Anyone who has lived in the South knows that summer heat and humidity can wreak holy havoc on your skin. But with a regular routine and a few easy summer skin survival tips, you can keep your skin looking and feeling its best.
1. Keep it clean.
For most people, summer skin means oilier skin. That’s because summer heat increases sebum production, which leads to oily skin, which can lead to clogged pores, pimples and blackheads.
In addition, our skin sweats more in the summer. Sweat contains not just water and salt, but proteins that need to be washed away so they don’t clog your pores.
So to help combat summer oil slicks, use a light cleanser twice a day – more often if your skin feels unbearably gross. While it’s tempting to wash your face often in the summer time, over cleansing will actually strip essential oil from your skin and cause your sebaceous glands to go into overtime. A mild exfoliate is fine, but stay away from cleansers that are too abrasive.
The sun has a way of drying out your skin, even when you practice good sun safety habits. To keep your skin healthy and your insides happy this summer, be sure to drink plenty of good old H2O. When skin is well hydrated, it’s more plump and resilient. When you get adequate water on the inside your skin will look healthier and more vibrant, and you will be less prone to wrinkles.
You’ve probably heard that drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is important, but in the summer you may need more, depending on your activity level and how much you sweat.
Remember, too, that coffee and sodas don’t count as water because they contain caffeine, which is a diuretic, meaning they draw water out of your system and your skin.
While hydrating from the inside is critical during summer month, so is hydrating from the outside. Look for a summer-friendly moisturizer with lighter ingredients such as jojoba, lotion, or gel. If your skin becomes chronically dry or starts to look dull, use an exfoliator while showering.
3. Use a good sunscreen.
If you have been reading our blog for a while, you know how important we think sunscreen is. Sunscreen protects your skin from burning, peeling, blistering, and even skin cancer.
When you buy sunscreen, be sure to look at the sun protection factor (SPF) number. The higher the number, the stronger the sunscreen, and the greater your protection from sun damage. If you’re spending the day at the beach, look for sunscreen with a SPF factor of at least 30. For activities with minimal sun exposure, such as driving to work on a sunny day, a SPF factor of 15 will do. However, you may need sunscreen with a SPF as high as 50 if you have ever had skin cancer or pre-cancerous lesions removed, or if you are extremely fair-skinned. Also, look for a sunscreen that shields both UVA and UVB rays.
For the best protection, apply sunscreen about an hour before you leave home. Be sure you rub sunscreen on all areas of exposed skin, including your ears, face, and back of your neck. If you’re spending the day swimming, don’t forget to re-apply it each time you get out of the water.
4. Limit your time spent in the sun.
Summer is all about being outside, cooling off in the pool or at the beach. But if you want to prevent brown spots, sunburn, and potentially skin cancer, you really need to limit the amount of time you spend out in the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s damaging rays are at their peak.
5. Wear sunglasses and the right clothes.
Wearing a floppy hat with a large brim and sunglasses specifically designed to block UV rays are both smart choices in the summer. They not only help prevent heat stroke, they also keep the sun’s rays from damaging your face.
According to the American Dermatology Association, sun damage is the leading cause of premature aging and wrinkling of the skin. You can keep your skin looking young and guard against serious skin diseases by keeping your head and eyes covered.
If you have a skin issue you’d like to discuss, we’re here to help. Click here to schedule an appointment with Dermatology Associates.
Dermatology Associates offers a full spectrum of leading edge medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology services from offices in Savannah and Vidalia.