Whether you’re looking for ways to fight off visible aging or simply mitigate the impact of everyday life on the health of your skin, having a regular skin care routine is crucial. No one achieves healthy glowing skin overnight, so having a skin care routine that gives your skin the nourishment it needs to look its best is extremely important–especially during those hotter and brighter summer months.

In this article, I want to cover the top 5 reasons why you should reevaluate your skincare routine for summer, including the importance of regularly using sunscreen, the impact ultraviolet (UV) light has on our skin in summer, and how certain foods and ingredients can make your skin more sensitive during summer.

1. Include Sunscreen in Your Daily Routine

Everyone knows how sunscreen works to help protect our skin from harmful UV rays. Sun damage is the number one cause of not only sunburn, but also wrinkles, uneven skin tone, skin sagging, and other signs of aging in our skin. Not only this, but prolonged exposure to UV rays can also damage our eyes and immune systems.

While staying in shady areas and protecting your skin by wearing clothing with more coverage or sunglasses can help, these methods are reactive, rather than preventative insofar as their ability to mitigate skin damage from exposure to UV rays. As such, including sunscreen in your summer skin care routine is essential to protecting your skin during summer’s hotter, brighter, and drier months.

2. UV Light Dries and Irritates Skin

In the summer, there are many common skin conditions that get accentuated with high exposure to UV rays. Many people during summer months see increased comedogenic skin conditions, including pimples, blackheads, and rashes.

Exposure to excessive ultraviolet light conditions also has a tendency to dry out and irritate your skin. With this in mind, one way to prevent drying out or irritating your skin during summer is to use more mild facial soaps and laundry detergents, and immediately replace your facial oils with light (and preferably oil-free skin) serums and creams.

Since summer weather tends to likewise increase sweat production in our bodies, wearing light clothing and doing your best to wear a hat that covers up your face, neck and back is also important in protecting your skin during summer.

3. Swimming Can Trigger Skin Breakouts

Unfortunately, for some people, being in the pool or in seawater increases the chance of breaking out–particularly for those who have more sensitive skin or skin conditions such as eczema. This is especially true for those who spend a lot of time during summer swimming in chlorinated water. If you know your skin condition and what irritates it, then avoiding those triggers can be as easy as skipping out on frequent afternoon dips.

Regardless, make sure that after you are in a swimming pool or in the ocean, take a shower with warm water and use a milder soap, especially on your face and other areas where your skin is most sensitive. Then, add skin care products like oil-free serums that help moisturize your skin after swimming and rinsing off to better protect your skin.

4. Certain Foods and Medicines Can Increase Susceptibility to UV Rays

There are certain types of foods and medicines that can increase your sensitivity to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Antifungal medicines, antihistamines, oral contraceptives, and even specific types of painkillers or antidepressants can cause a heightened sensitivity to UV light.

Foods such as celery, dill, fennel, figs, lime, parsley and wild carrots can also increase sensitivity. By being aware of how your diet and medication can affect your skin’s health during summer, you can be better prepared for spending time outdoors.

5. Understand How Common Ingredients Make Skin More Sensitive

Perfumes and certain types of natural oils such as musk, rosemary or sandalwood make your skin more sensitive to the sun. To add to this, many common ingredients in skin care products such as alpha hydroxy assets like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and Retin-A can cause skin sensitivity. Similarly, certain chemicals like benzoyl peroxide – which are present in many acne serums/creams and other products – can also increase sun sensitivity, especially during summer.

In keeping this in mind, think of how you can avoid all of this; if you know your body’s most pervasive and reactionary allergens, do your best to avoid them during summer. If you’re still trying to figure out what your allergens are, try eliminating things that are very common and that cause sun sensitivity, such as certain foods, medicines, or oils before introducing them back to your skin and/or diet.

Concluding Remarks

Overall, having high-quality serums and skin creams can do wonders to help soothe the irritation or harm brought about by summer’s extra-potent UV rays. However, it is important to always check the label for common allergens in the products you use during your skin care routine.

Though remembering to always use sunscreen is vital to protect your skin during summer, it is even more crucial to remember to reapply sunscreen for every 30 or so minutes you spend outdoors in summer. After all, the purpose of skin care itself is to protect and prevent malignant or harmful conditions to your skin.