It’s no secret that—for all the fun times it can bring—summer isn’t terribly kind on the skin, nor does it make it easier for you to care for your skin. There are loads of skincare headaches that can arise in the summer, including heat rashes, breakouts, dryness, dehydration, itchiness, and even yeast infections.
So is there any good news? Fortunately yes, and the good news is that all of these issues are entirely preventable, and it is in fact possible to “summer proof” your skin to keep all these irritating issues at bay.
Sunscreen, Sunscreen, and More Sunscreen
Vine Vera has certainly illuminated the importance of sunscreen and how to use it several times before, and we will probably keep doing it several times more, because it’s that important. The vast majority of summer skin issues have to do with sun damage; whether or not you get an actual sunburn out of it, prolonged sun exposure can have a lot of adverse effects on your appearance, as well as your general health (like increasing your risk of skin cancer), so this is arguably the most important aspect to summer-proofing your skin.
Always, always use broad spectrum, SPF 30 or higher sunscreen on any skin that won’t be covered when you go outside. This includes places you might think of, like visible scalp lines where you part your hair, and your lips, which can be protected with a sunscreen-infused lip balm (the SPF 30 requirement applies here too). Reapply every couple hours no matter what kind of sunscreen you use, but if you absolutely can’t or you worry you’ll forget, at least improve your odds by using a physical blocker sunscreen with zinc and/or titanium mineral protectors.
Hydrate Like Hell
Seriously, keep a water bottle or full cup in arm’s reach all the time, and drink up. H2O molecules are essential for metabolism, cell repair and regeneration, and just general well-being. Besides that, dehydration is one of the hazards that can bring on specific skin issues, so be sure to avoid it and drink lots of fluids. If you get tired of plain water, you can drink herbal tea or mildly flavored water to count towards your fluid intake, but remember that any sugar or caffeine content will lower the effectiveness of your hydration, since both cause you to need more water overall. This doesn’t mean you can’t consume sweet or caffeine-rich drinks, though, just keep it in moderation and drink lots of extra water to compensate.
Believe it or not, the kinds of foods you eat can also have a major impact on your skin’s ability to withstand sun damage, reducing your risk of wrinkling and developing cancer later in life. Omega 3 fatty acids and other “good fats” can help immensely with this, and have other health benefits as well. They also help contribute to overall glowing, healthy-looking skin, so eat up!
Good sources of healthy fats include: fish oil supplements, avocado, chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed, just to name a few.