Summer can be challenging for people with any skin type. An increase in warmth and humidity can cause overproduction of natural oil called sebum, leading to oily skin. This makes acne and blocked pores common issues during summers. Other prevalent problems include itchy and dry skin, prickly heat and sunburns. Disregard for proper skin care can lead to mild issues like rashes to serious ones like skin cancers. It takes only 15 minutes for UV rays to start damaging your skin.
Here are 10 tips for healthy skin and prevention of skin issues that you should adopt in summers or if the weather is hot.
Being out in the sun for long periods of time means greater exposure to harmful UV rays of the sun. Sunscreen is a must for every skin type. If your skin gets too oily due to sunscreen, there are options like water based sunscreens available today. As per leading dermatological institutions, you should use sunscreen that is at least SPF30. Higher SPF number means greater sun protection. Certain people may require higher SPF sunscreens like those having:
Picking a sunscreen that suits your skin is only the first step. There are some pointers to keep in mind about application as well. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every 2-3 hours, as the sun can dry away sunscreen from your skin after spending time outside. It should also be used on cooler days, as sun damage is still possible. SPF is a must for all exposed skin: feet, neck and ears along with your face.
Your skin can get dehydrated and dry during summers and hot days, especially due to air conditioning and chlorine in the swimming pools (which is more common an activity during hot days). Loss of hydration due to sweating is also common. Consuming more water ensures that toxins are regularly flushed out of your skin, which reduces chances of acne breakouts that are common in this season.
Drinking water throughout the day keeps skin supple and soft, which is beneficial in the long run, as it slows signs of ageing like wrinkles. Ensure that your water intake is a minimum of about 2 litres a day.
Seasonal fruits are a delicious and refreshing way to hydrate your skin. Watermelons are 95% water and help keep skin hydrated and soft. Strawberries, on the other hand, are packed with antioxidants that slow skin ageing and prevent dullness. Another fruit to add to your diet during summer is pineapple. It is enriched with vitamin B6, C and bromelain which all contribute to healthy skin. These fruits can be added to salads, smoothies or turned into fresh juices. Coconut water and fresh fruit juices are also great ways to hydrate during summers.
Vegetable consumption is an equally good way to protect your skin. Tomatoes are an easily available source of the antioxidant lycopene, which protects skin from sun damage that can cause dark spots and dryness. Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A and can also help tackle summer dryness. Other foods that help in enhancing skin health naturally are bell peppers and zucchinis.
The skin around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face. It also needs special protection from the sun’s rays. The easiest way to care for under-eye skin is by wearing proper sunglasses. When purchasing new sunglasses, always check or ask if the glasses offer UVA and UVB protection. Another way to protect the delicate skin is by purchasing a good under eye gel, with naturally cooling ingredients like cucumber and honey.
Some clothes provide convenient protection against the sun’s heat. A wide brimmed hat protects your scalp, face and neck from UV exposure. Light fabrics like cotton allow your skin to breathe. Tight fitting clothes and sweat trapping fabrics can cause irritation, leading to issues like heat rash or prickly heat. Prickly heat develops when blocked sweat ducts trap perspiration under your skin. If it becomes severe, serious skin infections can develop.
An artificial tan is popular among people who believe that tans can help protect against skin damage by the sun. There is little scientific basis for this belief. Many dermatologists have determined that artificial tanning beds can be more dangerous than sun rays, as they use concentrated UV radiation. Harmful UVA and UVB rays produced by these beds increase the risk of multiple skin cancers, including the deadliest one, i.e. melanoma.
As sweat and pore clogging is a major concern during summers, it is important to use products that naturally allow your skin to breathe. Use lighter lotions and moisturizers during summers, as products made for winter use can clog your pores and cause acne more easily. Use good exfoliators to clear out the sweat and dirt from your face, especially if you suffer from acne. Drier skin can benefit from soap free and mild cleansers or face washes.
Due to ultraviolet rays, there is a realistic risk of skin cancer if you are frequently exposed to sun rays without protection. Avoid stepping out in the sun from 10 am to 2 pm, as the sun is at its strongest during this time. If you have to go out during this period, use an umbrella for some extra protection. Examine your skin and look for changes in moles, birthmarks and freckles like changed shape, size or colour. New growth like moles and lumps should also be noted. Skin evaluations by dermatologists, especially during summer can allow you to catch skin cancers or other issues early.