The best way to completely avoid sun damage is to stay out of the sun. Unless you plan to stay inside all summer, this isn’t a great option. Throwing caution to the wind and not taking any precautions also doesn’t seem like a good idea.
Spending a lot of time in the sun is what summer is all about, right? Well, yes, and no. Of course, we’d love to bask in the warm rays from sunup to sundown. Unfortunately, we know that too much exposure to the sun (without proper protection) can lead to itchy skin, sunburn, prickly heat, or rashes.
In this article, we’ll talk about how the summer weather affects your skin, how our skin changes throughout the year, and provide six ways you can protect your skin, naturally.
Rather than cover every inch of exposed skin every time you leave the house, we recommend implementing ways to protect yourself from harmful sun damage. Not only will following our protective skin care tips help you in the present, but your future self will also be grateful.
Let’s first take a look at some dangers of too much sun exposure.
Dangers to Sun Exposure: Sun Damage
Sunburn is the most immediate danger most of us experience when we get too much sun. It happens so frequently it may be easy to overlook what happens to our skin when we get sunburned.
If you could look at your sunburned skin under a microscope, you may think twice about not covering up the next time you venture out into the summer sun. When our skin “burns” what actually happens is the cells and blood vessels in that area are being damaged.
Whether or not you see a burn, your skin can be harmed by perpetual sun exposure. It’s also important to note that sunburn is your skin’s immediate reaction to overexposure, but sun damage occurs over a lifetime.
Undoubtedly, the most serious threat to our skin from the sun is skin cancer, the most common of all cancers. According to doctors and dermatologists, most skin cancers can be avoided by simply preventing sun damage.
The more sun damage you experience, the more your skin starts to wrinkle and dry out. This leaves your skin looking discolored and leathery. Visually, what we interpret as thicker skin is actually weakened, which makes it much easier to bruise.
So, why is the sun so much more damaging in summer?
How Summer Affects Your Skin
During the warmer months of summer, as humidity levels rise, our skin’s sebaceous glands begin producing and secreting excess sebum (natural oil). Excess sebum sticks to the surface of the skin, resulting in stickiness, greasiness, and clogged pores.
When our pores are blocked, the chances of experiencing an acne breakout increase. This is a common problem for many people in the summer. If you already have oily skin, you’re more likely to experience blocked pores and acne.
According to dermatologists, people taking acne medication should avoid direct sun rays. This is because many of these drugs can increase your skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation, which may lead to skin cancer.
Spending hours in the pool may be a great way to keep cool, but it can also have a negative effect on our skin. The chemicals that are used in a pool have been known to cause chloracne – a particularly bad form of acne. Even if you opt to lay poolside, the sunblock you use may contain ingredients that aggravate your skin.
The melanin in our skin has photoprotective qualities. As our skin gets exposed to harmful UV rays from the sun, our melanin production increases to protect our skin from sun damage. As our melanin increases, our skin becomes darker and more tanned. Getting a tan does not mean that other protective measures should not be taken.
Does Your Skin Change as the Seasons Change?
Yes, your skin changes with the seasons, which means your skincare routine should also change as needed. Summer and winter reflect the greatest changes in our skin, so we’ll talk about only those two seasons here.
If you live in an area that has four seasons, you’ve probably already noticed your skin feels dryer during the winter months. The cold, harsh winds can irritate the more delicate skin on our faces and hands.
This is because the dry weather that comes in winter can strip all the natural moisture from your skin. For some, this means suffering from itchy, scaly skin; others get red patches and breakout with acne.
High humidity during summer can lead to bacterial infections due to clogged pores, sweat, and acne breakouts. While sitting under an air conditioner all summer may seem like the best way to cope with high temps – too much can actually dehydrate your skin. This is also true if you crank up the central heating in winter.
Our skin will change throughout the year and should be cared for with consideration of the season. What’s important to remember is that your skin needs a little extra attention and care during the summer months.
6 Ways You Can Care for Your Skin This Summer
It may feel like it’s impossible to create conditions in which our skin will thrive, especially since we can’t keep our skin from reacting to environmental factors. What is within your control, however, is your skincare routine.
Our six tips for protecting your skin this summer are:
- Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
- Take Shorter Showers
- Wear Sun-Protective Clothing
- Boost Your Skin’s Vitamin C
- Nourish Your Skin from the Inside
- Don’t Forget to Exfoliate
With a few simple steps, you can protect your skin from the harmful effects of summer’s sun and heat. Without further delay, let’s get to our list of protective skincare tips for this summer.
#1 Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Even if your skin already feels oily or you constantly have an extra layer of sweat on your face, you should always moisturize your face after cleaning it.
Using moisturizers that are too thick can lead to clogged pores, acne breakouts, and inflammation. This is especially true if you already have oily or acne-prone skin. But you don’t want to stop moisturizing completely either.
Consider switching to a combination moisturizer and sunscreen to protect your face during the summer. For most of us, a lightweight moisturizer with a minimum SPF of 30 should be enough as long as you remember to reapply every two to three hours.
By applying one product instead of two separate ones to your face, you can help keep your skin clearer and maybe save a few bucks.
#2 Take Shorter Showers
It isn’t surprising that many of us shower multiple times a day during the summer months. Whatever your reason for increasing your shower count (beach days, sweatier workouts, etc), over-showering can actually harm your skin.
Showering in water that is too hot or taking showers between every activity can lead to over-drying your skin. Inflammation and summertime eczema are often the results of over-showering in the summer.
If you don’t think you can cut down on the number of showers you take each day, we recommend keeping shower time to four or five minutes. Unless you’re involved in something grimy.
#3 Wear Sun-Protective Clothing
Most of our tips relate to properly protecting your face from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, but you don’t want to forget about the rest of your body. Whether you’re going to the beach or taking your pup for a walk, opt for breathable fabrics.
Think “lighter and looser” when you’re standing in front of your closet. You may not want to wear a long-sleeved shirt and jeans everywhere, but you don’t have to wear tight-fitting outfits made of synthetic materials either.
Start at the top of your head and work your way down. A wide brim hat provides better coverage for your face and neck than a baseball cap, and a pair of UV 400 sunglasses might be worth the investment.
And in case you didn’t already know, more and more brands are releasing garments designed to protect against skin-cancer-causing rays. These clothes have an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating, which indicates how much UVB and UVA radiation are blocked by the fabric.
#4 Boost Your Skin’s Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important 365 days a year, but many don’t know just how important it is during summer. Vitamin C is the key to maintaining a smooth and vibrant complexion all summer long.
The following is a brief list of benefits of using vitamin C on your skin:
- It hydrates and brightens
- It reduces redness, under-eye circles, and hyperpigmentation
- It promotes collagen production
- It soothes sunburns and may protect against sun damage
Additionally, using a topical vitamin C may help prevent sagging and speed up wound recovery. You only need to put a few drops on your skin between cleansing and moisturizing.
You are likely getting enough vitamin C from your normal diet (assuming you eat healthily), but it may not be going to your skin. Vitamin C serums are the best way to ensure your skin reaps all the benefits.
#5 Nourish Your Skin from the Inside
We should all know by now how important it is to stay hydrated (even if we don’t drink as much water as we should). Dehydration doesn’t just affect our insides, it can wreak havoc on our skin.
Water and electrolytes keep your body hydrated, while healthy fats support the skin barrier. When temperatures are on the rise, bump up your intake of these. Consuming enough water for your body helps flush harmful toxins from the body and keep your pores from clogging up.
Try incorporating more water-based fruits (i.e. watermelon, cucumber, lettuce), coconut water, and fresh juices to stay hydrated. Also, consider eating seasonal fruits instead of out-of-season ones, and, as much as you can, avoid sugary drinks. They have no hydrating qualities and can contribute to unwanted weight gain.
#6 Don’t Forget to Exfoliate
Exfoliating our skin is an important part of a skincare routine, regardless of the time of year. In summer, however, some dermatologists recommend incorporating even more exfoliation into your routine – unless you have a recent sunburn. You should never exfoliate sunburned skin.
Start by slowly increasing the number of days you exfoliate each week, but avoid exfoliating daily. Try exfoliating every other day. And don’t forget about your lips, neck, and feet during your exfoliation regimen. Scrub your feet to exfoliate before applying sunscreen and moisturizer, especially if your toes will be exposed.
If your skin seems to be extra greasy in the summer, consider choosing an exfoliator that can penetrate pores and remove excess sebum, like Skinception’s Microderm Facial Exfoliator.
Microderm Facial Exfoliator is a gentle and effective skincare product that will rejuvenate and replenish your skin so you can glow until the very last beach day. It’s the closest thing to microdermabrasion available, and it doesn’t come with the high price tag of that treatment.
What’s the Best Way to Protect My Skin This Summer?
Our skin will need different kinds of care throughout the year as temperatures fluctuate. The bulk of sun damage (almost 80%) occurs during the summer months. The more time you spend in the sun this summer, the more you need to be mindful of the damage it can do.
Protecting your skin is about more than just slapping on a high-SPF sunblock – although that is extremely important. It’s also about what you put into your body and how you care for it before you ever step foot out of your house.
You can restore your skin’s natural radiance by following a regular skin care routine, protecting your skin from the sun, eating healthily, and exfoliating with Microderm Facial Exfoliator by Skinception.
Take some time to come up with a summer-friendly skin care routine to ensure you and your skin have a happy, healthy summer break. Enjoy every minute of daylight this summer, knowing your skin is protected.
Make the best of this year with the best skin and by following our, “10 Healthy Habits to Start Your 2022 Right.”