Summer is the best season for so many reasons—except for what it does to our skin. The heat, sweat, and dry air manage to create a perfect storm that sends our complexions into an intense panic. Let's put it this way: I woke up this morning with cheeks covered in blemishes, flaky skin on my nose, and a series of bug bites down one ankle. Summer, why you gotta play me like this?
Luckily, there are easy (and affordable) fixes for all of these skin conditions and more. To learn their expert tricks for banishing breakouts, sunspots, and other icky conditions, keep scrolling!
Dry skin is a side effect from excessive sun and heat and dehydration. Dry, air-conditioned buildings can also dehydrate our skin. Of course, remembering to use alcohol-free moisturizers helps keep your skin soft and flake-free. But surprisingly, your clothing and diet choices also matter. Wearing silk or cotton clothing can actually help lock in your body's own moisture. So can eating spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander, which aid in promoting hydration to the skin.
Too much sun exposure can cause dark spots and hyperpigmentation. This can be treated with lemon or citric acid, which exfoliates, increases cell turnover, and can bleach the skin.
To make your own DIY sun spot treatment, mix two teaspoons of lemon juice with two teaspoons of sugar. Apply to the skin, gently massage, and rinse with water. Do this exfoliation weekly to lighten the dark areas.
To treat dark spots at home, you could also try applying Vitamin E oil directly to the skin. If you want something a little stronger, look for a spot-correcting product containing alpha arbutin, a bearberry tree extract. It's a proven powerful skin lightening agent with the strength of hydroquinone but without all the bad side effects.
Also known as "prickly heat," this angry red rash appears on your chest or shoulders in the summer and is aggravated by sweating. The key to preventing and treating it is to keep the skin cool. Put your favorite moisturizer in the fridge to cool down, or add water to a refrigerated mist bottle and spray on your skin.
Summer often means "too much sun, too little sleep, excessive alcohol, and dehydration. These all add up to puffy under-eyes. DIY remedies include placing ice-cold caffeinated tea bags or cucumber slices under your eyes. You can also use an eye gel containing caffeine, yeast, cucumber extract, and peptides, which stimulate collagen production. Keep your eye gel in the fridge and apply whenever you notice extra puffiness.
Sunburns are extremely damaging to the skin, not to mention terribly painful. For the best instant relief, create a cold compress by dousing a washcloth in witch hazel and popping it in the freezer. Witch hazel has long-lasting anti-inflammatory benefits. After the inflammation goes down, apply a rich, healing oil to the skin.
With outdoor barbecues and camping come itchy, unsightly insect bites. (Fun fact: Did you know approximately 20% of the population is especially tasty to mosquitos?) To decrease discomfort, use ice cubes to break the itch/scratch cycle. Over-the-counter cortisone cream will help the redness and inflammation. If you want to go the natural route, apply some aloe or basil to your bites, both of which are anti-inflammatory.
Travel, greasy food, and heat can lead to more breakouts in the summer—especially on the forehead and cheeks. To prevent and treat blemishes, try taking oral probiotics, they help balance the body's internal microbiome. Also recommends applying a dab of apple cider vinegar to the skin at night to control oil. Clay masks are also a tried-and-true breakout treatment.
Thigh irritation in the summer is very real. Between the sweat and tight clothing, it could be a situation. Try using a little deodorant between the legs to lubricate, stay fresh, and prevent irritation.