A Guide To "Hot Girl Summer" Skin Recovery
We often paint poetic images of summer skin: tan and radiant–glazed up like Hailey Bieber. We even give it a name — Hot Girl Summer.
But let’s give our skin a reality check: will our rosé-filled fantasies be any match for what skin is actually going through as the temperatures climb? Will melasma leave skin a splotchy mess as sun scorches? Will we pay the price hours, days and years later? And ultimately, is sunscreen the safety net it’s hyped up to be? While this isn’t intended to be an unabridged research paper, this is intended to provoke thoughtful consideration so you can see past the shades.
A Typical Skincare Routine Spells More Trouble in the Summer
The typical skincare routine is generally not good for the care of our skin microbiome but is much more dire in harsh summer months (translation: skin loses its resiliency). A few things to be cautious of, especially in summer:
- Exfoliating too much (more than twice a week) leaves skin more sensitive to the elements.
- Using products that have the wrong pH (our skin thrives in a slightly acidic environment)
- Layering too many products on skin
All of this leads to removing skin’s protective bacteria and dismantling the acid mantle - not only a major component to the skin barrier but also home to your microbiome. Why does this matter? When skin does not have this bacterial and acidic protection, UVA/UVB rays, toxic chemicals from sunscreen and cosmetics, pollution, allergens, and pathogens have an easy pathway into the lower layers of skin where deep cellular damage can occur.
Sunscreen: Friend or Foe?
There’s an untruth that gets marketed heavily to us: that sunscreen protects us from all the sins of the sun. But, UVA and UVB rays penetrate the skin at different depths; nothing can completely filter out UVB rays and UVA can only be partially filtered. So, skin is experiencing photoaging even with diligent sunscreen. The protection our skin needs can only occur at the cellular and microscopic level (more on that later), where blocking the rays is not the goal (remember we need Vitamin D and the sun synthesizes this) but rendering the rays less harmful is the bigger goal. Furthermore, many sunscreens are poorly formulated, using ingredients that can actually disrupt skin and potentially be cancer causing. Add a diminished microbiome and broken skin barrier to the mix, and you are setting yourself up for a multitude of skin issues with the false impression of protection.
Ingredients to Avoid in Sunscreen
There are quite a few “red flag” ingredients in sunscreen that are damaging to skin and potentially cancer causing. While this is not a comprehensive list, you should avoid:
- Zinc Oxide nanoparticles
- Octyl Methoxycinnamate
- Micronized titanium
Here’s something else to think about: free radical damage and glycation.
When sunlight hits our skin, it activates the potent free radicals that attack our DNA, deteriorates collagen and can cause serious diseases like skin cancer. This is what free radical damage is.
Sunlight also activates glycation which is the process of sugar molecules in the body attaching to a protein. The outward appearance of glycation is wrinkle formation, skin burning, and uneven skin tone. If you’re secretly wondering — yes, that does mean that eating or drinking sugar can cause you to be more susceptible to glycation. So, perhaps skip that glass of wine while in the sun.
The Ultimate Skincare Routine For Summer Recovery
So if sunscreen isn’t the best way to protect your skin from the sun, what is? The ultimate sun protection is, quite frankly, staying out of the sun. But while we can’t hide or pull off hats, gloves, and turtlenecks in the summer like Diane Keaton, we can use intelligent skincare to better protect ourselves from harm. Remember, trying to block out the sun completely is the not-so-effective route; trying to disable the negative effects of the sun is the more achievable goal. Through the Editrix Functional Beauty Ritual, skin is given the opportunity to become its most resilient.
What Are The Benefits Of Editrix For Sun Protection?
Editrix contains our patent-pending postbiotics derived from the human microbiome. These hundreds of postbiotics strengthen the good bacteria on skin so they may play chemical interference between the sun and skin. Did you know that some bacteria create a biofilm on the skin that works to fight free radical damage?
Editrix is curated with a skin specific pH to protect our acid mantle and lipid layer which is the ultimate layer of protection from the sun. When skin ages, it becomes thin and alkaline, which is why it is more prone to wrinkles, sun damage and the loss of bacterial flora. Creating an acidic environment for skin creates a positive host environment for beneficial bacteria and deters pathogenic bacteria.
Editrix utilizes rice bran (water, oil and essence): Ferulic acid is a bioactive component of rice bran and acts as a UV absorber on skin which renders the rays harmless. This stops the activation of glycation and free radical damage.
Editrix utilizes squalene: Squalene is a lipid found in all living plants. Squalene has bioactive properties which can protect against cell dysfunction which again, doesn’t block radiation, but prevents the damage from the radiation at a cellular level.
Editrix utilizes licorice: Licorice is anti-inflammatory and prevents free radicals from forming when skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
Editrix utilizes centella asiatica: The formation of a protein called progerin found in all human bodies is what ages us. This protein goes into overdrive when exposed to UVA light. But there are natural substances known to contain a progerin inhibitor called madecassoside. Centella Asiatica contains madecassoside compounds and the most potent plant for blocking progerin formation. We use this heavily in our proprietary ferments.