With summertime comes the welcome arrival of backyard barbecues, picnics, swimming, and long days spent lounging by rivers, lakes, or pools. As idyllic as all of this sounds, summertime can also pose dangers for our skin. Here are some of the most common summertime activities that can pose skin issues and how the combat them.
The Activity: Lounging poolside.
The Problem: By now we’re all aware that the countless hours we spent tanning or sunbathing when we were younger turned out not to have been such a good idea. But it’s not just sunbathing that damages our skin. Any outdoor activity that inadvertently exposes our skin to the sun can do damage. This even includes hiking, shopping at markets and outdoor malls, and spending time at the fair. While no summer would be complete without these activities, the problem with sun exposure is that UV rays damage our skin. Beyond common sunburn the sun’s rays also break down elastin and cause discoloration, sun spots, and wrinkles.
The Solution: Apply sunscreen. Especially on your face. Find a high quality sunscreen designed especially for delicate facial skin. If you’re going to be out for the day throw it in your bag and reapply every hour or so. Try a wide brimmed hat and always wear sunglasses. For the rest of your body, consider buying a few light colored breezy long sleeved shirts that will keep you cool and protect your arms and décolleté from the sun at the same time. If covering up is not an option, find a high SPF sunscreen that you can apply to all exposed skin.
The Activity: Happy Hour!
The Problem: Nothing goes with a day spent at the pool like an icy margarita, and what BBQ is complete without a frosty beer or two? Along with longer evenings comes more opportunities to spend time with friends after work, hit up happy hours and pop bubbly. The problem is that drinking alcohol can wreak havoc on your skin. Alcohol leaves your entire body dehydrated and depleted of vitamins, electrolytes and vital hydration. Skin responds to this lack of nutrients by becoming inflamed and bloated and dehydration causes wrinkles. Hardly the sun-kissed summer vixen ideal you had in mind for yourself.
The Solution: Drink water. Try pacing your drinks by having a glass of water between each drink. Not only does this slow you down, it also gives your body the water it needs to deal with the alcohol you’re consuming. Try sparkling mineral water with lemon or lime to keep your water feeling festive and exciting. If you do overdo it, find ways to get extra nutrition into your diet. Lots of leafy greens and vegetables will give your system the tools it needs to quickly and efficiently sweep the toxins out of your body and keep your pretty face fresh and glowing.
The Activity: Swimming
The Problem: Not only is swimming one of the best exercises you can do due to its low impact on the joints, it’s also one of the best ways to cool off on those blazing hot summer days. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to water, particularly chlorinated water, can strip our skin of its oils leaving it parched and scaly.
The Solution: If you have a choice, it’s better to swim in a natural lake than a chlorinated swimming pool. Chlorine is a very harsh chemical. If it’s your own pool you can look into alternative ways to keep your water pristine that aren’t so hard on the skin. If you can’t avoid chlorine be sure to shower off the moment you get out of the pool. If your legs are looking parched and scaly after a swim session, try a vigorous exfoliation with a dry brush followed by application of a good quality moisturizer.
Even the most vigilant summertime skin protectors will still notice the occasional sunspot or wrinkle crop up. When this happens you can try a treatment like photo-facial to correct the pigmentation or HydraFacial to plump out the wrinkles and infuse your skin with the moisture is has lost. Ask your skincare specialist to recommend products and treatments that can help you look your best and protect your skin while enjoying your summer.