DISCLAIMER. At this point in the summer, I assume that you're wearing your Rayminder Bracelets and Necklaces and apply that SPF at least every two hours while at the beach. That said, this after sun skincare routine is not the care your skin needs if you've achieved summer's badge of irresponsibility, a sunburn.
Heading home after a day at the beach my hair is soft from salt water and my skin feels like it has truly absorbed all the vitamin D and happiness the sun shined down. A few hours later and my seawater-ocean-breeze buzz turns into a dehydration hangover. My skin starts to feel tight and dry and I can feel a thin layer of salt pulling out the last of it's moisture. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'd rather leave the wrinkles for the raisins. So, I've fine-tuned my after sun skincare routine to keep my skin feeling fresh, youthful, and, for lack of a better word, plump.
Here are my six steps to a healthy summer glow:
1. Cool down.
Immediately upon coming home from the beach I take a cold shower. The cool water decreases blood flow to the outer layer of my body, my skin, which will decrease inflammation and redness. A prickly shower also wakes me up as the heat tends to zap my energy.
Any exposure to the sun will damage skin. Eventually, dead skin cells build up, clog pores, and make it difficult for skin to absorb nutrients. An exfoliant will help you to shed dead skin cells and allow radiant, new ones to brighten your complexion.
Recently, I've learned that physical exfoliants, like a face wash with small solid particles, can be harsh on skin while chemical exfoliants work much more gently. Personally, I use Glossier's Solution as an everyday exfoliant and recommend it. One of it's main ingredients is AHA (alpha hydroxy acid); AHA is naturally derived from fruit and is gentle to the surface of your skin.
3. Use a mask.
Masks are fabulous to, 1. make yourself feel like you're at a fancy spa and, 2. replace your skin with much needed moisture previously drained by exposure to the sun and salt. Here are products I use regularly from brands I love:
Orgaid Organic Sheet Masks. These are thee best sheet masks I have ever used. Personally, I love the Vitamin C & Revitalizing Sheet Mask, it makes my face feel hydrated and look visibly brighter. Orgaid offers a multi-pack to try all 3 options to see which work best for your skin.
Biotherm. Biotherm uses naturally derived ingredients from the ocean, like algae and plankton, in their catalog of skincare products. They now offer a Life Plankton Mask in gel form and as a sheet mask. I use Biotherm products daily, they make me feel like a mermaid.
If I don't have time for any of the above, the least I can do is splash my face with water and massage a little extra of my daily moisturizer into my skin.
Even if I don't feel it at first, spending the day outside in the heat and sun dehydrates my entire body. Replenishing with good ol' H2O rehydrates me from the inside out.
Occasionally, I enhance my water with sliced cucumbers. Mostly, it's just tasty, but cucumbers have many antioxidants that help prevent and delay cell damage. It's added nutrition for glowing skin.
6. Pucker up.
My lips often feel as chapped after the beach as they do on the coldest and driest winter day. To soothe them and keep them kissable (*wink) I use a simple lip scrub and follow up with a layer of chapstick.
I prefer to make my own lip scrub as the ingredients are always in the pantry when I need them. The concoction is simple: coconut or olive oil + brown sugar + honey. Usually, I like a grainier consistency. FYI, it's hard not to eat a little bit of it as you use it.