare product so that when I leave the airport, my skin looks hydrated and protected. Next, I always carry a mineral SPF brush in my bag so that I can conveniently reapply sunscreen in the middle of the day, no matter where I am. In fact, when not traveling, I still carry a mineral sunscreen powder in mybag and car so that I have some extra protection during my long afternoon commute home. Last but not least. I also enjoy wearing hats with SPF protection when I travel. Hats can be a lot of fun and with so many beautiful options, it can really pull an outfit together no matter what your style is.
We talked a lot about summer skin health and travel tips in today’s episode and learned how you can multipurpose your skin cares makeup and manage an effortless skin care routine, no matter where you’re traveling this season. If you’d like to learn more about science back skincare or medical aesthetic treatments, please subscribe to and turn on notifications for the Skin Report, so you always know when a new episode is up. If you have a skincare question or want tomake an episode topic recommendation, please message me at theskinreportbydrsethi.com, which is linked in my show notes and I’ll be sure to answer your question in an episode soon. Thank you all for listening today. I hope you have a great summer full of fun plans and glowing skin.