Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

How to prep and protect your skin for the sun this summer

The best sunscreens, moisturizers, and after-sun treatments.
Make sure you lather up to protect from the sun.

Rising temperatures, extended time spent outside, and an increase in direct sunlight causes our skin's needs to change and if we don't cater to them we could cause irreparable damage. Many of us want tanned glowing skin in the summer months which is totally achievable but only if we take steps to ensure our skin is the healthiest it can be. We may need to work a little harder to keep the oil and sweat at bay and it may not seem preferable to slather on any additional products so here is the most minimal yet effective way to prep and protect your skin from the sun this summer.

Before sun

To my knowledge, this cream by Quebec-based brand Dr. Renaud is one of the few of its kind. The light non-sticky cream is meant to be applied every day for two weeks prior to sun exposure to prepare the skin. It acts as a nourishing veil that reinforces the skin's natural protection against the sun and repairs, soothes and softens the epidermis to help maintain the skin's firmness and elasticity which reduces photo-induced signs of aging. Your skin tans easier, more evenly, and the tan lasts longer without causing long-term damage.

It can also be applied during and after sun exposure but it is in no way a substitute for SPF. This is just the prep.

During sun

When you're out in the sun, it's important to have a good SPF, preferably one that's reef safe. There are two options for sunscreen: chemical or mineral (sometimes called physical sunscreen). Mineral sunscreens are better for sensitive skin and start working right away since they aren't absorbed into the skin like chemical ones are and they have come a long way from the thick chalky creams they used to be. Sun Bum is an affordable option with moisturizing Shea butter.

I would recommend using a different sunscreen for your face versus your body and doubling up on a day moisturizer that has SPF in it so you don't need to layer on too many products. The cult favourite Watermelon Glow Niacinamide drops by Glow Recipe comes in a sunscreen with SPF 50 and functions as an amazing moisturizer, primer, and face sunscreen all in one.

After sun

Post-sun exposure it's important to moisturize and use vitamin C to mitigate the damaging effects. It has been shown that when Vitamin C is applied after sun exposure there is a reduced aging effect on the skin. Using a vitamin C moisturizer at night cuts down on the number of products used on the skin while getting the best results. I prefer a gel moisturizer in the summer for its cooling effects, especially after the sun. The Dermalogica BioLumin-C Vitamin-C Gel moisturizer has hyaluronic acid and is extra nourishing.

In the event that you do get a little too much sun and have a burn, these aloe vera gels are cooling and will help skin heal faster. For extra relief, put them in the fridge for a while before applying. Beware that many products that claim to contain aloe may not actually contain any at all.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks