Summer beauty tips to stay skin healthy

A Black woman in a sunhat puts her finger up to her face in an inquisitive look. In her other hand she holds a bottle of sunscreen.

Summer is the season of sunshine, beach days and outdoor fun. While you’re enjoying the warmer weather, it’s crucial to remember that increased sun exposure can have serious implications for your skin health, including an elevated risk of skin cancer. Enjoy summer safely with these essential beauty tips to keep your skin healthy and protected.

Sunscreen: Your summer essential

While sunscreen should be worn year-round, think of it as your best friend during the summer months. Here’s how to make the most of it:

  • Choose broad-spectrum protection: Look for a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Both types of ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the skin. Here’s how to choose your sunscreen.
  • SPF matters: The effectiveness of sunscreen is measured by its sun protection factor (SPF), which represents how well the sunscreen filters out those UV rays.1 You should always use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Apply generously and often: You should apply one ounce of sunscreen to your skin, which is about a shot glass worth of sunscreen. When applying it to your face, put on enough sunscreen to fill the bottom of a shot glass or the size of a nickel. Apply 15 minutes before heading outdoors and reapply every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating.

Stay hydrated

While water cannot protect you from sunburn or replace your SPF, hydration is still key to maintaining healthy skin, especially in the heat.

  • Drink plenty of water: For adequate daily fluid intake, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends aiming for about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of water per day if you are a man and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) if you are a woman. Increase your intake if you’re spending extended time outdoors.
  • Eat hydrating foods: Include water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumbers and oranges in your diet. While no foods will hydrate your skin directly, what you eat and drink is important in maintaining your skin’s overall health and can help with oxidative stress (which plays a role in skin aging), inflammation and dryness.

Choose skin-friendly makeup and skincare products

Your summer beauty routine should support your skin’s health. Try using:

  • Mineral makeup with SPF: Many mineral makeup products contain SPF, providing an extra layer of sun protection.
  • Hydrating moisturizers: Use a lightweight, hydrating moisturizer to keep your skin supple without feeling greasy.

Unlike sunscreen, beauty products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure they meet safety and effectiveness standards. So don’t forget to be smart at the store and read the fine print before buying!

Monitor your skin

Regular self-examinations can help you catch potential issues early.

  • Know your skin: Be familiar with your skin and note any changes such as new moles or growths, or changes in existing moles.
  • Consult a dermatologist: Schedule annual skin exams with your health care provider and seek advice if you notice anything concerning.

Stick to self-tanner

There is no safe way to tan. Excessive sun exposure damages your skin and tanning beds also expose your skin to high levels of UV radiation—either method can significantly increase your risk of skin cancer. Embrace your natural skin tone or use self-tanning products if you desire a sun-kissed look.

After-sun care

We get it: Sometimes, sunburn happens. Proper after-sun care can mitigate damage.

  • Aloe Vera Gel: Apply aloe vera gel to soothe sunburned skin.
  • Cool Compresses: Use cool, damp cloths to reduce heat and discomfort.
  • Hydrate: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends drinking extra water when you are sunburned to help prevent dehydration.

Staying safe in the sun doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your summer fun or beauty routine. By incorporating these simple tips into your daily routine, you can enjoy the season while keeping your skin healthy and reducing your risk of cancer. Remember, healthy skin is beautiful skin!

Find more information and resources on skin cancer prevention and early detection.

1‘Sun Protection Factor (SPF),’ Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Food and Drug Administration