Skin care has become a cultural obsession, spurred on by scientific innovations and an explosion of independent and newly imported brands. But you don’t need a 10-step K-beauty routine to achieve glowing skin. In fact, the best thing you can do for your skin is to prevent sun damage. Protecting your skin from UV rays will help reduce wrinkles, discoloration, age spots, and the risk of long-term health issues like skin cancer.
No one knows how to combat the sun’s effects on skin and hair than the experts at Sunny’s Spa & Beauty Lounge, who treat sun worshippers spending full days on the beach and surfing the waves. The signature treatments at Sunny’s, located at The Seabird Resort, specialize in replenishing hydration and combatting UV damage. Lead aesthetician Sydney Eger shared her pro tips on how to care for your skin before and after sun exposure.
Protection and Prevention Above All
You already know it’s important to apply sunscreen before you head out, but reapplying often and adding protective layers of clothing (hey, long-sleeve swimsuits are trending!) are also key. “If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, wearing a wide brim hat and sun-protective clothing is ideal,” says Eger. “Most importantly, use water-resistant SPF 30 or higher and reapply every two hours, and right after getting out of the water.” She points out that SPF numbers actually measure how much longer your skin would take to burn if it was totally unprotected — not necessarily how many minutes you can stay in the sun. Picking high-quality products will also make you more likely to reapply, says Eger: “I recommend Soleil Toujours Organic Sheer Sunscreen Mist SPF 50. It’s a gorgeous natural product that gives 80 minutes of water-resistant sun protection with the benefits of a nourishing skin care product.”
Treat Your Face Gently
On beach days, adjust your skin care routine even before SPF comes into the picture, advises Eger. “Hold off on exfoliating as well as using serums like retinols, which make the skin more vulnerable to the sun’s rays,” she advises. “Instead, gently cleanse and follow with a vitamin C serum, which will help fight free radicals.” Sunscreen should be your final step, and should go on your brows, upper lip, neck, ears. and, for women, the décolleté. “These areas are often neglected, but are some of the most sensitive spots and need the most protection,” Eger says. The “two-finger approach” is an easy way to measure: For each area of your body, use as much product as it takes to line two fingers.
Hydration Is Key, Even If Your Skin Looks Fine
You might slather aloe on severe burns for relief, but Eger suggests building some gentle aftercare into your routine, even if you’ve followed all the advice above. “Sun-exposed skin is thirsty skin that’s likely dealing with inflammation, even if there is no visible burn,” she says. “Hydrating with something like Osea Hyaluronic Sea Serum is a must for replenishing and soothing skin.”
Nothing compares to an in-person visit with Eger and her team of expats at Sunny’s for a Sun Relief Facial and Sun Salutation Body Treatment. “These are designed to brighten, hydrate, soothe, and replenish skin with powerful antioxidants,” she explains. “In particular, the Sun Relief Facial provides a one-two-punch of cooling hydration from our snow algae treatment, while a mask made with Australian Super Berries brightens, hydrates, and nourishes sun-drenched skin.”
Don’t Forget Your Strands and Scalp
“An area we often neglect when it comes to sun protection and repair is the scalp and hair,” warns Eger. “We tend to forget protection there, but UV rays damage both, and the results can be slow hair growth, lackluster shine, and dull color.” That’s why Sunny’s offerings also include a scalp treatment to prevent future UV exposure, protection against the negative effects of chlorine or salt water, and softening products to repair stiffness. At home, Eger says, “a must-have for me is the Save Me From Sun + Sweat Hair Reboot. It’s a leave-in hair and scalp treatment you should apply before and after the beach or the pool.”