The long-awaited summer season is finally here! Images of vacations in swimwear and barbeques in halter tops and shorts, flaunting that gorgeous, bronze skin come to mind.
Along with the warmth and the fun, summer brings a host of skin and health troubles due to indulgent sun exposure, sweet cold treats (yummy shakes and ice cream!) and environmental and seasonal exposure to allergens and irritants. As a result, you may experience any or all of the following conditions: oilier skin, sun burns, uneven skin tone, hay fever, rashes, breakouts and perhaps a few pounds of weight gain. Yes, summer can be just as brutal as it is exhilarating.
To keep your skin happy and your figure in tip-top shape even under the blast of summer heat and the deluge of summer treats, scroll down for our summer skin care tips.
Drink Your Water
The mix of hot and humid outdoor temperatures and cool and dry indoor air is a sure recipe for dehydration, dizziness and headaches. When it’s blazing outside, you sweat readily, leaving your body dehydrated faster. Drinking 8 or more glasses per day is always advisable, even more so during summer months. Always have a water bottle with you, and remember to drink every 30 minutes or so. Add a squeeze of lemon or a sprig of mint leaves to your water bottle, if you have a penchant for more flavor in your beverage.
If you are experiencing sun burns, that means your body’s liquids are going to the surface to help alleviate the burns. Thus, leaving the rest of your body parched. You can help restore your body’s fluid levels by imbibing electrolyte drinks alongside water.
Limit Frozen Delights
While on the subject of drinking, hot, sweltering days enhances the allure of grabbing ice cream or chilled, blended drinks, whenever the situation allows. To keep your figure slim throughout summer, limit your intake of these frosty drinks and deserts. Grab a water bottle instead, if you’ve already reached your pre-determined limit for the day.
Even the so-called healthy smoothies may be loaded with calories and certainly, with carbs. These frozen delights are, most likely, made of ice-cream, yogurts, milk or even too much high fructose fruits. Go for a green blended drink instead, like a mix of fruit and veggie smoothie. That way, you get both your sweet-tooth fix and heat-dissipating treat in one drink, with a much lower sugar content.
Remember Sun Protection
Unprotected exposure to harsh sunlight will damage the skin cells. Too much unprotected exposure can lead to pre-mature wrinkling and dark spots, and may even lead to skin cancer.
If at all possible, refrain from staying for long periods of time under the sun. To minimize UV radiation, try to stay out of the sunlight when it is at its hottest: from 10 am – 3 pm. If it can’t be helped then always have your sun protection product and gear on.
To block both UVA and UVB rays, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. It is recommended to apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going outdoors, into the harsh sunlight. Re-apply every 2 hours, and immediately after sweating or swimming. For sensitive skin, opt for a gentler mineral-based sunscreen formulation.
Use sun protection for your eyes, lips and hair as well. Have oversized hats and sunglasses ready and use lip sunscreen to prevent cracking, sunburnt lips.
Buff off Dead Skin
During hot summer months, there is an increase of dead skin cells, as your body attempts to heal burns and inflammation. Exfoliating regularly will facilitate your body’s ability to shed these dead skin cells. Body scrubs help to buff off dead, dull skin and prevent your pores from clogging. Fresh, clean pores aid the skin to easily absorb skin conditioners and serums. Moreover, exfoliation will help even the skin tone, reducing patchiness, resulting in a much more even sun tan.
Use body scrub with coffee and/or vitamin C as main ingredients. These two can help combat free radicals from sun exposure. Remember, not to exfoliate right after a sunburn when it’s raw and painful, wait until the skin is actually dry and flaking.
Stay Cool and Workout
During summer there’s an abundance of frozen treats left and right, a seasonal reaction to keep the temperatures down a bit. Although your favorite ice cream will cool you down, too much of it will undoubtedly make your waistline bigger.
Is the thought of exercising in the summer heat alone makes you break out in a sweat? Don’t shelve your exercise gear just yet. Yes, lounging indoors with a chilled beverage watching Netflix is mighty tempting when it’s sweltering outside. But if you want to stay in shape even when it is summer, you have to watch your caloric intake, regardless of the temperature of said calorie. At the same time, find alternative ways to exercise.
Regular exercise, no matter which season is upon you, is important for maintaining a svelte figure, a healthy body and a positive mood. Exercise is even more important for keeping your skin glowing all year long. By exercising, your blood flow and circulation improve, which means more oxygen for your cells. This then helps your body to heal tissue and cell damage (i.e. breakouts and sunburn) faster.
When it’s very hot outside, you can choose to workout indoors. Either take a local Zumba class or do it in your living room. Still too hot? Workout in the swimming pool! You’ll burn around 400 calories per 30 minutes of swimming moderately paced laps around the pool.
When the heat is tolerable, it’s time to go hiking, running or cycling. Just remember take that water bottle with you, maybe take an extra bottle along.
Treat Sun Damage
Photoaging appear on the skin, first as extreme dryness and coarseness, to premature fine lines and wrinkles and then as brown spots. Photoaging is caused by excessive and repeated ultraviolet radiation exposure. Too much unprotected sunlight affects your skin in multiple damaging ways that results in irritation and free radical proliferation, which will, in turn, decreases moisture levels of the skin and slow down the skin’s regenerative ability.
Despite pre-sun exposure skin-preps, sunburns do happen. As skin S.O.S, the first thing to do is to immerse your skin in cool water. Dip in the pool or stand under a cool shower. You’ll immediately feel your burns cooled and pain relieved. Stay away from hot showers for a while as warm water dehydrates your skin further.
If you can, do cool compresses to the affected areas. Don’t use ice directly on the burns. Cooling gels with aloe vera will help ease down the redness and pain. Avoid using oil-based treatments, while sunburnt and under the sun, as they will lock the heat on the skin and make you even more uncomfortable.
While a tan may be the coveted summer look, it does hint at having damaged skin cells. Lavishly apply skin healing lotions and creams to help your skin to cope and prevent further skin aging effects from the UV ray exposure.