Hot Tips for Summer Skin Care
Warm breezes, sunny walks in the park, shorts and sandals...all conjure up the images of finally escaping from this last ridiculously frigid winter. Just ahead are lazy, hazy, hot summer days, and while that puts most of us in the mood for some outdoor fun and lighter clothing, it also means we are about to force our skin into a completely new environment.
Most of us have had our skin wrapped up against the elements and kept in dry heated air for the past 6 months. We have slathered and creamed our skin with oils and lotions to preserve it (Think about those mummies you see in the museum.) Now it's time to take those wrappings off and let our skin breathe a little!
However, before you jump into showing off that thawed out skin of yours, there are some things you will want to do get it out of hibernation and looking its glowing best.
First, you will want to put a good exfoliation regimen into place. This can be done by purchasing a sponge made for this purpose like a BUFPUF
sponge. Loofah, and light fine textured sponges are best for all over body use. You can use scrubs but they tend to be harder to apply everywhere and get the even complexion you are looking for. Many of us are also tempted to overdo it and that can cause irritation and even some skin damage. If you have a favorite scrub that works well for you then employ that on an every other day basis.
Exfoliation is the number one thing that will reveal newer and brightened skin preparing it for a good cleanser and moisturizer so that they work better. It is also time to switch to a lighter cleanser that is naturally based. Glycerin. Olive oil, and gel type bars are great for cleansing without stripping skin of its natural oils. Almond oil and oatmeal are also excellent choices. Using products that contain alcohol and sulfides can over dry skin and actually make it more blemish prone.
Select moisturizers carefully and make sure they are petroleum free. Choose products that use natural oils like palm. Olive, and even cocoa butter are very good at holding moisture balance and will not clog pores or cause breakouts. In the event you do run into a blemish or two this summer, simply applying a dab of pure tea tree oil will speed the healing process and get your skin looking clearer fast.
Whether it's the beach or your own backyard you have a whole new set of rules for caring for an protecting your skin. Be sure to remember your sunscreen. I recommend you use lotions and natural oil based products for these too. There have been problems with the flammable aspects of the aerosol spray variety so if you use aerosol beware of any nearby fires or sparking devices as the product will be flammable until it is completely dry.
As for how high the protection needs to be SPF 30 is plenty of protection as long as you apply it regularly and follow the directions. Anything higher can be irritating to skin and greasy. Higher SPF concentrated products tend to give people a false sense of protection even though they need to be reapplied as often as the lower concentrations.
While we are on the topic of sunscreen, now is a great time to check yourself for any unusual changes and mores or new or unusual things on your skin.
While skin cancers can show up anytime, I call this skin cancer season because now is a great time to be aware of your skin and any changes that have occurred while we were covered up in the cooler months.
Did you know that the American Dermatological Society has a great way to do this called the ABC's for the signs of skin cancer? This is for any changes that occur in your skin or moles that you already have or show up. To learn the signs of skin cancer follow the A, B, C, D rule:
B. Border irregularity
C. Color change, dark, or multicolor
D. Diameter greater than 5-6 mm’s
Any unusual dry or red flaky patches that show up and don't go away should also be checked out. No one knows your skin better than you do, so be sure to respect any changes that occur. Better safe than sorry. Keeping all these tips in mind as you enjoy your summer will mean that your skin will get to enjoy it too while still looking its best.