Prevent These 8 Summer Skin Woes
While you may think that summer would be kinder on your skin than winter, the warm seasons actually bring with them their own set of skin problems. From excess oil production and acne breakouts to bug bites and rashes, here are eight of the most common summer skin woes that you can easily prevent.
Oily Skin and Acne
Your skin naturally produces more oil in the summer months, which can be extremely helpful for those who have dry skin.
However, for those who have oily skin, the extra oil is definitely not going to do you any favors, and will quickly lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.
So, what can you do about this?
Fortunately, quite a few things, such as:
- Use a chemical rather than a physical exfoliant, as scrubbing at your skin stimulates the oil glands to produce even more oil
- Use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, as this will help to unclog your pores
- Use a light lotion or serum rather than a thick cream on your skin
- Resist the temptation to touch your face, as this will only end up transferring more oil and bacteria from your hands onto your face
Already have an overload of shine to deal with?
Blotting papers can be your best friend here. These will absorb up any excess oil without harmfully stripping your skin, meaning that you can use these as much as you need to.
Do you find yourself having to deal with body acne as well as facial acne?
This is another common issue, and a large percentage of people who experience facial acne will also experience body acne, which is sometimes referred to as bacne.
What can you do about this?
Use the same cleansers as you do on your face, and take the same prevention steps for your body as you would for your face.
One extra tip…
Shampoo and conditioner can often exacerbate body acne. After washing your hair, clip your hair up and then give your body a rinse with some cool water, as this will help to remove any residue that the shampoo and conditioner may have left behind.
Out of all of the summer skin woes, sunburn is probably one of the most serious.
While this may be the case, over a third of adults admit to being sunburned in just the past year, showing just how common this problem is.
But why exactly is a sunburn so bad?
Because this is a sign that the DNA in your skin cells has been damaged. A sunburn just once every two years can triple your risk of developing skin cancer.
You likely already know what a sunburn looks and feels like, but even if your skin has just turned slightly pink, and doesn’t hurt or itch, this is also a sign that it has been burned, meaning that many people do not actually realize when it is happening.
How can a sunburn be prevented?
You probably already know the answer to this…
Plenty of sunscreen! This should be at least SPF 30, and needs to be re-applied every two hours.
Already doing this but still finding yourself getting burned?
It could be that you are not applying enough sunscreen, which is actually extremely common.
How much sunscreen do you need to be using?
About a shot glass worth to cover your entire body, and you should use the same amount each time you re-apply your sunscreen.
Make sure that you also check the expiry date on your bottle of sunscreen. If a sunscreen has expired, then it will not be effective at protecting your skin from the sun.
In addition to using sunscreen, you should also be taking additional steps to protect your skin from sun exposure, such as wearing breathable clothing that covers you up, and wearing sun-protecting accessories, such as a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
Do you suffer from rosacea?
If so, one of the most common triggers when it comes to rosacea flaring up is sun exposure, which you will likely be getting quite a bit of in the summer months.
Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition, and the heat from the sun exacerbates this in a big way.
As you likely already know, there is no cure for rosacea, and the best way to deal with it is by identifying your triggers and then avoiding these as much as possible.
This means that, in the summer, you need to try to avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight. If you do need to spend some time outdoors, make sure that you are wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sun cream.
Already experiencing a rosacea flare-up because of the sun?
Try placing an ice pack over the affected area to soothe your skin, before applying either some aloe vera or some green tea extract.
Bug bites can seem pretty harmless, and, most of the time, they are. However, there are some that can lead to certain diseases, such as Lyme disease or the West Nile virus, and bug bites are also just generally quite annoying.
Since there are more bugs around in the summer, and you will also likely have more skin exposed to the air, bug bites can become quite the issue.
Wondering why some people seem to get so many more bug bites than others?
While many think this is down to luck, there is actually a scientific explanation behind this…
Bugs are attracted to two main factors:
- Carbon dioxide
- The lipid mixture on the surface of your skin, with some components of this being especially attractive to bugs
All humans produce carbon dioxide, so this is something that you cannot change. When it comes to your skin’s lipid structure, this is down to genetics, so, again, you cannot make any changes to this.
So, what is the best way to prevent bug bites then?
Bug repellents are the way to go, and there are definitely plenty to choose from. Of course, if you have sensitive skin, you may find that the chemicals in standard bug repellents end up causing irritations and sensitivities.
If this is the case, there are many natural ingredients that you can use on your skin to help repel bugs, such as:
- Lemon eucalyptus oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Thyme oil
- Tea tree oil
- Neem oil
If you do decide to whip up a bug repellent yourself, make sure that you never use essential oils directly on your skin. They should always be mixed with a carrier oil, and you should also make sure that the oil you are buying is of a good quality.
Already have quite a few bug bites?
It goes without saying that you should resist the urge to scratch them. Instead, hold a cold compress over the bites, or apply a cooling gel to them.
If you have an exceptionally itchy bite that will not go away, then it may be time to speak to a doctor.
Even though your skin produces more oil in the summer months, everything from sun exposure to air conditioning can end up leading to dry skin.
Fortunately, this is quite an easy issue to prevent.
Well, there are a few different steps that you can take, such as:
- Using a rich moisturizer to prevent moisture evaporating from your skin
- Frequently applying your moisturizer throughout the day
- Reducing your exposure to air conditioning
- Taking cool, rather than hot, showers and baths
- Always remembering to wear sunscreen
- Placing a humidifier in your home
If you have ever experienced heat rash, then you likely already know just how uncomfortable it is.
Wondering what exactly causes heat rash?
It all comes down to blocked sweat glands. Since your sweat cannot escape from your skin, it ends up building up underneath your skin’s surface, resulting in those pesky tiny bumps. It does not take long for these bumps to start bursting and releasing the sweat within them, which then leads to the itchy, prickling feeling that tends to accompany a heat rash.
So, how do you prevent this?
The most effective way is by trying to reduce the amount you sweat.
Think this sounds impossible?
There are actually quite a few simple ways in which you can do this, with the first being to wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing, preferably in a breathable fabric, as this will allow air to circulate around your skin.
Keep your skin as cool as possible, whether this means staying indoors, taking a cold shower, or placing fans around your home.
Do you often find yourself with a heat rash after working out in the summer months?
If so, you will need to try working out when it is cooler, either early in the morning or later in the evening. Alternatively, move your workouts indoors during the summer months, so long as the spot you have chosen has a fan.
Women often find themselves shaving more in the summer months, making razor burn much more common in the summer than it is in the winter.
Never heard of razor burn before?
It is caused by incorrect shaving methods, which results in hairs folding back on themselves and penetrating into the skin, leading to small bumps. These can then become quite sore or itchy when exposed to the sun or water.
If you want to prevent razor burn from occurring then you need to turn your attention to the way in which you shave…
Here are a few prevention steps that you can take:
- Make sure that your skin has been cleansed and conditioned before shaving, as this will soften your hairs and the hair follicles
- Use warm water to ensure that your pores remain open
- Always use a clean and sharp razor
- Use a high quality shaving cream, as this forms a moisturizing barrier between your skin and the razor blade
- Do not repeatedly shave the same area of skin
Finally, once you are done shaving, try to give your body a rinse with some cold water, as this will then close your pores back up.
Hyperpigmentation can often become much more prevalent in the summer months.
Not sure what hyperpigmentation is?
It refers to areas of the skin that become darker or discolored, often manifesting as brown or red spots, showing up in clusters or streaks across the skin.
What causes it?
Aging is a common factor, but if you experience it more in the summer, then it is down to sun exposure. When your skin is exposed to the sun, it produces more melanin to protect itself. Melanin is the compound that gives your skin its color, which is why skin turns darker after sun exposure.
You will usually experience hyperpigmentation in areas of your skin that are more exposed to the sun, such as your face, shoulders, neck, hands and chest.
As you can imagine, the best way to prevent sun-induced hyperpigmentation is by avoiding sun exposure.
Wearing sunscreen is also extremely helpful, as this will prevent your skin from producing the extra melanin that leads to the darker spots.
Already experiencing hyperpigmentation?
Here are a few ways you can go about treating it:
- Using a hydroquinone product, which is a popular skin lightener
- A depigmentation peel
- Using retinol
- Using a peel that contains salicylic or glycolic acid
- Laser treatments
There are so many different skin woes that can arise during the summer months, and these can often become quite serious if ignored. When it comes to preventing these issues, a little goes a long way, and often a few minutes of prevention a day can have a huge impact in keeping your skin as healthy as it can be.