Healthy Skin is Always In

Rytualist founder Bonny Rollender teaches us how to practice safe summer skin care

“Mainers spend eight or nine months out of the year bundled up or inside, so they tend to head out in the summer sun unprotected for a much-needed vitamin D boost,” says Bonny Rollender, founder and chief product curator at Rytualist, a unique aesthetics bar in the Old Port. While there’s really no way to tan safely, Rollender notes, the best thing to do is “stay judicious about sunscreen or a barrier, like a hat or UPF shirt.” To help you learn the best way to stay safe this season, we asked Rollender to share her top tips for summer skin care. Here’s what she had to say.

Learn the Difference

There are so many different types of sunscreens on the market that it can be overwhelming to determine which product is right for you. Rollender notes that there are two main categories: chemical sunscreens, which absorb UV rays, convert them to heat, and release them from the body; and physical sunscreens, which are mineral based (think zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) and protect your skin by reflecting UV rays. Some of the chemicals in the former category can build up in your body over time and may be harmful to your health, so Rollender always recommends opting for mineral based sun protection. Avoid products containing petroleum, oxybenzone, and homosalate, which can have a negative impact on marine wildlife. Consider application style, too. “It’s easier to inhale or ingest chemicals with aerosol sprays,” Rollender says, “so choose a cream or brush-on product instead.”

Protect Your Face

“Any product with zinc oxide—and specifically made for the face—is where we should focus,” Rollender explains. Her favorite face-protecting product for the summer is a mineral-based powder from NOON Aesthetic. “They have a fabulous product called Brush N Go with SPF 50 that comes in formulations for both normal and oily skin,” she says. “It’s great to keep in your purse or pocket, and you can use it at any time to add extra protection—even over your makeup.”

Know Your Skin Type

“The most important thing to remember as someone with oily skin is that oily does not necessarily mean hydrated,” Rollender says. “In addition to using SPF, people with oily skin should focus on products that accelerate cell turnover, like vitamin C in the morning and lactic acid in the evening, plus a moisturizer specific for oily or acneic skin.” If your skin is on the drier side, she continues, “you’ll want a moisturizer that is suited for normal to dry skin, and maybe a hyaluronic acid serum to boost hydration.”

Layer Correctly

When it comes to the proper order of application, Rollender suggests to “start with the lightest serum or cream before moving to the denser lotions, which is better for ingredient absorption.” If you use a chemical sunscreen (which she doesn’t typically recommend), “it should go on first, because it needs to absorb into the skin to work.” If you prefer a mineral sunscreen, like NOON’s MultiVit Sun Protector, it can be applied after your other skin care products. To keep things simple, Rollender says, “my general suggestion is to choose a moisturizer that has SPF in it.”

Make It Routine

“Creating any type of routine gets us in the habit of doing something regularly, and that holds true for skin care as well,” notes Rollender. She encourages everyone to begin by washing their face twice a day with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, makeup, and grime. Remember to wear sunscreen daily and select key products with the right ingredients for your type of skin. “If you start this routine at an early age,” she explains, “it will support continuous cell regeneration and will keep your skin healthy as you advance in age.”

Shop Local

While it’s easy to order your skin care products on Amazon, Rollender emphasizes the importance of supporting local businesses. Rytualist, located on Market Street, offers a variety of summer skin care products in addition to cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology services to keep your skin healthy. Rollender is particularly excited about Rytualist’s new EMAGE machine, which analyzes your skin from the inside out with a 3D scan. “It allows us to see deep into the layers of the dermis to observe the damage that’s occurring and predict future damage as a person ages,” she says. “It also compares the patient’s skin age to that of other ‘similarly aged’ patients in a database.” For more information, visit

Bonny is a Maine native who recently returned to the state to be closer to family and join the small business community in Portland. Her education and experience in healthcare management—as well as a passion for skin care—provided the foundation for creating Rytualist, a unique medical aesthetic experience located in the heart of the Old Port. | @rytualist

“Creating any type of routine gets us in the habit of doing something regularly, and that holds true for skin care as well.”

“What's important in the summer is finding protection for you and your family that keeps you healthy and allows you to future-proof your present self.”

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