The season of sunburns, sweat, bug bites and sunspots is upon us once again. For men, we want to keep safety simple, so here are a few tips to guard your hide from serious damage during hot summer months. These skin-smart myth-busters will send you out into the wild blue yonder prepared and protected… 

Myth 1: “I only need sunscreen when it’s sunny.”

I’d like to see the crispy critter who started this one. You can’t skip sunscreen on a cloudy day, unless you’re spending it indoors sorting through your shot glass collection. UV rays don’t take a day off just because the sun has decided to pop in and out of the clouds. A sunscreen of 30 or higher is recommended for daily use, and arguing that you will look greasy is a poor excuse. There are plenty of matte, non-greasy sunscreens that won’t leave you looking like you just changed the oil in your car.

Myth 2: “My oily skin doesn’t need moisturizer.”

Your skin produces oil (sebum) to provide a barrier against bacteria, viruses and other environmental pollutants. That oil helps regulate body temperature by slowing down the evaporation of sweat from your skin’s surface. So—when you don’t bother moisturizing because you think your skin is oily enough, you’re making your skin produce even more oil to compensate. Choosing a lightweight moisturizer will keep your skin smooth, soft and less greasy than if you don’t bother. Apply before sunscreen.

Myth 3: “A good workout is good enough.”

When it comes to skin, skipping a post-workout cleanse is like leaving dirty dishes in the sink — things are going to get gross fast. Use a gentle cleanser to wash away sweat and bacteria, followed by a hydrating mist and moisturizer before you even think about rejoining the world. 

Myth 4: “Summer activities don’t affect my skin.”

Wrong. Beach days, BBQs, hiking trips — summer activities are great until you realize your skin is taking a beating. Remember that saltwater and chlorine can strip your skin of natural oils, leaving it dry and irritated. Rinse off as soon as you can after a dip in the pool or ocean. And if you’re the grill master at every cookout, don’t forget that standing over a hot grill can cause sun exposure and sweat. Wear a hat. And keep a sunscreen with your BBQ tools and reapply regularly.

Myth 5: “Only chemicals can cremate flying critters.”

Chemical sprays are not the only answer to controlling bugs.

Think you need those store bought sprays? Here’s something even better. Mix lavender oil with any kind of carrier oil in your pantry (olive, avocado, safflower). You can also use tea tree oil or lemon oil. Apply in the evening or under sunscreen. Or you can make a spray with apple cider vinegar and water and a few drops of these essential oils. If you can get your hands on some catnip or neem oil, you can really decimate the little devils. Research suggests that these natural remedies can be even more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes.

But what if you’ve been bitten and have itched yourself raw? Aloe vera directly from the plant is brilliant. Or rub a bit of raw honey or coconut oil on the bite. Another good itch relief can be made by mixing a little apple cider vinegar with water and dabbing on with a cotton ball. If you’re industrious, grind some oatmeal, mix with water and apply the paste to the bite (baking soda also works). 

The bottom line? Summer skincare doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need to be consistent. Focus on what really matters: karaoke, watermelon and cold beverages. Some people, well mostly male people, think that not taking care of their skin is manly, but these days, it’s generally perceived as silly. So protect, hydrate (with water), repeat. No excuses.

Cheers to a great summer and even greater skin!

Brook Dougherty of Indio is the founder of JustUs Skincare and welcomes your questions. She can be reached at (310) 266.7171 or [email protected]. For more information, visit

Read or write a comment

Comments (0)


Living Wellness with Jenniferbanner your financial health michelle sarnamentoring the futureNaturopathic Family Medicine with Dr. ShannonThe Paradigm Shift in Medicine TodayConventionally Unconventional with Kinder Fayssoux, MD