The proverbial dog days of summer are upon us. These final weeks before Labor Day also represent our last chance to hit the beach, chill by the pool and enjoy being outdoors. There may be temptation to cram as much fun in the sun as possible before those autumn chills signal the steady slide into winter.
But before you toss a beach bag in the trunk or stretch out in a lounge chair by the pool, take a minute to think about what the sun might be doing to your skin. Then check out these top 10 tips for summer skin care. You can enjoy the sun without damaging or prematurely aging your skin.
#1. Apply sunscreen often and generously. If you do nothing else for your skin the rest of the summer, use sunscreen every time you go outdoors. Cover all exposed areas on your body. Wearing a hat with a wide brim also helps.
#2 Moisturize. Heat by definition has a drying effect. If you’re in the sun, you are drying out your skin. Sunblock helps reduce UV radiation from penetrating your skin, but the heat outside is still having an impact. Use a good moisturizer as soon as you can after going back inside and again, before bed.
#3 Ease up on the makeup. Otherwise, you could be looking at wildly uneven tanning results. Think: raccoon eyes.
#4. Alternatively, apply makeup formulated with SPF (sun protection factor). Many makeup brands offer products containing sunblock. So if you absolutely must wear makeup while sunning, these products can provide some protection.
#5. Exfoliate. Sloughing off old and dead skin cells is a great way to keep your skin looking vibrant with a healthy glow. Skin cells dry up and die faster from sun exposure, so exfoliate once or twice a week. You’ll feel better, too.
#6 Do it yourself with tan-in-a-can. Sick of getting sunburned? There are dozens of self-tanning brands that come in spray canisters. Look for products that promise odorless, streak-free application. Beware of cheap self-tan products that may leave your skin looking like the inside of a cantaloupe.
#7. Use serums with antioxidants. These products come in a tube like toothpaste, and contain vitamins and antioxidants that defend your skin against free radicals. These are highly unstable molecules that form with sun exposure and air pollution. The molecules cause skin oxidation. When you cut an apple or avocado in half and leave it on the counter, the surface will soon begin to turn brown. This is an example of oxidation. Now think about that in relation to free radicals and your skin. Antioxidant serums are your friend.
#8. Wear sun-protective accessories and clothing. Floppy, wide-brimmed hats are an excellent choice for sunning. Loose-fitting clothing helps air circulate around your body. UV-rated sunglasses are a must to prevent damage to your eyesight. Yes, sunglasses should have style, but their protective abilities are equally important. Also, carry a wrap or some other cover-up in your beach bag when you need to take a break from the sun but aren’t immediately headed indoors.
#9. Wash your face two times a day. You’ll want to wash once after sunbathing and again, before bed. Face washing more frequently will just dry out your skin without providing significant benefits beyond two cleansings per day.
#10. Stay hydrated. This means drink plenty of cold water, not just beer on the beach. As a rule of thumb, the CDC recommends drinking about 3 cups of water per hour while outdoors in the heat, or approximately every 20 minutes. If you’ve packed a cooler full of beer or other alcoholic beverages, stash just as many water bottles in there as well. Alcohol is a natural desiccant, which means it has a powerful drying effect on your body. That includes the skin. It’s a good idea to alternate a bottle of water with every alcoholic beverage you consume. This helps you stay hydrated without getting hammered in the hot summer sun. Water consumption also helps flush toxins from the body.
If you have concerns about any skin condition and need dependable answers fast, you don’t have to wonder, worry or wait. Walk-in Dermatology is here to keep you healthy. Our team of dermatologists and experienced healthcare staff will address your concerns and provide the necessary care for all your skin conditions. We can set up a Video Visit and even prescribe medications remotely, or you can schedule an appointment with us online. The choice is yours. But don’t wait until the problem gets worse. Contact us today.