More so than May, June and August, July is the summer month. New England usually sees the sunniest and sweatiest days of the year. Sweltering heat, moist humidity and close body contact with other people in the narrow streets of Boston can mean bad news for the skin. Living in the city, in general, already means you should spend extra time on your skin regimen. You make sure your pores remain unclogged and your skin remains as clean and clear as possible. Being jammed in an overflowing, roasting train on your commute does not mean you have to surrender your skin to an inevitable breakout; follow these important tips to take care of your skin during Boston’s steamiest months of the year.
1. Less is More
In terms of makeup, you should try and give your face as much of a vacation as possible during the summer. Use either a lightweight, tinted facial moisturizer with SPF in it everyday. Or a combination of a facial moisturizer and a sheer foundation to allow your pores to breathe as much as possible. Caking on thick foundations, powders and blushes may be too much for your skin to handle during the summer and could lead to a backup of bacteria and clogged pores.
2. Wash Your Face Twice a Day
Whatever skin washing technique works best for you should be done after you wake up and before you go to bed. Consistency is key. Whether it’s exfoliating in the morning and cleansing at night, your face should be gently cleaned from any residue that may have remained overnight. It needs to be cared for when you come home at the end of the day to keep dirt particles at bay.
3. Bring Blotting Sheets
Oil-absorbing blotting sheets are great for giving your face a quick dab on the train to reduce oil build up. They’re especially great for controlling those extra shiny areas, such as your t-zone, where sweat often pools when spending time out in the sun or hustling between crowded streets. A pack of blotting papers is small enough to fit into your purse and are thin enough to remove oil without tampering with your makeup.
4. Makeup Remover Wipes
Finding a great pack of makeup remover or cleansing wipes is key for keeping your face fresh and clear quickly and efficiently. Neutrogena offers a number of different wipes that cater to specific skin types. The pink grapefruit oil-free cleansing wipes are great for acne prone skin because they cleanse your face from dirt and makeup without adding oil. Makeup wipes are also great since they don’t dry your skin out forcing your face to overcompensate in oil production.
5. Don’t Touch Your Face
This could be the most important tip of all for maintaining your skin’s even complexion. Throughout the day, especially when you live and work in the city and frequent the MBTA system, your hands and fingertips become covered in oil, dirt, germs and bacteria. The last thing you want to is touch your face, especially the delicate eye area where bacteria could cause you to get sick. Make sure to wash your hands frequently, travel with hand sanitizer and remind yourself not to rest your face in your hands no matter how bored and tired you are.
6. Treat Razor Bumps
This is for all the men out there who get frustrated with razor bumps and painful ingrown hairs from shaving their face; make sure you treat them right after shaving with relief cream, sensitive ointment or even aloe vera. Natural extracts will tame inflammation and offer redness control so the irritations don’t flare up during the day from sweat and oil. Keeping the area as clean as possible with gentle face washes is also important for treating post-shave breakouts.
7. Wear Sunscreen Every Day
If your daily facial moisturizer or foundation doesn’t have any SPF, applying a sheer daily sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays is a must do. Sometimes breakouts occur from repeated sun exposure since the heat can dry skin and cause your face to overcompensate in oil production, leading to facial acne.
8. Use a Toner
Gentle, oil-free toners like the Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner from Kiehl’s is another fast-acting tool for unclogging skin, evening tones and minimizing pores over night. To apply a toner properly, dab a small amount, about the size of a quarter, onto a cotton round. Rub in small, gentle circular motions around you face. The whole process should take only about 30-45 seconds. But you should spend more time on the areas where the most sweat and oil builds up. Toners only need to be applied 2-4 times a week for best results.
Exfoliants range from being smooth, chemical-based creams to rough scrubs rich in natural, earthy materials. Finding the best exfoliant for you takes time and patience, but is well worth the hunt. They power-wash away dead skin cells and dirt particles leaving refreshed, soft skin underneath. Lush makes a staple face mask called Cup O’ Coffee that’s enriched with ground coffee beans and agave syrup that wakens your skin up with caffeine and reduces red and dark marks.
10. Ice Cubes
Who knew that you could use something out of your freezer to treat skin pores? Rubbing an ice cube around and across your face before you go to bed at night shrinks your face pores. Making them less susceptible to clogging and infection. This is a great trick for the summer when the heat and humidity tends to widen your glands.