With the weather heating up and the sun shining, naturally, more people are spending time outdoors. While it’s great to soak up some vitamin D, it’s important that you protect your skin when you’re basking in the sunshine. When it comes to your skin’s health, prevention is everything.
The Effects of Sun Exposure on the Skin
Prolonged exposure to the sun is one of the leading causes of premature ageing. It’s also known as photoaging and what happens is the sun’s UVA rays cause oxidative stress that damages cellular DNA. This process encourages the skin to start forming wrinkles, sag and develop pigmentation gradually over time. Because the sun can speed up the skin’s ageing process, it can make you look older than you are.
On top of this, the DNA damage from too much sun exposure can cause skin cancer. In the UK, 9 out of 10 cases of melanoma, which is a serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented by avoiding sunbeds and staying safe in the sun.
Summer Skin Care: 7 Ways to Care and Protect Your Skin This Summer
Although none of us can avoid ageing altogether, you can take steps to protect your skin and look after your skin health. While you should have a year-round skincare routine to support your skin, it’s important to adapt and stay safe in the sun.
1. Remove Excess Oil
In the heat, it’s easy for oily skin to become more oily. Use a face wash suitable for your skin type to remove excess dirt, oil and cleanse your skin.
2. Wear SPF!
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin when you’re in the sun. A good SPF will help to protect your skin from premature ageing and allow you to stay safe in the sun. If you’re swimming, remember to reapply sunscreen multiple times.
How Does Sunscreen Protect Your Skin?
Sunscreen works by blocking harmful UV rays from being absorbed by the skin. Benefits of sunscreen include:
- Slow down the ageing process
- Decrease the risk of skin cancer
- Limit the appearance of sunspots
- It helps keep your skin complexion even
3. Avoid the High Sun
If you can, avoid going out in the sun during intense hours. In the UK, the sun is strongest between 11 am and 3 pm. This is when it’s a good idea to stick to the shade and cover up your skin with breathable clothing.
Prevention is essential when it comes to skin protection in summer. You can take simple steps to avoid sunburn skin and keep your skin safe this summer. Avoiding the peak of the sun is useful for keeping any damage to a minimum. Wear sunscreen all day, but try to sit in the shade during those intense sunshine hours.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
When it’s very hot, you should increase your water intake. Drinking plenty of water will help to rehydrate your skin and replace the fluids you lose through sweating.
If you don’t drink enough water, your skin can look dull, and wrinkles look more obvious. Drinking water helps to keep good skin elasticity. This means your skin should look plumper and less likely to crack.
5. Opt for Light Makeup
Heavy makeup stops the skin from breathing. During hotter months, opt for lighter makeup like a tinted lip balm and moisturiser. Wear makeup that isn’t going to block the skin. Heavy makeup can feel too much on the skin during hotter weather. Experiment with what feels good so that you can feel comfortable all day long.
6. Don’t Forget to Moisturise
Hydration is key throughout the summer, so it’s important to keep the skin hydrated. Choose a light moisturiser to increase your skin’s natural hydration and minimise redness.
If and how much you need to moisturise in the summer often depends on your skin type. If you feel like your face is oily and greasy after you wash it, you can usually skip the moisturiser. But excessive heat can dehydrate your skin. In that case, it’s a good idea to use a light moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated.
7. Be Careful of Certain Medications
Certain medications can increase your sensitivity to the sun. For example, some antibiotics, malaria medication, and over-the-counter medications can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. These can make you more sensitive to the sun and more likely to burn without protection than normal.
8. Wear a Hat
Wearing a hat can shade your eyes and protect your face all day. It doesn’t wear off the same way sunscreen does. So, it adds a great layer of protection if you forget to reapply sun protection during the day.
9. Avoid Sunbeds
Although it can be tempting to top up your tan with a sunbed session, it’s a good idea to skip the sunbed. Some sunbeds can give out more UV rays than the midday sun. It’s best to avoid using sunbeds as they can increase your risk of cancer, especially for younger people.
10, Keep an Eye on Your Skin
Try to monitor your skin and keep an eye out for any changes that may need testing. Anything that looks suspicious, changes to existing spots or new spots may need to be examined by your doctor.
Your skin’s needs change throughout the seasons. Winter brings cold weather and tends to strip your skin of natural moisture, causing itchy skin. At the same time, summer can increase humidity which can increase sweating, causing clogged pores and breakouts. Your skin needs extra attention during the hotter months. By taking steps to protect your skin during the summer, you can glow all year round.
To talk about our medical-grade skincare health kits by ZO Skin Health, book a consultation today at The Harley Clinic. We can help you create a skincare routine so that you have everything you need for clear and happy skin all summer long.