Protect Your Skin from all the Elements of Summer
Summer is fun-time for your mind, body, and soul – but it can wreak havoc on your skin. A number of summer elements can result in skin that’s screaming for relief.
Here’s a rundown on summer’s most damaging elements, along with strategic solutions to help put an end to skin’s summertime woes.
Too much sun exposure comes with a host of potential skin issues, starting with a nasty sunburn. Sunburns actually damage blood vessels and cells, and repeated sun damage leads to skin that appears discolored, wrinkled, dry and leathery. Another risk is skin cancer, which may be prevented by avoiding sun damage.
High heat mingled with high humidity leaves skin sweaty with a high risk of breakouts.
High heat in a dry climate can leave skin dried out and wrinkled before it’s time. Summer’s heat can also lead to heat rash, an itchy condition earmarked by bumps and blisters caused by moisture trapped beneath the skin.
While chlorine is ideal for disinfecting water, it’s not so hot on the skin. Dry, flaky skin is one of its side effects, with skincare experts noting premature aging is another one. Your pores open up in water, which allows the chlorine to enter the cells and strip away natural oils, sebum and moisture.
While short swims in salt water can be beneficial to skin for hydration and exfoliation, excessive exposure can lead to dehydration, irritation and redness. Extended salt water swims can also contribute to photodamage of the skin brought on by too much sun exposure.
Summer Skin Solutions
Keeping your skin healthy and strong all summer long is possible with a few strategic measures:
- Use sunblock and wear protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.
- Limit sun exposure when the sun it at its peak, usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Clear up breakouts with nighttime applications of cleansers containing salicylic acid, which dries up oils but makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
- Wear lightweight clothing and fabrics that allow your skin to breathe.
- Shower with an anti-bacterial soap before and after your swim in a pool, which will eliminate sweat and the harmful chemical created when chlorine reacts with it.
- Apply skin oils and lotions that can minimize the effects of chlorine; lotions with Vitamin C and coconut oil are wise choices.
- Hydrate from the inside out, drinking plenty of water throughout the season.
- Hydrate from the outside in, applying skin lotions, creams or oils at least twice each day, more frequently if needed on affected areas. Apply lotions right after the shower to help lock in moisture on damp skin.
With the right protection, prevention and care, your skin can have a happy and healthy summer that leaves you looking as good on the outside as you feel on the inside.
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Armed with a BFA in creative writing, an MA in English literature and a thesis in NYC subway folklore, she has written thousands of articles for newspapers and the online crowd. Credits also include writing and poetry awards, three illustrated humor books and an art shop. Her passion for the creepy is balanced out by her passion for all things natural, holistic, organic and/or involving singing bowls.