Summer is in full swing and if you're like most people you are spending a lot of time outside. That said, summer skin is prone to acne, burns, dryness, and rash. Here's a few quick tips to help you avoid some of the seasons biggest nemeses and make the most of the long summer days. Acne Breakouts: Summer brings sweat. Unfortunately, when sweat mixes with bacteria and oils on your skin, it can clog your pores. If you have acne-prone skin, this is typically a recipe for a breakout. Practice the following to help prevent breakouts:
Pat your skin with a clean towel or cloth when you are sweating. Wiping sweat off can irritate your skin, which can lead to a breakout.
Launder your clothes regularly. Don't wear that sweaty t-shirt again tomorrow or you're introducing a bacteria frenzy to your body.
Use non-comedogenic or "oil-free" products on acne prone areas such as your face, chest and back.
Dry Skin: Even when it's hot and humid your skin can still experience dryness. If you're one to indulge in swimming or air conditioning, you are particularly at risk despite the moisture outside. If your skin starts to feel dry and uncomfortable despite the humidity, try these tips:
Shower and shampoo immediately after getting out of the pool, using fresh, clean water and a mild cleanser or body wash made for swimmers.
Stay hydrated and drink water. Avoid the sugary drinks, just drink water. Your skin and your body overall will thank you.
Apply sunscreen before going outdoors (SPF 30+ and water resistant).
Use a mild cleanser to wash your skin. Soaps and body washes labeled “antibacterial” or “deodorant” can dry your skin.
Take showers and baths in lukewarm rather than hot water.
Apply a fragrance-free moisturizer after every shower and bath. Moisturizer works by trapping water in your skin, so you’ll need to apply it within 5 minutes of taking a shower or bath.
Carry moisturizer with you, so you can apply it after washing your hands and when your skin feels dry.
Turn up the thermostat if the air conditioning makes your home too dry.
Prickly Heat (aka heat rash): Blocked sweat glands cause this. Because the sweat cannot get out, it builds up under your skin, causing a rash and tiny, itchy bumps. When the bumps burst and release sweat, many people feel a prickly sensation on their skin. Anything you can do to minimize sweating will help reduce your risk. Reduce your risk of getting prickly heat by doing the following:
Wear light-weight, loose-fitting clothes made of cotton.
Exercise outdoors during the coolest parts of the day or move your workout indoors where you can be in air-conditioning.
Try to keep your skin cool by using fans, cool showers, and air-conditioning when possible.
Sunburn: Getting sunburn can spoil summer fun and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Here’s what you can do to prevent sunburned skin:
Hang out in the shade
Shield your skin with a large brimmed hat and sunglasses
Regularly apply broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 30+ and water resistance.
Summer can be a great time of year to enjoy outside and take in some all-natural vitamin D. Be smart and take care of your skin to avoid downtime and make the most of your time outdoors.