Prepare Your Skin for Summer

Prepare Your Skin for Summer

Longer days and stronger UV rays signify that summer is upon us. With that comes sweat, sunscreen, and increased environmental exposure. Read on to learn how you can best tailor your existing routine to the summer months for optimal results.

The Crucial Role of Daily Sun Protection

In the pursuit of healthy, radiant skin, we invest considerable time, effort, and resources into comprehensive skincare routines that often encompass a variety of products designed to cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, and protect the skin. Amidst the plethora of skincare solutions, one component is indispensable: Sun Protection Factor (SPF), especially during the summer months. Without consistent use of SPF, all other efforts may not be worthwhile, as the most imperative step in your skincare routine should be focused around prevention via SPF.

When Ultraviolet (UV) radiation penetrates the skin, its combination of UVA and UVB rays triggers a series of molecular events leading to oxidative stress, DNA damage, and inflammation, which compromises the skin's structural integrity and accelerates the aging process.

UVA rays, with longer wavelengths, penetrate the skin more deeply, manifesting as wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and hyperpigmentation. UVB rays, with shorter wavelengths, primarily affect the superficial layers of the skin, causing sunburn and playing a significant role in the development of skin cancers, including melanoma. Both play a pivotal role in causing visible and invisible signs of UV damage to your body.

The Role of SPF in Protecting Treated Skin

When using products such as glycolic acid or retinol, the inclusion of SPF in a daily skincare regimen is not merely a precautionary measure; it is a fundamental component in preserving and amplifying the benefits of your skincare products.

Glycolic acid and retinol are both effective in addressing an abundance of skin concerns like texture and smoothing skin by promoting cell turnover and skin renewal. However, glycolic acid can thin the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin), reducing its natural barrier function. This makes the skin more susceptible to UV damage, potentially leading to sunburn, photoaging, and increased risk of skin cancer. Retinol accelerates cellular turnover, leaving new skin vulnerable to the harmful UV side effects, including erythema (redness), inflammation, and long-term damage such as hyperpigmentation and breakdown of skin structure. For this reason, we recommend reserving Glycolic and Retinol capsules for nighttime use and making sure to have an SPF for daytime use. 

Additionally, UV exposure to sensitive, treated skin can trigger melanin production, worsening existing pigmentation issues. SPF aids in maintaining the barrier function by blocking or absorbing UV radiation and mitigating the risk of premature aging. Try a powerful hyperpigmentation-fighting combination of Droplette’s Tranexamic Eraser capsules with your favorite SPF, using both daily for best results. 

What if My Skin Reacts with SPF Usage?

Some sunscreens have heavy, greasy formulas that can create an occlusive layer on the skin, trapping sweat, oil, and bacteria. This environment can foster the growth of acne-causing bacteria and lead to breakouts. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, opt for lightweight, gel-based, or water-based sunscreens that provide protection without the heaviness. Additionally, make sure you are selecting a sunscreen that says "non-comedogenic," or that does not include common comedogenic ingredients like coconut oil and thickening agents, like isopropyl myristate. 

Chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate, which absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat. Some people may have sensitive skin that reacts to these chemical filters, leading to irritation and subsequent breakouts. 

If you suspect chemical filters are causing your breakouts, consider switching to a mineral sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens use physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays without causing irritation. Try brands like EltaMD, Supergoop and other dermatologist-recommended brands that offer both chemical and physical sunscreen products. 

Additionally, failing to thoroughly cleanse your skin at the end of the day can also leave residual sunscreen, sweat, and impurities on your skin, which can contribute to breakouts. Make sure to use a gentle yet effective cleanser to remove all traces of sunscreen. Double cleansing is particularly effective in ensuring your skin is clean and free of any pore-clogging residues. After cleansing is the ideal time to incorporate Droplette into your routine. Collagen, Tranexamic and Growth Factors capsules are all great options to use in the morning and prepare your skin before a protective layer of SPF is added.

Experiencing breakouts after using an SPF can be frustrating, but understanding the potential causes can help you identify solutions. When it comes to radiant, glowing skin, we’re playing the long game. Protecting your skin from the sun's harmful rays is essential, and finding the right sunscreen to pair with your skincare regimen is a key step in maintaining both healthy and clear skin.

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