Heading to Coachella this weekend? Prepare for awesomeness on another level… and dehydrated skin, sunburn and some major body acne. “Music festivals present unique skin challenges that are basically a consequence of exposure to the elements, plus dancing and alcohol,” New York City cosmetic surgeon Dara Liotta tells Stylish.
But festival season is too short to spend time stressing over your skin! Dr. Liotta, herself a millennial, shares her expert strategies for keeping your complexion — all over — healthy and glowing while partying in the desert.
Ditch the dirt. With increased dust and sand, blockages can occur in the follicles of the skin, creating “a traffic jam in the follicle, otherwise known as acne,” says Dr. Liotta. Cleanse skin throughout the day. “There are so many good options that don’t require running water.” Her faves: IXXI Micellar Cleansing Water, $44.68, amazon.com; Collosol No Rinse Cleansing & Softening Milk, $33.50, frenchcosmeticsforless.com; and Orlane Oligo Vitamin Cleansing Micellar Water, $45, orlane.com.
Sip water. Sure, you’ve heard this one before, but Dr. Liotta stresses that there’s a difference between hydrated and moisturized skin. Moisturizer replenishes surface skin and helps lock in the water that’s inside cells — which can only come from internal intake. To get enough hydration, aim to drink at least eight glasses throughout the day, all day, so don’t chug it — sip. Dancing in the heat of the desert makes you sweat, and “if your body loses more fluid than you’re drinking, your skin will become dry, which can lead to cracks, and cracks allow germs to enter, which can cause infection.” So drink up!
Up your sunscreen game. Dr. Liotta says to prep skin before you head outdoors with a physical block sunscreen containing mineral ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide that “work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays.” Then, top your sunscreen with a tinted SPF 30 powder such as Colorescience Sunforgettable Loose Mineral Powder Brush ($57, dermstore.com) to “help you look your best for your #coachella posts,” she adds. Reapply every two hours or so during peak daylight hours. And snack on citrus, berries and almonds, as “there is some evidence that oral intake of vitamins C and E together can limit potential for sunburn.”
Sleep naked. Why? Because “body acne is usually due to rubbing of clothes during prolonged dancing, rather than bacteria and clogged pores alone,” Dr. Liotta explains. The rubbing causes irritation of the pores, which then become inflamed, trapping oil and debris. But sleeping in your birthday suit will help decrease that inflammation and clear up skin.
Protect your pout. The sun’s rays are especially drying on delicate lip tissue. Dr. Liotta recommends a nourishing lip balm (shea butter and jojoba oil are good ingredients to look for) with an SPF 15 or higher. And forget the shine. “Anything with reflective shimmer or a high gloss attracts more UV rays,” she says. (We like Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, $24, fresh.com.)
Drink red wine. Sure, white wine and rosé are refreshing in the heat, but “red wine is healing,” explains the doctor. Resveratrol, a naturally occurring phenol found in the skin of red grapes, “can decrease redness from acute sunburns and it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.” Cheers!