Summer Time Skin Care

Carmen Chatten | July 21st, 2016
Carmen Chatten – Of Skin and Wellness (Photo by Howard Gaither)

Carmen Chatten – Of Skin and Wellness (Photo by Howard Gaither)

Summer is a time filled with traveling, outdoor fun and typically an increase in physical activity. Sun exposure becomes a mainstay of these experiences and with this exposure one begins to consider sun related illnesses and ailments. For many more of us, we are concerned about ways to keep our skin healthy, hydrated and radiant. Besides staying covered and drinking plenty of water (cheat with Gatorade even) there are other essential habits to include that will have you and others loving the skin you are in. Sunscreen: Many of us know better to go to the beach without carrying sunscreen but where we are lacking is in our daily routine coverage.

Over time sun exposure is not beneficial to your skin. Sun damage typically comes in the form of persistent hyperpigmentation, premature wrinkling of skin and age spots but for others malignant forms of skin cancer is a very real complication. Prevent harmful damage from the sun by using a sunscreen that provides a SPF 50 or more. Choose a sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide for best results. For the face choosing products with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E gives an extra benefit.

As far as body care, SPF 50 is still the goal but for easier application consider using a spray sunscreen. There is no indication that spray is better than lotion or vice versa. The mode of application is dependent on consumer preference. Remember however with any product chosen, re-applying is necessary if sweating or if sun exposure is consistently more than 1-2 hours.

Moisturize: Believe it or not a lot of people don’t think they need to use moisturizers in the summer. This is totally an error in thought processing. We tend to understand that sun exposure can dehydrate the skin but even those individuals who spend most of their time in air conditioned environments can have dehydrated skin due in part to decreased humidity. Emollients or skin moisturizers are lotions, creams, ointments and bath oils that provide skin with a supple and moist appearance.

Regular use of moisturizers is the most important part of the day-to-day routine for everyone. Avoid feeling like moisturizers are heavy on the skin by investing in a bath oil after you wash and/or using a shower oil. By using one of these as soon as you are done showering you are allowing products to fully penetrate your skin layers as your skin dries. If more moisture is needed, go for more moisturization with a light lotion application and build coverage as needed. Lastly, for intense moisturizing consider using a cream at night to lock in moisture as you sleep.

Exfoliate: Exfoliating the skin is an important factor in any skin care regimen regardless of the season. Habitual exfoliation helps to get rid of dead skin cells which in turn speed up the skin renewal process. New healthy skin cells take the place of the dead cells and in turn your complexion goes from dull to bright, vibrant, and smooth. Additionally regular exfoliation will reduce fine lines and wrinkles and keeps your skin feeling much softer.
Facial exfoliation can be accomplished by investing in a dermatological recommended Retinol (Vitamin A) for application at night. Care should be taken to not apply when there is known upcoming extended time in the sun. Secondly gentle facial scrubs are perfect for helping to remove dead skin cells. Check with a skin care provider to find out which product works best for your skin.

Lastly, don’t forget your body. The easiest way to exfoliate your skin (body) is to use a loofah or body brush. Using either routinely not only sloughs off dead skin cells but increases circulation to your skin. For added benefit include a body scrub that contain oil rich emollients at least once weekly.

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