Summer is fast approaching and that means hot, sunny days ahead, which could spell trouble for your skin. Many people will be spending a lot of time outdoors near the beach, in the pool, or sunbathing on the patio. All of these activities are what make summer so great, but it’s important to play it safe and take care of your skin while you do so. Extended stays outdoors in the Sun could cause problems for your skin later in life. If you live in a dry climate during the summer, your skin may become too dry to the point of cracking. However, it’s possible to avoid these issues if you follow some important skin care steps during the hot months.
Continue reading to learn more about the dangers of summer on your skin and how you can avoid any lasting damage from the Sun.
Don’t stay in pools and hot tubs for too long
The reason you will want to watch your pool time this summer is because of the chlorine present in pools. Chlorine is a chemical that is widely used in swimming pools to kill microbes and inhibit the growth of algae in the water. While this is a good thing to help prevent illnesses to swimmers, it can also have a number of adverse effects on the skin. Some of the effects include dry skin, rashes, and the exacerbation of eczema and other preexisting skin conditions. One of the best ways to avoid chlorine-induced reactions is to take a shower immediately after swimming and applying a moisturizer to the skin.
Sunscreen, sunscreen… and more sunscreen
While it’s never a bad idea to wear sunscreen all year long, it should be applied copiously during the summer months. Long-term exposure to the Sun can cause sunburn, hyperpigmentation (dark spots), and skin cancer. The use of sunscreen will significantly reduce the risk for all of these problems. You will want to look for a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher for the best protection against harmful UV rays. You will also have your choice between chemical and physical sunscreens, the difference mainly coming down to personal preference.
Lower the temperature of your shower
Everyone loves a hot shower after a long day of working or playing. However, the heat from the water may not be the best for your skin. Hot water damages the keratin cells that are located on the epidermis—the outermost layer for your skin. Damage to these specialized cells leads to dry and irritated skin and prevents it from locking in moisture. Since it’s summer time, try cooling off by taking cold showers and see the benefits that it provides to your hair and skin.
Wear a hat
Hats can be your best friend during the hot months by giving your head, face, and neck extra protection against the sun’s rays. Hats with wide brims, especially ones that go around your entire head will provide you with the best shield. By using a hat in addition to sunscreen, your face and head will have dual defense against the heat of the Sun.
Don’t forget to hydrate
Hydration is absolutely necessary during summertime to keep your skin and overall body healthy. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that men drink at least 101 ounces (13 cups) and women drink 74 ounces (9 cups) of water every day. These numbers may vary depending on your weight and how active you are throughout the day. Athletes who sweat a lot will need to drink more water to compensate for water loss through the skin. Apart from drinking water, a good way to induce moisture into your environment is to use a humidifier in your home to help combat dry, cracked skin.
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