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? What skincare products are safe and will promote healing? In this article, we cover our 6 summer skin care secrets that answer those exact questions.
1. 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.
2. 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. We recommend WILD Organic Skincare’s Original After Sun Lotion because it’s one of the only products on the market to use natural aloe butter, in addition to its all-natural ingredient list.
- 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. We recommend The Original After Sun Rehydro Spray because it’s safe to use on both your face and body, and perfect for restoring moisture to your skin after sun exposure.
3. 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. Alternately, 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. Bath bombs are a good example of this.
For those with sensitive skin, exfoliating with a washcloth or 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. If you’re not sure of your skin type, we suggest taking an online quiz to find out.
4. Natural Ingredients Your Summer Skin Will Love
Do not use anything that is made with a single drop of aloe and 99% chemicals. If it’s slimy and green, keep it off your skin. ― Ines Grigore
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. Below is a list of natural ingredients that are especially important during summer months.
- Rice Bran Oil – Rice bran oil contains the chemical compound called gamma oryzanol, which according to the Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research, can act as a sun protectant, shielding skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays. It also contains high amounts of Vitamin E.
- Witch Hazel – Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce discomfort associated with sunburn. You can use a spray bottle or cotton ball to apply witch hazel directly to your sunburn.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe contains several ingredients which reduce the pain, redness, and inflammation associated with sunburn. It also contains numerous vitamins, including A, C, and E. Look for products that 100% aloe.
- Marshmallow Root – Marshmallow root is a demulcent, which is an agent that forms a soothing and protective film, useful in treating inflammatory conditions of the skin.
- Honey – The moisture in the honey is absorbed by the skin, helping to reduce swelling and redness. It also provides all the nutrients required to repair the broken tissues. The antibacterial properties help eliminate risks of infection.
- Coconut Milk – Coconut milk contains fatty acids that help to reduce skin itchiness, pain, and inflammation.
5. What to Do if You Get Burned
Here’s our 101 on what to do when you get burned. We in no way endorse overexposure to sun, but let’s face it, sunburns happen. Having a protocol to immediately address a sunburn can mean less pain, less peeling, and healthier skin.
- Seek Shade – If you suspect overexposure from sun or a sunburn on your skin, seek shade immediately. Large shaded areas away from bodies of water are best. Stay indoors until your skin has completely healed.
- Stay Hydrated – Drink more water than you normally would. Sunburns draw water to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking water helps prevent dehydration and promotes healing.
- Cold Compress / Shower – A cold shower or cold compress helps inflammation by not only numbing the affected area, but also reduces swelling, pain, and tenderness.
- Use NSAIDs – Redness of the sunburn is caused by inflammation of the skin. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Tylenol) help to relieve inflammation, and therefore redness and pain associated with a sunburn. Follow the warning labels and take NSAIDs accordingly.
- Use a Moisture-Restoring Topical – In terms of skin hydration, topical moisturizers can be more effective than drinking water. There are a number of lotions, creams, and butters that will help restore your skin’s moisture. Look for products that don’t contain chemicals, but instead use ingredients such as aloe and witch hazel.
- Homemade Sunburn Relief – If you’re looking for homemade remedies, here are two ideas to help soothe your sunburn: 1) Soak a cotton ball in coconut milk, then gently dab onto sunburn. 2) Use cool cucumber slices directly on sunburn, or mash them into a pulp and apply to skin. 3) Soak several black tea bags in cool water, then apply the tea bag directly to the sunburn.
6. Use Products You Can Trust – What We Recommend
If you do get sunburned, use a soothing product like The Original Sunburn Soap. It’s made with aloe, marshmallow root, rice bran oil, witch hazel, honey, coconut milk and peppermint oil, and will gently exfoliate dead skin and heal at the same time. ― Ines Grigore
The Original Sunburn Soap
The special ingredients contained in The Original Sunburn Soap were carefully selected for their powerful sunburn fighting abilities. Take advantage of that first shower after a sunburn to give your skin what it needs. Your skin is more absorbent in the shower when it’s wet, so ingredients can work faster to restore moisture to your skin. The minute a burn happen, don’t hesitate to immediately use the Original Sunburn Soap in a beach shower.
After Sun Rehydro Spray
Re-moisturizing your skin after getting burned is essential. Moisturizing soothes your skin, lessens peeling and flaking, and aids in recovery. You’ll probably notice that your skin absorbs moisturizer much more readily when it’s burned. This is because your skin will “drink it up,” so make sure that you’re giving your skin what it needs. The Original After Sun Rehydro Spray contains powerful Hyaluronic Acid, which can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water. It’s best to use The Original After Sun Rehydro Spray directly after showering, and before applying lotion or other products.
After Sun Lotion with Aloe Butter
Using lotion after getting sunburned will help seal in moisture. Choose one that will provide your skin with the nutrients it needs to heal, like The Original After Sun Lotion. It contains aloe butter: a nutrient rich, highly antioxidative, and skin rejuvenating ingredient. Whether you’re treating a sunburn, or maintaining a great tan, The Original After Sun Lotion is an excellent choice.
The Original Suntan Soap
The Original Suntan Soap was designed to maintain skin tone, because not everyone gets sunburned. It uses natural ingredients, like cocoa butter and avocado oil, which promote hydration and skin health. To help your skin get that warm summer glow, add The Original Suntan Soap to your routine.