All of us who live in colder climates simply cannot wait for summer to arrive after a long, cold winter. Just being able to get out of the house and feel sun on your face after months of snow, clouds, and frigid temperatures make you really feel alive again. Unfortunately, warmer weather and more time outdoors can cause some damage to your skin, some of which may be permanent. Although the sun may be the greatest enemy of your skin, there are other factors that can also cause negative effects.
What Summer Can Throw at You
Taking a look at what can cause trouble for your skin as you head outside to take advantage of the beautiful weather can make you aware of what awaits, and how best to deal with it. Summer will be much more enjoyable if your activities are not restricted by skin irritations and damage.
- We have to put the sun at the top of the list for summer skin woes. While it is true that the sun is what keeps our planet alive, it can also be terribly damaging for our skin. Sunburn is the first sign that the sun’s UV rays are starting to affect you, and while sunburn is painful and unsightly, the more serious damage is done beneath the epidermis, in the dermis. When the sun’s ray penetrate down into the dermis layer, they destroy collagen and elastin and make the skin more likely to begin sagging. Damage to the epidermis will contribute to wrinkling and the development of skin cancers.
- Poison ivy is another summertime ‘treat’ that can cause some nasty skin problems. Growing mostly in wooded areas or on the margins of meadows, poison ivy contains a substance called urushiol, a strong allergen. Touching poison ivy (or poison sumac or poison oak) causes the immune system to overreact, resulting in a rash. This rash can actually spread from the point of contact and in bad cases, large blisters will form.
- Hot summer air can be very dry air, too. People may complain of the humidity during certain times of the summer, but in the main summer air is responsible for drying out the skin, even if you use protection against the sun. For those who live year-round, or seasonally in a dry climate, summer’s heat can make the drying problem even worse. Skin that is constantly dry has a good chance of developing wrinkles and making any existing lines deeper and more obvious. Dry skin will feel taut and tight and uncomfortable, and will be prone to flaking.
- Outdoor swimming pools have to use chlorine to keep the water safe for swimming, but chlorine is very damaging to the skin. Chlorine will dry out the skin and can even cause a rash. Your skin’s natural oil and sebum are scoured away by chlorine, making it more likely to develop wrinkles.
- Ocean salt water is sometimes a boon to troubled skin, but if you swim in salt water be sure to rinse off as soon as you come out as the salt and minerals in ocean water can be drying, especially for those who already have dry skin.
Keeping Your Skin Healthy All Summer
It really won’t take too much effort on your part to keep your skin in good condition during the summer. Taking some precautions before any harm is done to your skin is always a good deal easier than trying to control unfortunate results.
- Using a sunscreen when you’re outside during the summer is just as important as wearing a hat. Sunscreens can block both UVA and UVB rays that will damage both your epidermis and your dermis layers. If you sweat while outside, keep in mind that your sunscreen will have to be reapplied after you have dried your face. Sunscreen should also be reapplied after you’ve finished with a swim.
- There is no doubt that moisturizers should be used whenever you wash your face during the summer. Not only will these products help restore lost moisture to your face, they will also form something of a protective shield against dehydration. Oil based moisturizers are best for dry or sensitive skin, while water based lotions will work well with oily skin.
- When you are dealing with dry, perhaps damaged, summer skin, you will want to be sure to use a mild, non-drying cleanser. Using a soap or face wash that contains oil and/or vitamins can help keep your face clean without causing more problems. Glycerin soaps are also moisturizing.
Acne will generally not be harmed significantly by the sun, but the skin surrounding the pimples can be. Getting a tan will make the acne pimples less noticeable, but could also result in more serious skin problems down the road. For those who are somewhat up in the air about how to manage their acne, a good place to find information is at Facingacne.com.