There’s no time like the summer time for vacations, afternoons spent poolside and weekend outings. The opportunities to form valuable memories with friends and family also make this season one of the most popular times for snapping photos. But summer brings its own set of unique skin problems, and adjusting your skincare regimen for this season can help you tackle issues before they start and keep your complexion at its best.
[pullquote]It’s never too late to begin proactively taking care of your skin to prevent premature aging and bring out your natural, healthy glow.[/pullquote]
If you’ve never developed a professional skincare regimen that works for you, there’s no better time than the present. Your skin is the largest organ of the human body, and while it is constantly repairing and healing itself, taking care of your skin supports and enhances this process by providing nutrients and protecting against harmful agents.
Medical grade skincare products are scientifically proven to combat common skin concerns like wrinkles, breakouts, sun damage, discoloration and more. Over-the-counter products can typically only accomplish so much, so visit your local medical spa for a formal skin evaluation by a Certified Advanced Aesthetician. He or she can help you choose the best products for your needs.
Medical spa treatments are also designed to repair and rejuvenate the skin through a range of innovative techniques, most of which require little to no downtime. Med spa treatments can be incorporated into your regular skincare routine or performed as standalone treatments every few years to keep the skin in optimal condition.
Your skin protects you from your environment, but as such, ongoing environmental damage can do a number on your complexion. Sun protection is vital to every skincare routine and is all the more important during the summer months when you may be spending the most time outdoors.
Whether you’re headed to a wedding, on a camping trip or enjoying a night out, keeping your skin healthy and glowing all through the summer can help you live it up worry-free and form beautiful lasting memories with your loved ones.
A rough complexion can be smoothed away with exfoliating treatments, masks and creams. One of the most popular med spa smoothing treatments, microdermabrasion, can be especially useful for sloughing away dry and damaged skin cells clinging to the skin’s surface. This quick and affordable med spa treatment can also improve discoloration, minimize fine lines and decrease pore size.
Keep your skin hydrated with a good moisturizer that matches your complexion concerns. People with oily skin may be surprised to learn that oiliness can result from an overproduction of oil caused by dehydration, so keeping your skin moisturized at all times of day can actually decrease oil production. Those with dry skin can prevent cracking and wrinkling with a good day cream with sun protection and a heavier night cream. Getting regular European facials can also keep your skin hydrated, cleansed and soothed with customized treatments.
Skincare products can also deliver important vitamins and nutrients to your skin. Additional supplements can boost the immune system, help you recover from surgery and complement your skincare routine. Ask your Certified Advanced Aesthetician for the best recommendation based on your unique concerns.
Medical grade products can also turn back the clock and restore your skin to a more youthful state. Mud treatments, scar treatments, toners and more can work individually and together to rejuvenate your complexion and keep your skin glowing. Laser skin resurfacing is a popular treatment for toning, healing and restoring the skin to a firmer, healthier look, while tightening treatments like Thermage® can provide a nonsurgical “mini facelift” by stimulating collagen production to tighten the skin and lift sagging tissue.
The warmer weather and additional time spent outdoors typical of the summer months can be a blessing or a curse. Not everyone’s skin reacts positively to this season of sunshine, but when it comes to conquering the most common summer skin problems, medical grade products, med spa treatments and a little planning can go a long way toward keeping your complexion smooth, bright and clear.
The problem: People with fair skin tend to burn more readily than others, but the truth is that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are harmful to your skin whether you burn or not. Anytime you’re exposed to sun unprotected for more than 15 to 20 minutes, you run the risk of causing your skin to burn, blister, dry out or wrinkle. If you do develop a sunburn, neglecting to treat the burn properly can result in scarring and uneven pigmentation, not to mention the temporary discomfort of the burn itself.
The solution: Protect yourself from sun damage by applying a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every time you go outside. It’s a good idea to have a light day moisturizer or foundation that also contains sun protection that you can wear even on days that you don’t plan on going out. The sun’s rays can impact your skin just from entering through your home or car windows, and anyone recovering from facial surgery can be particularly susceptible to sun damage, so it’s important to take precautions when necessary.
Treating your burns properly can also speed along the healing process and help protect against unsightly scarring or discoloration. Use aloe vera on new burns to help draw heat out of the skin and keep the area moisturized. Once the burn is healed, exfoliate the area gently to get rid of peeling or flaking skin. Then, use a heavy body cream or oil to lock in moisture.
The problem: Summertime typically means warmer weather, more time spent outdoors and longer evenings. Depending on your local climate, you could very well find yourself surrounded by mosquitoes once the sun goes down, leaving you with itchy bumps and unsightly welts. Scratching the bites only aggravates them, leading to inflammation and damaged skin. At the same time, insect repellents containing DEET can irritate the skin and may even cause a rash to develop with continued use.
The solution: Although the most effective insect repellents are usually the ones containing DEET, look for a more natural repellent using ingredients like essential oils, herbs or apple cider vinegar. Take what precautions you can to avoid bites by wearing long sleeves in the evenings or using a screened shelter when camping or picnicking outdoors.
If you choose to use a repellent with DEET, rinse off once you come indoors and change into clean clothes to minimize your skin’s exposure to the repellent. If you develop a rash from the repellent, applying a heavy moisturizer or 1 percent cortisone cream can reduce irritation.
To take care of mosquito bites, clean them gently with soap and water. Avoid scratching the bite, as this will only make the itch worse and can damage the skin. Instead, apply an ice pack to reduce inflammation and speed along the healing process, or apply a paste made from baking soda and water to a bee sting to neutralize the venom.
The problem: An overproduction of melanin, a brown pigment in the skin, causes hyperpigmentation, a harmless skin condition characterized by patches of darker-toned skin, usually on the face or hands. Hyperpigmentation is commonly caused by sun exposure, but is also linked to hormonal changes, acne or injury to the skin.
The solution: Hyperpigmentation can be improved with products containing brightening agents, which can gradually fade dark spots. Topical retinoids also help strengthen the dermal matrix after damage from sun exposure.
Laser skin resurfacing can also fight sun damage by healing the skin and underlying tissue with a boost of collagen, elastin and other important proteins. By heating the skin and facial tissue with laser energy, this nonsurgical treatment stimulates your skin’s natural healing process, which can help improve hyperpigmentation after too much basking in the sun. If you’re not ready for laser resurfacing, a combination of chemical peels and microdermabrasion treatments can help restore your complexion to a more even tone.
The problem: Summertime can cause lots of dry skin woes because the weather is warmer and not everyone hydrates enough to compensate for the difference. People tend to be more active in the summer as well, and beachside cocktails can result in dehydration. Even swimming dries out your skin, and staying indoors with the air conditioning on isn’t much better for keeping your skin moisturized.
The solution: First and foremost, it’s important to drink lots of water to stay hydrated from the inside. If you’re exercising or spending time in hot weather, increase your water intake. When you get out of the pool, rinse off right away to keep the chlorine from drying out your skin. Then, apply a lotion or body cream with sun protection while your skin is still wet to lock in the moisture. If you can, avoid chemically-treated water altogether and swim in salt water pools.
If you’re staying indoors with the air conditioning running, get a humidifier to prevent your skin from getting too dry. This will put moisture back into the air and can even help with respiratory problems.
Facial serums absorb into the skin faster than creams or lotions and can be just the right boost of hydration for extra-dry, leathery skin. Routine facials can also keep the skin hydrated and help prevent dryness and flaking by infusing the skin with nutrients and hydrating ingredients. Tell your Certified Advanced Aesthetician that you’re concerned about dryness for a customized facial that detoxes and hydrates the skin, providing a relief from hot summer weather.
The problem: Sunscreen, sweat, chlorine and other agents can make you more prone to breakouts by clogging your pores or drying out your skin. Habits like touching your face frequently or wiping your brow with your sleeve can contribute to the spread of acne-causing bacteria. Picking at pimples can make them even worse and result in facial scarring.
The solution: A clarifying body wash with tea tree oil can help clear away acne on your back or chest, while a face cleanser with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help with breakouts on the face. Products containing retinoids are also excellent options for fighting acne.
Get a facial at least once a month until you get your breakouts under control. Only use skin and beauty products that are non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t block your pores. Once your acne is no longer active, microdermabrasions and chemical peels are among the best med spa treatments for minimizing pore size and acne scars.
The problem: Rosacea most commonly affects women over the age of 30, and is characterized by facial redness, broken capillaries, and small bumps or pimples. Telangiectases, or broken capillaries, are enlarged or dilated blood vessels that frequently show up around the chin, nose or cheeks. Broken capillaries can be caused by a number of factors, not all of which are within your control. Age, hormones and medications like birth control pills can contribute to enlarged blood vessels in the face, as can sun exposure, alcohol consumption, exposure to high heat and even scrubbing the skin too vigorously.
The solution: Limit your exposure to direct sunlight by wearing sunscreen every day and sporting a hat and sunglasses when spending time outdoors. Using skincare products that increase collagen, like tretinoin, won’t get rid of broken capillaries, but they can strengthen the skin and minimize their appearance. Med spa treatments like microdermabrasion or laser skin resurfacing can also make enlarged blood vessels less noticeable.
Vbeam® laser therapy is a noninvasive treatment that targets broken blood vessels, angiomas, port wine stains and uneven pigmentation for a more even complexion. Vbeam® treatments use pulsed-dye lasers to dissolve pigment in the skin, what’s known as a photofacial. While Vbeam® treatments may result in some minor temporary bruising, this med spa procedure requires no downtime.
[pullquote] As with many skin problems, treating an uneven skin texture may require a combination approach. Mix and match med spa treatments with the help of a Certified Advanced Aesthetician for a customized treatment plan. [/pullquote]
The problem: Uneven skin texture can result from a buildup of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. Ongoing sun exposure can also contribute to pore size irregularity and uneven texture. Smoking, eczema, dry skin and the aging process can also lead to a rough skin texture or a dull complexion.
The solution: Exfoliating products can help cleanse the skin of dead skin cells, dirt and oils on a daily or semi-daily basis. However, those with rough skin texture typically see the best results from a combination of at-home exfoliating and medical spa treatments.
Chemical peels can rejuvenate the skin by increasing cell turnover and smoothing out skin texture. Laser skin resurfacing can also improve skin texture as well as firm and revitalize the complexion, making this an excellent option for those worried about aging in their 20s and beyond. Finally, a series of microdermabrasion treatments can minimize pore size, get rid of rough skin texture and even out your complexion.
The problem: Bikini and shorts season usually means more frequent shaving, and this can wreak havoc on your skin. Welts, nicks and razor bumps can not only appear unsightly, but also cause you pain and irritation. When you feel like you have to choose between unwanted body hair and unwanted skin problems, showing off those summer outfits might not seem as fun as you’d anticipated.
[pullquote]Laser hair removal disables hair follicles one at a time, resulting in smooth skin all year round.[/pullquote]
The solution: Laser hair removal is one of the best ways to prevent against shaving-related skin woes by destroying hair follicles and preventing the hair from growing back. Putting laser hair removal on your summer to-do list can mean no more embarrassing ingrown hairs, bumps or skin rashes from shaving, waxing and tweezing. While disabled hair follicles do not come back, you still might need to get touchup treatments once a year to maintain your results.
The problem: If age, weight fluctuations, hormones or genetics have left you with spider veins and varicose veins on your legs, you’re among a significant number of women who might feel self-conscious about wearing shorts, skirts or swimwear due to visible leg veins. Spider veins are a purely cosmetic issue, but varicose veins can become itchy or painful.
The solution: While there is no way to fully prevent varicose and spider veins, people who lead an active lifestyle, don’t smoke and maintain a healthy weight tend to be less susceptible. Wearing gradual compression stockings can also help prevent visible leg veins from developing or improve the appearance of veins.
Most at-home remedies for getting rid of spider or varicose veins, however, are not effective. Instead, vein treatments at a medical spa can produce impressive results and allow you to enjoy your summer outfits with confidence. Sclerotherapy, a popular type of vein treatment, uses injection therapy to block affected veins, causing them to safely clot and be dissolved by the body. Treatments take only a few minutes and deliver the best results after a series.
The problem: A moment’s decision can leave a permanent mark on your body, and if you have a tattoo that you wish you didn’t, summertime can be especially cringe-worthy.
The solution: Tattoos don’t have to last forever with today’s laser technology. PicoSure®, a highly efficient laser skin resurfacing device, can remove tattoos of all colors from the skin with a series of 3 to 4 treatments. Each treatment should be spaced around 6 weeks apart, and you’ll want to avoid direct sun exposure for a couple of weeks before and after each appointment. Once your series is finished, you’ll be back to smooth, ink-free skin and a fresh start to summer living.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Daniel is trusted by people who want a meticulous, deeply caring doctor.