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How to Protect and Nourish your Skin in the Summer

Just like you change your outfits according to the weather, it's time to change your skincare routine as well! The summer weather brings a unique set of challenges that leaves skin even more vulnerable to environmental stressors and it's essential to adjust your skincare routine to accommodate the season's changes.

There are three main changes summer weather brings including soaring temperatures, higher humidity, and intense UV rays. The increased UV radiation poses the risk of premature aging, skin cancer, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

While sunburn is one of the most painful and noticeable damages that summer weather brings, the higher moisture levels also have a large impact. High heat and humidity can triggers oil production, causing acne-prone skin to become even more prone to breakouts, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Keep reading to learn a few ways to combat the summer skincare battle! From shielding your skin from UV rays to combating dryness and acne, we'll cover some of the essential strategies to keep your skin healthy, radiant, and protected throughout the summer months.

UV Index and Sunscreen Application

To know what you should be looking for in your sunscreen it’s important to first understand UV radiation. UV radiation consists of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. UVC rays are mostly absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere and do not reach the skin. However, the FDA informs us that “both UVA and UVB rays can cause damage to your skin. Sunburn in a sign of short-term overexposure, while premature aging and skin cancer are side effects of prolonged UV exposure.”

Let's start with sunscreen, we won't stay too long here because we've got an entire blog post dedicated to sunscreen which you should check out! The most important things to note include using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and if you're out in the sun all day, re-apply exposed areas every 3-4 hours or after every dip in the water. A great sunscreen option is the Sunshine eNVy - SPF 30 mineral moisturizer if you love sustainability and your skin!

Despite your best efforts, sunburns can happen. But it's important to take proper care to minimize damage and discomfort.

Follow these easy steps to start the road to healing that burn:

  1. Cool the skin: You know when you burn your hand on a hot pan the first instinct is to run it under cold water? It's the same thing for sunburns! Apply a cold compress or take a cool bath to soothe the affected area. Oatmeal is a great additive if you decide to take a bath. (Kurtz, et al, 2007).

  2. Hydrate and soothe: Using an aloe vera gel or hydrating lotion can help begin the healing process and hydrate the skin. Avoid products with alcohol as an ingredient because they will further dry out your skin.

  3. Avoid further sun exposure: I know that's not what you want to hear when you're on vacation, but keeping the sunburned area covered is one of the most important steps to avoiding further damage. Opt for a light sun hoodie or other moisture-wicking cool clothing.

Temperature and Humidity

Higher temperatures and humidity work in unique ways making it crucial to adapt your skincare accordingly. Higher temperatures can increase oil production, leading to more breakouts and a greasy complexion. Humidity, on the other hand, makes it difficult for sweat to evaporate, leaving you sticky and uncomfortable. Not only does it leave you feeling yucky, but this ends up leading to an increase in sebum production and potential breakouts! As a matter of fact, humidity can worsen acne by providing an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. We can never win!

It's important to follow a good care routine during these months, here's a few expert tips:

  • Moisturize wisely: Heavy creams and oils can feel suffocating in the heat. Using lightweight, oil-free moisturizers and serums help combat dryness and prevent oiliness without clogging pores.

  • Exfoliate with care: Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and prevents clogged pores. Check out our exfoliation blog for more info and to find out how to exfoliate best.

  • Hydrate from the inside out: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Don't forget to indulge in some delicious water-rich seasonal fruits as well. Watermelon, strawberries, and cucumbers are just a few that will boost your hydration levels (yummy!)

  • Wear protective clothing: Sun hoodies and clothing with built-in UPF ratings are a great idea for keeping you cool and protected!

Body Care

Bikini (or monokini!) season is upon us and we want to help YOU keep your skin glowing and hydrated. In this section, we'll talk about a few ways to elevate your body care regimen during the warmer months.

One of the key aspects of summer body care is maintaining hydration. UV radiation can disrupt the skin’s natural barrier function, leading to increased dryness, flakiness, and roughness. Not only is dry skin uncomfortable but it can also irritate other skin issues, such as eczema and dermatitis (Sooyoung, et al, 2021). To counteract the drying effect of the sun, it’s important to prioritize hydration and focus on replenishing the lost moisture. Body oils are a fantastic way to lock in moisture and keep your skin looking radiant as they help rebalance your skin's natural oil barrier that may be stripped away from water activities and increased sun exposure.

To apply, dispense a full dropper into your hand and massage into your (soon-to-be-happier) skin after a shower, or add a few drops to your lotion to boost hydration retention for your skin. While on the topic of hydration, look for body care products that contain hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and natural oils like jojoba and almond oil (Bergfeld, et al, 2022).

But! Before you hydrate, it's best to exfoliate, regularly... like once a week. This is key to removing dead skin cells and promoting a smooth, even skin tone (making those summer tans even better!) Exfoliation is important year-round ESPECIALLY in the summer to help prevent clogged pores from sweat and sunscreen. One effective technique is dry brushing, which not only exfoliates but also promotes lymphatic drainage (Khetarpal, et al, 2021)

So how do I dry brush? It's easy! Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose the right brush: Natural bristle brushes are going to be your best option because they won't be abrasive on the skin.

  2. Brush before showering: Use gentle, upward strokes starting at your feet. Always brush towards your heart to support circulation and lymphatic flow.

  3. Be gentle: Avoid over-brushing. Don't brush too hard on sensitive areas like your chest and avoid irritated skin.

  4. Shower and enjoy your soft skin: Cleanse your body to wash off all the dead skin cells you removed and don't forget to follow up with a body oil or lotion like we mentioned earlier.

Taking care of your skin during the summer requires a few adaptations to your normal skincare routine. By swapping for lightweight products, diligently cleansing, effective sun protection, and regular exfoliation, you can keep your skin healthy, radiant, and well-protected all summer long. Now get outside and enjoy the weather!

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