Keeping Your Skin Healthy in Summer
By: Nathan Fry, Contributing Writer
Edited by: Olivia Storti, Editor; Eve Nevelos, Editor in Chief
Everybody loves a good beach-day: swimming in the sea; playing sports; building sand-castles. However, there is little publicity, other than the occasional skin cancer scare, and professional propaganda, on the unnecessary and unintended damage that every day summer activities can inflict on your skin. . Here, I will talk about the different factors that can affect your skin in the summer and different ways that you can prevent and heal these habits.
Sunscreen is clearly a summer must-have. Any sunscreen in adequate quantity, with any SPF, is better than nothing in protecting your skin. Lucky for us, our atmosphere absorbs the majority of harsh UV rays that dissipate from the sun. Thank God for the O-Zone layer, right? Yet despite the growing use of sunscreen outdoors and the increasing number of treatments, diseases like skin cancer continue to progress with more cases every year.
Many health professionals actually recommend also wearing sunscreen indoors. Although windows can reflect and refract most UVB rays, more than three quarters of UVA rays can still get through and cause havoc in all layers of the skin:premature wrinkling can cause aging in the epidermis (top layer of skin), and penetration of the lower layers of the skin, like the dermis, damages collagen fibres,leaving the skin looking dull and lifeless as well as causing other major issues.
Whilst it is recommended that you drink at least seven glasses of water a day, in the summer-heat it is imperative that you drink even more due to natural loss of hydration . Not only is water crucial to most of your body’s natural processes, but also in balancing and ensuring healthy skin. Of course, you could always spice it up by adding some healthy fruits like watermelon, cucumber or (my favourite) lemon and lime. Though many dermatologists entirely recommend also adding a moisturizer, water-based is best as it is light and doesn’t clog up your glands and pores, into your daily routine. If you don’t particularly like these, or find that you have reactions to them, natural remedies, like aloe vera, can also be just as good if you prepare them right!
If you haven’t yet invested yourself in a skincare routine yet, now is your time. With the rise of a plethora of different products today, there is always something for you - no matter your skin type or skin goals. Some crucial things that appear in most skin care routines are a water-based moisturizer - to obviously moisturize the skin as suggested by the name -, an exfoliant - to gently abrase away the dead skin cells and things that are or possibly could’ve been clogging your pores - and a face wash - to help clean impurities and massage your face. Some people choose to add a night serum, or pair products together, which really allows your skin to glow and remain healthy, even in the heat.
So what happens if, after all of this, you come back from your beach day with a sunburn? Whilst sunburns can be scary due to the pain, swelling, redness and risk of developing skin cancer, there are many things that you can do.
The main issue with sunburn is prominently inflammation and pain. When you get sunburn, your skin cells are essentially cutting themselves off from the rest of your body to ensure that the rest of your body stays healthy and disease-free, yet in doing so, creates discomfort for us. For this, you can apply pressure to the skin using anything that’s cold and damp, which will ease the inflammation. For example, you could use a cold flannel or ice wrapped in a cloth, but nothing dry that would stick to your skin. Certain lotions, such as over the counter products, aloe vera or calamine solutions, can work miracles on burnt skin. However, creams and lotions are definitely preferred over petroleum-based ointments, like vaseline, as they can cause reactions and can even make it worse. If you’re going to use products like these, it’s best to do a patch-test beforehand to ensure there is no risk of further complications. And of course, as always, drink plenty of water!
Link to cover image:
Skin Care In Summer (Dr Jaishree Sharad)