Just when I thought it would never arrive, I checked my calendar to see that summer is right around the corner. I needed a lot more work to get myself ready than simply swapping out my favorite magenta lip shade for a pastel. I needed to give my dull, winter skin some serious TLC in order to get back my long-lost glow.
Beauty may be only skin deep — but considering the skin is your body’s largest organ, that still leaves a lot of ground to cover. Here are eight tips for glowing skin in summer I used to get ready for the beach and pool. In no time at all, you can be prepared to show off your gorgeous, healthy self even in that bare-almost-all bikini, too.
1. Exfoliate Dull, Dead Skin Cells
The first step on my journey to summer-ready skin involved giving myself a good head-to-toe scrub. I’m prone to dry skin, especially in winter, and being lily pale is all that stands between me and an ashy complexion.
For my delicate facial skin, I used a gentle lavender and baking soda scrub followed by a honey mask to remove dead cells and pump the new ones underneath full of antioxidants. I utilized oatmeal to slough the icky crocodile patches off my elbows and knees. My feet needed some serious TLC, too, before I dared sport strappy sandals, so I made a heavier-duty brown sugar scrub to give my poor, cracked heels a little lovin’.
2. Go Au Natural — or Look Like It
I really did need to swap out my magenta lip tint — dark bold colors age skin in sunlight, as does heavy, caked foundation. Makeup more than a year old starts to break down, anyway, so I tossed my winter set. I opted for a feathery-light powder for my oilier T-zone and a light, sparkly cream blush to add just a hint of a sun-kissed glow to the apples of my cheeks. I didn’t bother with lipstick at all — a light beeswax lip balm gave my pucker just enough shine to look kissable.
3. Think Greek for Glowing Summer Skin
Would you be surprised if I said you probably have one of nature’s most perfect moisturizers right in your kitchen? When it comes to tips for glowing skin in summer, this one is a no-brainer. Olive oil gives skin a heavy-duty moisture boost without clogging pores or looking greasy.
Here’s an added pro-tip for those like me whose face feels stretched tauter than a new drum less than 10 minutes after exiting the shower: Use olive oil to cleanse your face. Gentle cleansing with this oil removes dirt and makeup from pores without stripping skin of its natural moisture. Doing so actually adds plumpness and doesn’t leave your face feeling parched.
4. Add a Dab or Two of Wax
Paraffin wax offers a natural way to get that head-to-sole summer glow and restore moisture to dry skin. Because paraffin is gentle, different recipes can be used for anything from hand masks for fibromyalgia sufferers to toasty tootsie wraps that leave the piggies pedicure-soft. Bid farewell to hangnails and cracked heels — a little dab of paraffin fixes both.
5. Drink up, Drink Often
Nothing dulls skin quite like being dehydrated. One of the best tips for glowing skin in summer is to drink up. Failing to drink enough water leaves skin without elasticity, making it prone to wrinkles. Coffee and wine coolers won’t do the trick — when it comes to hydration, plain water or tea is the way to go.
I’m a bit of an odd duck in that even though I carry a water bottle everywhere, I forget to sip when there’s no flavor. When I fill my bottle from my fridge pitcher, I add slices of lemon and orange for a hint of natural flavor.
6. Wear Your Sunscreen
Going without sunscreen, given my fair complexion, is akin to rolling out the welcome mat for melanoma. However, I’m not keen on the potentially hazardous chemicals found in commercial sunscreens.
My solution? I make my own natural sunscreen, which sounds intimidating, but really takes very little in the way of time and ingredients. If natural products protect my pale skin, they’ll do so for anyone.
7. Beat Bikini Line Bumps
Yes, boy-short bathing suits do free me from needing to trim the bikini area before hitting the beach, but as a matter of personal preference, I find it uncomfortable not to do a little grooming down below. If you’re like me, those nasty bumps from the razor make you look like you caught something contagious.
When it comes to tips for glowing skin in summer, shaving with cold water can help. So can using a bit of aftershave — who says we can’t learn something from the fellas, right? Finally, make sure to use a new razor, as dull blades mean more bumps.
8. Feed the Machine
I’m a seafood fiend, especially in the summer months, which my skin thanks me for. Seafood such as salmon contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids critical for glowing, healthy skin any time of year. Kale and other dark green leafy veggies provide vitamin E, another essential nutrient for making skin look its best.
Those on vegan diets can likewise get these nutrients by consuming the right nuts, seeds and legumes. Fruits and veggies high in antioxidants also fight free radicals, which can make skin age more quickly.
Tips for Glowing Skin in Summer
If I can get my skin summer-ready without spending a bundle or using harsh chemicals, you can do so as well. Get ready to rock those breezy summer fashions proudly while showing off your glowing self.