Rapid fluctuations in weather can take its toll on our skin as it adjusts to the new environment. Changes in temperature can wreak havoc on sensitive skin. Whether the summer sun has left your face burning and itchy, or winter dryness has produced redness and flakes, protecting skin in intense heat and cold is key.
Remember that there is no such thing as a healthy tan. A tan means the skin has been damaged. Here’s how to protect your skin through every season.
Do’s for summer skin
- Do use sunscreen daily. No matter what skin type you have or how your body reacts to the sun, you should always wear an SPF sunscreen. About one ounce (a shot glass full for your entire body) of sunscreen should be reapplied two or three times a day. People don’t realize they can still get burned in cooler climates or when they’re not in direct sunlight or even on cloudy days.
- Do wear protective clothing. In addition to wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses, a growing body of research shows that a variety of everyday apparel, such as unbleached cotton or tightly woven t-shirts or shorts offer excellent sun protection. Additionally, there is also high-SPF clothing which contains colorless compounds, fluorescent brighteners or specially treated resins that absorb UV rays and often provides an SPF of 30 or higher.
Don’ts for summer skin
- Don’t expose yourself to sunlight if there is a dramatic change to the skin. Skin discoloration, a changing mole and a rough red patch are all early signs of skin cancer. If you notice any of these, you should visit a dermatologic surgeon who is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat skin cancer.
- Don’t think that a burn ends with aloe vera. Aloe vera is only a temporary relief for sunburn and does not decrease your chance of skin damage. Skin cancer develops slowly over time. With each sunburn you get, your chance of developing skin cancer increases. It can take years for a burn to turn into a cancerous spot on the skin.
- Don’t sunbathe. Even taking breaks to swim or go for a snack while sunbathing only soothes hot skin and does not prevent a burn. Sunburn is accumulated from the whole day; the only way to prevent exposure is to stay in the shade.
Tips for Skin Care During the Summer
- Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Water flushes waste products out of your system and helps hydrate your skin.
- Exfoliate your skin, especially in the summertime. You shed skin cells constantly, and dead cells sit on top of your skin if you don’t get rid of them. Dead skin cells can make your skin look dull and dry. Exfoliate one to three times a week to make your summer skin look radiant.
- Protect your skin against sunburn. Avoid the sun between the peak hours of 10am and 4pm, when the sun is at its highest point in the sky.
- Be sure to apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) all over your face and body at least 30 minutes before you go outdoors. Reapply sunscreen about every 90 minutes.
- When you shower, do it quickly and use lower temperature water than usual. After showering, blot (rather than rub) your skin to dry off. Apply your moisturizer right after.