By: Nikki Credic-Barrett, Master Esthetician
Owner of The Beauty Kitchen Day Spa
via Hair and Other Stuff
It seems we all have this ritual when summer arrives. We look in the mirror and swear this is the year we’re going to get our bodies toned and our skin beach-ready. Well, I can only speak for myself. I haven’t achieved the toned part, but I am taking steps to achieve skin even Beyoncé would envy. And yes, you can achieve this skin at home! Even if you are still looking at dull, dry skin left behind by winter; flawless, summer-ready skin can be achieved with the help of the right skincare routine and ingredients.
Summer presents some special challenges when it comes to our skin. The greatest challenge is the sun and its ultraviolet rays. Approximately 80 to 85 percent of our aging is caused by the rays of the sun. As we age, the elastin fibers and collagen in our skin weaken. But frequent exposure to ultraviolet rays speeds this process up causing premature aging. So sunbathers listen up! Tanned skin is damaged skin and frequent doses of the sun’s UV rays can alter and destroy the skin’s natural ability to protect you from those wrinkles and age spots you weren’t supposed to see until your golden years. To assist with protection, I can’t stress enough how important sunscreen is. You should use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15, but I say go the extra mile and start at SPF 30. Many of you will give excuses as to why you don’t wear sunscreen. “It’s too greasy. It breaks me out. It leaves a white film on my skin.” Well, hold your excuses because sunscreens have come a long way since the days of “baby oil” sunbathers. Many sunscreen lotions are packed with nourishing ingredients that not only protect your skin from the sun’s rays, but encourage younger looking skin while combating wrinkles.
The hot temperatures can also kick your skin’s oil glands into overdrive causing minor breakouts to excessive acne. The key to handling this problem is recognizing that the skincare products you used during the winter may be too heavy for your skin during the summer. I suggest shelving the heavy night creams for light nourishing lotions and re-evaluating your cleansers and other skin products to see if changing temperatures make them less effective. I also encourage you to exfoliate. Because your skin’s oil and sweat glands work a little harder during the summer, you are also more prone to clogged pores resulting in that “four-letter word” – ACNE. Exfoliating at least once or twice a week with a gentle scrub will alleviate clogged pores and keep acne at bay.
To get you started on your quest for summer-ready skin, here are three easy steps:
- Step One: After cleansing skin, exfoliate with a luxurious body scrub.
- Step Two: Choose a hair removal method. For a smoother finish and longer effect, professional waxing and sugaring are the best options.
- Step Three: Slather on the sunless tanner ( yes, African-American sisters too!). A sunless tanner can do wonders for anyone. It can temporarily even out your skin tone and give you a “healthy glow.” Many sunless tanner products on the market even moisturize and nurture the skin.
Summer is just around the corner. Get ready!
I go to Nikki for facials, skin care products and, most recently, for sugaring (a form of hair removal). Nikki is really gentle, professional and very knowledgeable. She’s a natural curly girl too! If you’re in the DC metro area, check her out 🙂