Summer brings sunny weather and outdoor fun—but also potential damage to our skin. The scorching heat, harmful UV rays, and increased humidity can lead to various skin issues if we don’t take proper care.

But no need to fear—UR Medicine dermatologist Dr. Mara Weinstein Velez is an expert in keeping skin healthy, radiant, and protected. Here are her top five summer skincare tips.

  1. Stay Hydrated (Inside and Out!)

Hydration is key not only for overall health but also for maintaining beautiful skin. Dehydrated skin may cause your skin to appear dry, dull, and scaly. You’ll even begin to notice the presence of fine lines and wrinkles.

Summer Skincare 2

In summer, our bodies lose more water through sweating, making it essential to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps to flush out toxins, keeps your skin plump, and prevents it from becoming dry and flaky.

Don’t forget to carry a water bottle with you. And if plain water gets boring, add in slices of cucumber, lemon, or mint leaves for a refreshing twist.

It’s just as important to hydrate your skin topically with skincare products containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid!

Read up on hydration myths and facts →

  1. Sunscreen is Non-Negotiable

Sunscreen is a must for your summer skincare routine!

Did you know?

You can check the UV index in the weather app on your phone. If the UV index is higher than 6, take extra precautions like reapplying a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 every two hours and being mindful about your time in the sun.

When the UV index is higher than 6, try to avoid being outdoors during peak hours of sun, which is between 10AM and 2PM.

Dr. Mara Weinstein spoke with WROC8 News about UV Index and sun safety.

Harmful UV rays can damage your skin, causing sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. One in five Americans can develop skin cancer in their lifetime, so it’s important to take extra preventative steps. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it generously on all exposed areas of your skin.

Pro tip:
Opt for sunscreen with mineral-based ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These natural compounds sit on the skin’s surface and deflect sunlight so that UV radiation doesn’t penetrate the skin. Plus, the active ingredients reflect UVA and UVB rays and are effective immediately after application.

If you are prone to hyperpigmentation, opt for a tinted mineral-based sunscreen. Iron Oxides are a key ingredient in tinted sunscreens, and they are known for blocking visible light/blue light, which can contribute to pigment production on the skin.

  1. Always Reapply Sunscreen

Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating. You can even try a powder or compact SPF 30+ if you don’t want to keep applying a liquid formula.

Do I need sunscreen if it’s cloudy?

You should use sunscreen even on cloudy days. Although clouds can cover the sun’s rays, they cannot stop UV rays. And while UVB can’t penetrate glass, UVA can.

UVA exposure leads to collagen degradation and can accelerate signs of aging. Therefore, protection is still necessary even indoors or when sitting in a car to maintain youthful, smooth, and healthy skin.

  1. Embrace Antioxidants

Antioxidants are superheroes for your skin, especially during summer. The sun can cause unstable molecules, called free radicals, to damage cells in your skin.

But antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and green tea can stabilize those free radicals, so they don’t damage your skin cells.

Antioxidants also promote collagen production, keeping your skin youthful and glowing.

Consider using skincare products that contain antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea extracts to reinforce your skin’s defense against environmental damage.

  1. Post-Sun Care

Pamper your skin with post-sun care after a day of fun in the sun! Take a cool shower to soothe your skin and remove any sweat or sunscreen residue.

Follow up with a hydrating and soothing moisturizer to replenish lost moisture. If you get sunburned, apply aloe vera gel to soothe the affected areas. Avoid picking at peeling skin and stay away from heat sources like hot showers to prevent further irritation.

To shield your skin, wear protective clothing and seek shade during peak sun hours.

By following this simple routine, you’ll enjoy healthy, glowing skin all summer long, making the most of this beautiful time of the year. So, go ahead and have fun under the sun while keeping your skin happy and protected.

Dermatology at UR Medicine

UR Medicine Dermatology offers a full range of dermatology services for adults and children with skin conditions as common as warts and as complicated as skin cancer. Our goal is to provide each patient with the best care possible.

Meet our Dermatologists