9 Tips to Look Your Best This Summer

Want to know how to look your best during summer’s hot, humid, sticky days? We asked a dermatologist, a nutritionist, and a fitness expert for their best tips for looking great, staying healthy, and keeping cool this season.

Skin Sense

Sun exposure can be hard to avoid (or resist) during long summer days. What do dermatologists recommend for keeping skin healthy during the summer, and for years to come?

  1. Wear sunscreen. Joyce Davis, MD, is a dermatologist in private practice in New York City. She says, "In a word...sunblock! It can be found in everything from your lip balm to makeup to hair care products. Don't forget your legs—melanoma [the deadliest form of skin cancer] is commonly found on the legs of women. Once you eliminate panty hose and tights for the season, choose a 30+ SPF sunscreen spray and apply it before you go out each morning. It‘s especially important to apply (and reapply) during weekends, when you are spending extensive amounts of time outdoors. If you are swimming or sweating, be sure that your product is very water resistant." (It should say this on the label.)
  2. Skip certain sunglasses. Davis also advises her patients to avoid wearing mirrored sunglasses. "They’re making a big comeback this summer, but they reflect light onto your face," she explains. "That can worsen stubborn cases of melasma (excess pigmentation seen mainly on the faces of women, but also on men), which can be hard to treat. Melasma can get worse during summer, so step up treatment with topical hydroquinone products or similar alternatives. If your melasma needs to be treated quickly (for a wedding, for example), visit your dermatologist for a laser treatment, chemical peel, or series of microdermabrasion treatments."

Water Works

Hot days can wreak havoc on a healthy diet if you quench your thirst with the wrong drinks or satiate summer cravings with the wrong snacks. Alison Massey MS, RD, LDN, CDE a registered dietician and the Director of Diabetes Education at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, serves up her best summer nutrition tips:

  1. Drink "spa waters" instead of sugary drinks. Just add fresh fruit and mint to sparkling water for a refreshing beverage that hydrates without adding too many calories.
  2. Focus on adding fluids to your diet through your fruits and vegetables. Melon, cucumber, and lettuce as well as other fruits and vegetables can provide extra hydration.
  3. Watch your sodium (salt) to avoid bloating and retaining fluids during hot months. Look for foods with less than 140mg of sodium per serving; these are considered low sodium foods.

Fit Facts

Working out during hot summer days can not only be unpleasant, it can be dangerous, too: Heat exhaustion, dehydration, and sunburn can sideline even the strongest athlete. Roma van der Walt, a fitness expert, author and owner of Chita Wellness in New York City, offered us her best tips for working out during the summer:

  1. Work out during the coolest hours of the day. This means early morning or late evening.
  2. Give your body time to adapt to the heat. For the first few weeks of hot weather, keep exercise intensity low.
  3. Pay extra attention to staying hydrated before, during, and after workouts.
  4. Dress right. If you’re exercising outdoors, wear light colors and lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics, as well as good sunscreen and protection for your head and eyes.

Joyce Davis, MD, reviewed this article.


Joyce Davis, MD. Interviewed June 23, 2015.

Alison Massey MS, RD, LDN, CDE. Interviewed June 30, 2015.

Roma van der Walt. Chitta Wellness. Interviewed June 30, 2015.