Summer has arrived, and after a long, wet winter, nothing feels better then basking in the sun’s warmth. Of course, the more exposure our skin receives to the sun’s rays, the higher our risk becomes for a variety of dermatological problems. From dry, weathered, and wrinkled skin to sun spots and melanoma, enjoying the summer sun while maintaining the health of our skin requires taking a few precautions.
So you can enjoy spending time outdoors safely, here are a few tips on how to perfect your own summer skin care routine from our Salem dermatologists.
Clear Up Your Skin with Exfoliation
Exfoliation helps to remove dead skins cells that work to clog up your pores and cause the kind of congestion that leads to your skin looking less than its best. Exfoliation also helps to improve the level of hydration your skin receives from applying moisturizers and toners.
The mornings, when your skin feels rested and refreshed, offers the best time to exfoliate. Just make sure you exfoliate prior to applying any skin care products, such as moisturizers or sunscreen, and makeup. (As an extra bonus, makeup stays applied longer to exfoliated skin.)
After you’re done exfoliating, consider applying a hydrating body cream to help seal in moisture and keep your sun from drying out when outside.
Keep it Hydrated
While cold winter air receives a lot of focus when it comes to drying out our skin, the sun’s rays can also wreak havoc, which is why frequent hydration is a must. Consider increasing your hydration regimen to the application of intensive masques at least twice a week. Toners can also help to keep skin hydrated by evening out skin porosity, which allows for the improved absorption of moisturizers.
To stay hydrated throughout the day, try occasionally spritzing with a toner while at your desk, in the car, or at the library.
Drink Water, It’s Good for You
Nothing keeps you better hydrated than plain old water. Even though sport drinks offer to replace missing electrolytes that sweating leaches out of our bodies, these types of drinks contain a surprisingly high amount of sugar, which more than offsets any benefits drinking these types of beverages provide.
The more time you spend in the heat, the more water you need to drink. Not only does dehydration lead to headaches and dizzy spells, a lack of proper hydration can also cause your skin to appear worn and weathered. Fortunately, just drinking an eight-ounce glass of water a day will do a lot to help maintain the critical balance that skin and body requires, while also providing a boost to the body’s natural detoxification cycle.
If you drink a lot of caffeine, you need to triple the amount of water you consume daily. While your morning latte may help wake you up, it also leads to increased dehydration.
No Harm in Reapplying
Applying sunscreen in the morning before leaving the house won’t provide enough protection to last you throughout the day. To master your summer skin care routine, you need to continuously reapply sunscreen to ensure that your skin receives maximum protection. Unfortunately, studies have found that people apply too little sunscreen when heading outdoors.
To keep you better protected, start with applying roughly a teaspoon’s worth of sunscreen to your face in the morning. About two ounces will be enough to properly cover your neck, shoulders, arms, and legs. Once out of the house, you need to reapply sunscreen once every two hours, and try to stay out of the midday sun whenever possible.
Today, the market offers sunscreen that matches any skin type, so don’t feel the need to use just any brand. Make sure you find a sunscreen that works best for your individual skin type.
Take Care When Cooked
Okay, so we’ve just talked about the importance of using sunscreen, but what should you do after receiving a sunburn? Sadly, the damage to your skin has already been done, but there’s no reason why you need to suffer from any sun related mistakes. Soothing botanicals and cooling gels can provide the right kind of relief from skin that feels irritated, itchy, and inflamed. Just liberally apply your balm of choice to the affected skin.
Our Salem dermatologists also want you to know that just one severe sunburn doubles your risk for developing melanoma. That’s why we highly recommend receiving yearly skin exams from our dermatologists, and that you perform self-examinations at least once a month.