What’s Different About My Skin And Summertime?
As summer approaches, it’s extra important to pay attention to what products we use on our skin. Sun damage is very dangerous, cumulative and almost impossible to reverse. Your skin is at its most vulnerable stage when it’s burned and it needs natural ingredients that it can recognize. ― Ines Grigore, Licensed Esthetician of 18 Years
Let’s face it – sunburns are not fun. According to the Surgeon General, 1 out of every 3 Americans report getting sunburned every year. Protecting your skin from UV rays is always top priority, but what do you do once you get that sunburn? Is there a way to lessen the pain and help prevent peeling?
Your Skin Behaves Differently During Summer
While this is true for everyone, those with sensitive skin types need to be extra careful with overexposure to UV rays. Knowing how sweat, oil, and hydration impact your skin can make all the difference in knowing which products to use for a sunburn, and properly nourishing your skin before and after sun exposure.
Despite popular opinion, sweat is a good thing. Sweating is essential to your body’s ability to purge the skin of harmful substances, such as bacteria, dirt, oils and impurities. However, the impurities that sweating helps flush out can sometimes stay on your skin. If reabsorbed, it could lead to irritation, rash, or breakouts.
More Oil Production
In the same way your skin sweats to combat the elements of summer, your body’s sebaceous glands secrete sebum (the oil on your skin). This oil slows the evaporation of water and extends the cooling effect that sweating provides. A common mistake in treating excess oil production in summer is using harsh foaming cleansers that may completely strip your skin of oil. This makes skin more oily, because now the skin must compensate by producing more sebum to make up for what’s been taken away.
More Skin Cell Production
During summer, the Sun has a keratolytic effect on our skin. This means that when skin is exposed to sunlight, the rate at which it renews itself increases. When dead skin cells remain on the surface of the skin, pores can become clogged. With all the other things your pores have to combat in summer, it’s no wonder our skin requires a little extra attention during the hottest season of the year.
Hydration – The Skin’s Secret Weapon
Sweating is important for keeping your body cool and flushing out impurities. But sweating also means losing one of your body’s most important resources – water. Drinking water increases the water content of your sweat, lowers the chance of skin irritation, and adjusts any pH imbalance. In addition to consuming H2O, here are some additional tips to keep your skin hydrated during the summer months:
- Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing – Wicking moisture away from the skin makes you more comfortable by reducing chafing, rashes, and irritation.
- Wash Your Face Before Venturing Out – This will help reduce impurities on your skin. If you are planning on being outdoors, apply sunscreen with SPF 45 or higher.
- Shower and Cleanse After Sweating or Outdoor Activity – It’s important to reduce the amount of impurities that could be reabsorbed by the skin. Use natural products and exfoliate dead skin with a loofah sponge or body brush. Avoid water that’s too hot, as it may strip your skin of oil.
- Use Natural, Hydrating Creams – Applying hydrating creams to your face and body after a shower can help maintain your skin’s moisture.
- Incorporate Hyaluronic Acid Into Your Skincare Routine – Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is naturally produced by your body. It has many health benefits, but promoting healthier skin is one of the more well known.
The Power Of Exfoliation
During summer months, your skin is prone to creating more oil because it has to defend against pollution, humidity, SPF, sweat and other factors. This can lead to clogged pores, possible breakouts, and dull skin. Here are some tips to keep your summer skin clean and clear.
Chemical vs. Physical
For sensitive skin types and women over the age of 50, we recommend a physical exfoliator rather than a chemical one. What’s the difference? A chemical exfoliator uses chemicals to rid your skin of the outer layer of skin cells. This is not only dangerous because it’s difficult to regulate the exfoliation process and often harsh on your body and face, but because stripping your skin’s outer layer leaves you more vulnerable to UV rays. Alternatively, a physical exfoliator can either mean a body brush or a product that contains natural aggregates (such as sugar) to physically scrape away skin cells.
For those with sensitive skin, exfoliating with a washcloth or use a body brush a few times a week is usually enough. Avoid DIY recipes that call for abrasive ingredients like baking soda. Although some of these ingredients may seem innocuous, they leave microscopic scratches and may affect the pH of your skin, weakening its protective barrier.
Whether you’re exfoliating, washing, or moisturizing, make sure to find products that are right for your skin.
Natural Ingredients Your Skin Loves
Remember the last time you showered after getting a sunburn? If it was anything like our experience, it wasn’t fun at all. Chances are, the soap you were using may have made things worse. Many soaps and skincare products available today contain chemicals and artificial ingredients such as: fragrances, parabens, micas, sulfates, and triclosan, just to name a few. Look for natural skincare products that don’t contain harmful chemicals.