The summer sun can seem great for bronzed skin and a natural dose of vitamin D. But it also has harmful rays that cause clogged pores, dark spots, and wrinkles. Protect yourself from the sun’s harsh side effects with these helpful summer skin care tips.

Let Your Skin Breathe

We tend to lather our skin up with sunscreen during the summer (which is fine!), but it’s important not to let your skin become too clogged. Your skin needs to breathe. Scale back on makeup by avoiding heavy foundations. These tend to melt into your pores and they also produce more oil. Try switching to a mineral powder foundation that helps to absorb extra oil.

Apply SPF, Then Reapply

We could go on and on about the importance of wearing good sunscreen during the summer, but just applying sunscreen is not enough. You must apply enough and apply frequently. For the face, apply about a teaspoon of sunscreen. For the body, you want to use about as much as would fill a shot glass.

Watch What You Eat

Alcohol and spicy foods may sound great on a hot summer night, although they won’t do your skin any favors; they make you perspire and dilate blood vessels. Eat spicy foods no more than once a week, and try to limit yourself to one drink a night. Consider loading up on spinach, carrots, and cantaloupe; foods like these are high in vitamin A and can actually slow oil production.

Exfoliate at Least Once a Week

Dead cells sit on the surface of your skin, making it look dull, rough, and dry. Exfoliating removes these dead cells, allowing your more radiant, healthier summer skin to shine through. Exfoliating also allows skin cells to regenerate more quickly, keeping signs of aging at bay. But be careful when choosing your exfoliator. Whenever possible, choose a gentle, more natural exfoliant to avoid ingredients that cause significant irritation.

Drink Lots of Water

Drinking water helps your body function and ultimately affects how your skin looks and feels. Proper hydration helps flush toxins from your body. When toxins build up, they cause organs to work less efficiently, which has a direct impact on your skin. Try to stick to the 8 x 8 rule: drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.

Repair Sun Damage

Whether you got a sunburn or not, the sun’s UV rays can still cause skin damage. Bombard your skin with age-fighting products to help undo any damage that may occur and further protect it from the effects of UV rays.