As our wardrobes naturally transition from the colder months into the warmer ones, our skin care routines should also go through a few adjustments to prepare for the coming heat and humidity.
Additionally, 80 percent of our exposure to UV rays occurs during these summer months, meaning extra precautions need to be taken to minimize the damage and potential for skin cancer that can result.
Here are five tips for keeping skin healthy and beautiful this season.
Choose the right sun protection
Whenever possible, use hats, sunglasses and light-weight clothing to keep skin covered and out of direct sunlight and its UV rays. Always use sunscreen that is water resistant, broad-spectrum, and has an SPF rating of 15 or higher. When it comes to choosing which sunscreen to apply, it’s recommended to find one that you like and are comfortable applying –- because it’s more likely you will use it regularly. Then simply make it a habit to apply daily.
Don’t forget lips and scalp
Probably one of the most over-looked skin areas to protect is our lips, and because of that they are one of the more common sites for skin cancer. Choose lip balms with an SPF of 15 or higher and apply at least every two hours, or immediately after eating and drinking when it can be worn off. Avoid high-shine lip glosses and petroleum jelly while outdoors. If wearing a lipstick, darker shades provide a greater UV defense then sheer colors.
Also, don’t forget your scalp and the part in your hair. This sensitive skin is easily burned and damaged. Look for a spray sunscreen as creams can be hard to apply and be absorbed due into the surrounding hair.
Cosmetic manufacturers have heard the call for safe solutions to obtaining that sun-kissed summer glow. The sunless tanners on the market today are better than ever in providing streak-free coverage that is easy to apply. Products now come in sprays, gels, creams and lotions. Be sure to test new products on a small area of skin first before an overall application. And remember that these do not replace sunscreen.
Touchable, smooth skin is a must during the summer months. Start by exfoliating the dead skin cells with a body scrub from the neck down, using a separate facial ex-foliator for the face and neck. Then follow that with a hydrating moisturizer. When it comes to shaving, ladies, skip the men’s cheap shave cream and spend the extra on a hydrating shave lotion. And always use a good razor.
Heal and repair
If sunburn does occur, a few proper steps can help alleviate the discomfort and promote healing. The skin needs to breathe and release the trapped heat. Take a cool milk bath or apply cold, plain yogurt topically, rinsing off after it dries. Aloe vera products can also soothe inflamed skin, along with damp, cool cloths. Staying hydrated is also important to prevent sun-related headaches and anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen, can help with the pain and discomfort from red and swollen skin. See a doctor if there is blistering, a fever, chills, or a confused mental state.