Summer, by far, is my favorite season. Maybe it’s because I’m a summer baby (August!), or the feel of the warm rays on my face and the warm breeze whizzing by, but it does something for me. I can’t get enough of the sunlight but unfortunately too much sun can cause issues for your skin.
First, let me state the obvious. Whether you are fair or dark-skinned, we all need some form of sun protection when we spend time in the sun. Ultraviolet and infrared rays can cause damage, as well as cause cancer. It is a given that sunscreen is necessary but I want to explore other ways we can keep our skin healthy this season. Below are 4 surprising ways you can promote healthy skin in the summer.
Sweat! I will start by saying that I hate sweating. I also shouldn’t bring up my previous year-long boycott of exercise. (Don't judge me.) Despite my disdain for sweating, it is extremely beneficial for us. When we sweat, our pores are opened and our body purges water, salt, and other natural waste. Our sweat contains dermcidin which is an antibiotic peptide that fights against harmful bacteria on our skin. So sweating actually creates a defense for us.
Can sweat cause acne? Not exactly. The components of sweat are beneficial for our skin, but when sweat sits and begins to mix with oil from our skin, it may cause acne or irritation. Be sure to wear loose clothing or breathable clothes when working out to prevent breakouts especially on your back and arms. Don’t allow sweat to dry on your skin and be sure to wash soon after you’re finished with your activity.
Stay Hydrated With More Than Water. It’s very simple, actually. When it’s hot outside, our bodies react to the increase in temperature by trying to cool down, which produces sweat. The hotter it is, the more we sweat. Excessive sweat and lack of water to replace the loss of fluid can cause dehydration. Dehydration makes your skin look old and ragged. I cannot overstate the importance of drinking water. However, water is so boring to me. I’ve hated drinking it since I was a kid! (Please note: though I don’t like drinking water, it’s literally the ONLY thing I drink besides my smoothies). It should be no surprise that the things that are good for me are so painful to do! An easy way around having to drink water is to up your water intake by eating foods that have high concentrations of water. You may often hear about watermelon and strawberries having high water percentages but try out these other foods: lettuce, cucumber, cabbage, radishes, zucchini, and red tomatoes.
Another cool way to sneak in water is by drinking fruit smoothies. My recipes only contain fruit and ice, so it’s an easy way to fool myself into taking in more water.
Slow Down on Scrubbing. I am an exfoliation proponent, hands down. It helps keep away clogged pores on my oily skin. However, too much exfoliation can actually be damaging and cause irritation and inflammation. I’ve mentioned before that you have to develop your own balance. You can exfoliate using tools, scrubs, chemical peels, or even creams that contain exfoliating ingredients like alpha hydroxy acid and sulfur. However, exfoliation can make your face more vulnerable to the sun’s rays. During the summer, it’s a good idea to decrease the amount of exfoliation or lessen the amount of creams you use with exfoliating agents. Back when I was still using prescription acne creams, I was prescribed Retin-A which is derived from Vitamin A (which you can naturally find in fruits and veggies). However, using this made my skin peel and I was warned not to spend long periods of time in the sun, so I had to limit is use. The Retin-A works the say way as any other exfoliating agent-it sped up the process of cell regeneration on my face. Keep all of this is mind when choosing products to use this summer.
Don't Pucker Up. You may want to slow down on puckering up this summer. We usually associate dry lips with the winter months when we are exposed to dry, cold air. However, we should be just as protective of our lips during the summer. There’s nothing more unappealing than dry and cracked lips. Our lips are especially vulnerable to damage because they do not have sebaceous (oil) glands which provide a layer of protection for the outer layer of our skin. We often make this worse by continuously licking our lips. Imagine walking around each day without wearing moisturizer on your hands or knees. You would be an ashy, dry mess. That’s what happens to your lips each day when we choose to go without some kind of balm or ointment to keep them refreshed. Also, the position of our lips on our face gives them exclusive access to the sun's rays. We often forget to protect our lips, so make sure you always have lip balm on hand. Don't forget SPF protection when choosing your lip balm!
Enjoy your summer!
- July 16, 2015
- Tiffany A