Jill Levy has been with the Dr. Axe and Ancient Nutrition team for five years. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Fairfield University, followed by a certification as a Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Jill takes a “non-diet” approach to health and really enjoys teaching others about mindful eating, intuitive eating and the benefits of eating real foods.
When it’s the dead of winter, most of us dream of having radiant summer skin. On the other hand, summer can also impact the skin, such as getting too much sun.
What’s good for your skin in the summer? A healthy summer skin care routine consists of: a daily routine for skin hygiene, a nutrient-dense diet, hydrating drinks, sunscreens, plus intake of certain supplements (such as collagen and vitamin C) that can help support skin from the inside out.
Below we’ll look at summer skin care tips that can help you achieve glowy looking skin, while also supporting your overall health.
Tips to Keep Your Skin Healthy This Summer
Does skin health improve in the summer? Ultimately it depends on factors like your diet, water intake, general lifestyle and nutrient intake.
While your skin may look brighter and healthier in the summer, due to having a bit of a tan and dealing with less “dry winter skin,” it’s hard to say what’s happening below the surface.
To keep your skin in tiptop shape over the summer, focus on approaching skin health holistically. Give your body the nutrients it needs to keep itself healthy, while also avoiding skin irritants, harsh chemicals and sunburns.
Here are the basics of healthy summer skin care:
1. Avoid Sunburns (Wear SPF and Keep an Eye on Sun Exposure)
While some sun exposure on your bare skin is beneficial for boosting your vitamin D level, too much can cause burns and photoaging (aka sun damage). Sun damage is more than just a cosmetic issue; it can also put you at greater risk for developing skin cancer.
Aim to get about 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight exposure each day without sunscreen, but then protect yourself by wearing SPF of 30+ (ideally mineral sunscreen). To limit your risk for burns, stay out of the sun when UV rays are strongest and most damaging, between about 10am and 4pm.
If you suspect that you’re lacking vitamin D, consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement to help you maintain normal levels, since up to 75 percent of American adults can come up short on this “sunshine” vitamin.
2. Stay Hydrated
Summer means more sweating, so drink up! Your skin needs plenty of water to maintain its texture and elasticity. And the more you work out outdoors, sweat and lose electrolytes, the more water you need.
Make plain water your No. 1 beverage choice, but also incorporate other hydrating drinks like coconut water, fresh pressed juices, herbal teas and seltzer with sliced fruit. You can also mix cold water with our flavored Multi Collagen Protein powders such as Strawberry Lemonade, Cucumber Lime or Guava Passionfruit, for an extra boost of skin supporting collagen (more details about that below).
Just go easy on all sugary drinks, which can negatively impact inflammation bodywide, including the skin.
3. Clean and Moisturize Every Day
How can you get clear skin in the summer? Start by cleansing your skin well every day (twice daily for your face, and once daily for your whole body).
Use a non-irritating cleanser that doesn't contain any fragrances or harsh chemicals, especially if you have sensitive skin.
If you’re prone to oily skin and breakouts in the summer, look for a cleanser with exfoliating acids such as glycolic or salicylic acid. Then, follow up with a moisturizer based on your skin type, such as one made with coconut oil, aloe, calendula, jojoba oil or marula oil.
4. Protect Skin from Chlorine Irritation
If you do a lot of swimming in pools or hot tubs, be aware that your skin may respond negatively to chlorine.
Chlorine can be irritating and drying to not only the skin but also the eyes and respiratory system, so try limiting the time you spend in chemically treated water. Other steps you can take to avoid irritation include showering right after swimming and then moisturizing well.
5. Add More Collagen to Your Diet
Collagen is one of the main building blocks of your skin; it helps to form and maintain healthy skin, contributing to healthy elasticity and skin tone.
While you can get collagen from bone broth, an even more convenient way is to add collagen supplements to your daily routine, such as Multi Collagen Protein powder (see the popular summer drink flavors above), Collagen Peptides (including a vegetarian option) or easy on-the-go Collagen Gummies.
The great thing about collagen supplements is that they’re basically unflavored and very versatile. Try collagen powder in coffee, smoothies, oatmeal or baked goods to help support healthy skin, hair, nails and healthy joint and gut function.
Traveling? You may prefer capsules, such as Multi Collagen Capsules or Collagen Peptides Tablets or collagen gummies, each of which you can take by mouth each day with or without a meal. As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new diet or lifestyle regimen, including supplementation. Likewise, you should always read and follow label directions for suggested use.
6. Boost Your Intake of Omega-3 Fats/Fish Oil
Oily fish such as salmon and sardines are considered among the healthiest foods for general health because they supply omega-3 fatty acids that offer healthy inflammation supporting benefits. Adding several servings of fish to your weekly diet is a great way to obtain more of these fats, as is supplementing with fish oil.
Fish oil can play a role in promoting skin hydration, healthy growth and a healthy response to inflammation.
Ancient Omegas Whole Body Capsules feature a powerful combination of essential fatty acids (including ALA, DHA and EPA) from wild-caught fish and other sources. These fats help promote healthy, normal aging by supporting smooth skin and a normal response to oxidative stress.
Additionally, botanicals such as organic chia seed oil, lemon peel oil and black pepper fruit oil are included for extra antioxidant support.
7. Focus on Antioxidant-Rich Foods and Supplements
Antioxidants contribute to general skin health by fighting free radicals, which can negatively impact the entire body, including the skin.
Some of the top food sources of antioxidants to include in your summer skin care regime include: leafy greens, berries, onions, garlic, citrus fruits, peppers, kiwi, and spices such as turmeric and ginger.
Vitamin C has antioxidant effects that can help support general immune system function, including by fighting free radicals. Zinc, especially in conjunction with probiotics, also supports healthy immune defenses.
Summer Skin Care Routine
- Wake up and wash your face, then apply vitamin C serum, then moisturizer, then SPF.
- With breakfast, take your daily supplements: collagen, fish oil, and a multivitamin or vitamin C and zinc (you can also take some supplements with your other meals). Ideally, you also take a probiotic to support your gut health.
- Spend some time outdoors, but don’t overdo it. If you haven’t applied SPF yet, now’s the time. Also wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes, head and hair from sun damage.
- Drink water throughout the day, especially after working out. Carry around a big water bottle with you to remind yourself to drink. If you’re especially sweaty, consider showering afterwards to keep your skin clean and fresh.
- Eat healthy, balanced meals that consist of protein, fiber and healthy fats. Include superfoods for your skin in as many meals as possible, such as: collagen-filled foods such as bone broth, all types of veggies and fruits, fish, olive and coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
- At night, wash your face again, then apply more vitamin C and moisturizer. You can try adding other skin care products to your routine for even more skin-health benefits — such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and retinol (if your skin tolerates it well).