Is Your Skin Ready for Summer?

With summer just around the corner, you'll be sporting sleeveless styles and shorts in no time. Follow this 5-step plan to ensure that your skin looks and feels ready to be on show.


Cold, dry air has likely left your skin looking dull from a build-up of dead skin cells. Dry brush your body with a sponge or loofah daily and use a body scrub weekly to loosen trapped skin. Wash your face each night with a gentle, exfoliating cleanser (not a scrub which can damage delicate skin). A home or professional facial can also help exfoliate skin, especially one formulated with alpha-hydroxy acids.

Get Breakouts Under Control

Acne breakouts on your face or body are particularly common as the weather, humidity, and fabrics you wear change. Exfoliation will help clear dirt and oil trapped in your pores, but a regular cleansing routine is key to helping your skin remain balanced. You may want to spot treat breakout areas with a medicated treatment containing salicylic acid or a natural antiseptic like tea tree oil.  Whatever you do, don't poke or squeeze at zits as it will only cause them to spread.


Start with a deep, emollient moisturizer to give thirsty skin some moisture. Deep treat dry patches with petroleum jelly. After a week or so of regular moisturizing, switch to lighter moisturizer that will keep your skin balanced in the heat and high humidity.

Remove Unwanted Hair

Whether you shave or wax, use proper techniques to minimize issues like ingrown hairs:

If you opt for shaving...Exfoliate skin beforehand to keep dead skin from clogging your razor. Apply shaving cream or gel to wet skin and allow to sink in for at least 2-3 minutes. Use a fresh blade (especially if your hair is longer). Shave in the direction of hair growth to keep from damaging the follicle.

If you opt for waxing...Gently exfoliate the area beforehand with a sponge, but never wax skin that has recently been through a treatment like a chemical peel or microdermabrasion. If waxing at home, spot test any new products and don't wax the same area more than once in 24 hours. Speak to a doctor before waxing if you have circulation issues or diabetes, and never wax over varicose veins or moles.

Stock Up on Sun-Protection

Sunscreen is the most important skin care product you buy. Do you get lazy about applying multiple products? Choose a moisturizer with built-in SPF. But if you're going to be outdoors for any length of time, you'll need a stronger formula, especially during the summer. If you feel shy about exposing white winter skin in shorts, whatever you do, DON'T get a "base" tan in a snubbed. Opt for a spray tan or self-tanner -- it will save your youth, and possibly even your life one day.


American Academy of Dermatology. "Cosmeceutical Facts and Your Skin" Web. American Academy of Dermatology Public Center. 2009.

Dermatology Guide: Tips for Healthy Skin and Beauty. "Shaving" Web. Skin Care Guide. 2009

Mayo Clinic. "Lifestyle and Home Remedies: Dry Skin" Web. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2010