Swimsuits and sun-kissed skin are synonymous with summer. And because we live in Houston, where the triple-digit temps show no sign of letting up — summer also means amping up skin care routines.
From finding the best sunscreen to learning how to apply products and prep for a day at the pool, we spoke with Houston-area skin care experts to round up advice and product recommendations for the rest of this summer season.
Warmer temperatures mean more time outdoors and, unfortunately, a lot more sweat. According to Dr. Neil Farnsworth, board-certified dermatologist at the newly opened Westlake Dermatology River Oaks, rashes from clogged sweat glands or an overgrowth of yeast are common occurrences this time of year. Changing out of sweaty clothes quickly and cleansing sensitive areas will help clear these minor irritations, but if they continue, make an appointment with your favorite M.D.
Clearly, sunscreen is vital year-round, but in summer, it is crucial because of increased exposure to harmful UV rays. The best protection is any sunscreen you will actually wear. Dr. Farnsworth recommends using a product with an SPF of at least 30, but more importantly, one that also offers broad spectrum protection.
“Over-the-counter zinc and titanium oxides can leave a white cast on your skin, but micronized zinc oxide sunscreens do a much better job of rubbing in clear and are available at most dermatology offices.,” Dr. Farnsworth tells CultureMap. “ISDIN zinc dissolves completely on just about any skin type, Alastin SilkShield All-Mineral is a very comfortable option and Elta MD has an excellent array of sunscreens for different skin types and situations.”
Kaitlynn Kerrigan, a nurse practitioner at Houston’s second outpost of SkinSpirt in LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch, recommends dual-purpose products that work together to repair and protect, like ZO Daily Power Defense. Kerrigan says that in addition to finding your skin care products, you need to know how to apply them to maximize the benefit of each one.
“It is best to layer starting with your serums first,” Kerrigan tells CultureMap. “I always tell my clients to layer from thin to thick as a quick way to remember.”
While both skin care experts agree on a heavy dose of sunscreen before you leave the house, two of Dr. Farnsworth’s favorite summer skin care products don’t come in a bottle — they’re clothing items. His go-to wardrobe includes traditional sun hats like the Sunday Afternoon Adventure Hat and UPF-rated clothing from Columbia or Coolibar.
“You might feel silly,” he adds, “but silly is better than wrinkled, leathery, and possibly cancer-laden down the road.”