As we all welcome that warm summer sunshine, we’re eager to get out there and bask in the warm glow, shed those winter layers, and relax in the beauty of everything the season has to offer.
But your skin may not be excited.
Your skin changes with the seasons. The dry weather we see in winter tends to strip the skin of its natural moisture and can lead to scaly, itchy skin. But in the summer, the humidity can lead to sweat, clogged pores, and acne breakouts. Air conditioning can also dry out your skin. No matter the season, your skin takes a beating.
So what can you do during the warm summer months to keep skin fresh, hydrated, and protected from the things that would harm it?
How the Summer Affects Your Skin
Acne is probably the biggest summer skin health issue. As the weather gets warmer and humidity increases, your skin’s sebaceous glands start producing excess sebum. This oil gets stuck on the surface of the skin, leading to that greasy feeling, and it clogs pores. This causes acne. If you have oily skin to begin with, you’re more likely to see increased breakout.
But acne isn’t the only issue.
When your skin is exposed to the harmful UV rays, from the sun, your body’s natural production of melanin increases to help protect your skin from damage. Melanin has photoprotective qualities. However, UV radiation produces reactive oxygen that energises an electron in melanin. This energy can cause breaks in the DNA strands and can lead to carcinogenic mutations.
Then of course you have the drying effects of the sun, and of air conditioning, that cause the itchy, flaky skin. And hello sunburns… can’t forget about those.
So, how can you protect your body’s biggest organ? Here is our best summer skin health advice.
Summer Skin Health Tips
It’s time to give that skin a little summer lovin’.
1. Stay Hydrated
This is important not just for your skin, but your whole body. In the summer, we naturally sweat more, so our bodies lose more water. Drinking water helps to flush the toxins from your body, supports brain function and metabolic processes (including fat metabolism), and supports the integrity of muscle, joint and bone in our bodies. And your skin likes it too. Hydration helps maintain skin’s elasticity and can also help skin recover after a sunburn
Aim for 8 or more glasses of water a day. Coconut water, watermelon, and fresh juices (watch the sugar content though) are also a good way to stay hydrated.
As mentioned, during the summer months, your skin tends to produce more oil, which clogs the pores. To combat this, exfoliation is key. It helps remove the impurities in the skin, sloughing off the dry, dead skin cells and giving the pores a good clean out.
Aim for 2-3 times a week (too much exfoliation can lead to dryness and irritation).
3. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
This was likely drilled into your head as a child – wear your sunscreen. And still, as adults, we shouldn’t leave home without it. Even on those cloudy days, those harmful UV rays can still make their way to your skin.
Not only will that sunscreen protect your skin from burning, it also helps protect it from the risk of cancer thanks to those changes to melanin we mentioned earlier.
Experts recommend a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher on all exposed skin. Don’t forget about your hands, feet, ears, and lips. And remember, even if you’re not in the water, sunscreen should be reapplied every few hours.
4. CBD for Skin Health
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it is filled to the brim with cannabinoid receptors. When you apply CBD, it is absorbed by the skin, connecting with skin cells and giving you the topical benefits of its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
To use CBD for summer skin health, you can always use a tincture for a simple moisture boost, or a salve when you’ve been out in the sun too long. To add CBD to your regular skin care regimen, consider adding a few drops to your favorite face mask (or make your own – here are some recipes to try). You can also add it to your regular lotion to give it a natural boost (or, make a natural one – here’s that recipe).
5. Don’t Spend too Much Time in the Shower
Thanks to all that extra sweating, many of us shower more than once a day during the summer. The thing is, showering too much, or in water that’s too hot, dries out the skin. And ion course we don’t want that.
If you do tend to bathe more often in the summer, try to stick to lukewarm water, and keep the rinses to shorter stints. Plus, this is better for the environment anyways!
6. Seek Out the Shade
Along with wearing sun-protective clothing, wide-brim hats, and sunglasses in the sun, seeking out the shade will help protect your skin from sun damage.
Plus, as an added bonus, it will help reduce that peeking sweating we’ve mentioned a few times now.
Moisturizing is vital to protect your skin in summer. Look for a non-greasy formula, especially if your skin is already on the oily side. And try for something lighter that you would in the winter.
Also, look for ingredients like antioxidants like vitamins A and C. If it has SPF, even better. It is best to apply a moisturizer immediately after your bath.
Showing your skin a little TLC all summer long will help keep it fresh and happy. Enjoy!