The Best Sunscreens (and Summer Skin-Care Tips)
1. Cleanse in the a.m and p.m. If your face is greasy in the summertime (even if it’s normally considered dry), try a less hydrating cleanser than you normally use—like a bar soap—which will help control the extra sebum your skin is producing.
2. Apply your antioxidants. The sun’s rays can induce damaging free radicals, resulting in fine lines, sagging, and brown spots. “Using a serum with antioxidants under your moisturizer, preferably one with SPF, can help absorb some of these free radicals,” says David E. Bank, a dermatologist and the director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, in Mount Kisco, New York. Some of the most effective antioxidants include vitamin C, Idebenone, and green tea. Try Prevage Clarity Targeted Skin Tone Corrector with Idebenone ($125, elizabetharden.com).
3. Moisturize. “Don’t stop using a face moisturizer during the summer, even if your skin is oily,” says Amy Wechsler, a dermatologist in New York City. The hydrating ingredients (including water) in face creams help keep skin cells functioning properly. But if your skin feels slick, switch to an oil-free formula or moisturize only after cleansing at night.
4. Use a lot of sunscreen. Unless your moisturizer has broad-spectrum protection of at least SPF 15 (see What to Look for in a Sunscreen), you’ll have to wear a separate sunscreen on top. Apply it often (every couple of hours), and reapply after sweating or swimming, says David J. Leffell, a professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. A shot glass–size amount (one ounce) should cover your whole body; a tablespoon will protect your face and neck. Think of sunscreen as the most important tool in your summer skin arsenal. We like the seven picks for your face and body that follow.