Summer Skin Care Tips

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Hot weather, salt water, humidity, and chlorine take their toll on our skin during the summer months. Here are some helpful summer skin care tips and solutions for keeping your skin safe and beautiful all summer long.
Don’t neglect your skin.

Did you know that most skin aging occurs during the summer? So…consistent application of sun protection, regular professional facials, and a good home skin care routine are your best defenses against fun in the sun and heat.

Wearing sunscreen every day will significantly cut back on accumulative sun damage.
Recent information from the UCLA skin research department indicates that 78% of all the sun damage incurred in a lifetime is from incidental exposure! You may say “I’m not out at all during the day” but just walking to your car, and even driving in your car will expose you to unnecessary sun damage. Windshields do nothing to protect you from UV rays! Wear a moisturizer that contains a sun block with a minimum of SPF #15. Apply it in the morning so you’ll be covered all day!

It’s not about the SPF number, it’s how often and how much you re-apply your sunscreen.
People are always asking me which SPF number should they use. The truth is, an SPF 30 only offers 4% more protection than an SPF 15. You would have thought it was double the protection, right? As you get up in the higher numbers (SPF 45, 50, 70 +) that percentage comes down, but you’re also exposing your skin to more chemicals which might result in a negative reaction on the skin. The key to protecting your skin in the sun is to re-apply your sunscreen generously at least every two hours. A little dab won’t do you…you need to slather it on.
For those who suffer from back breakouts, avoid hair conditioner containing panthenol.

If back breakouts trouble you, it could be an ingredient in your hair conditioner that’s causing the problem. Panthenol, well-known for its benefit for strengthening the hair, may be a potential pore-clogger. Why the back? Simply because when you rinse out hair conditioner, a residue of the product stays on your back. Use hair products that do not contain Panthenol, exfoliate your back with a mild cleansing gel and exfoliating cloth three times a week and apply an anti-bacterial lotion and your back will be clear for summer.
Produce less oil on the face, never wash with a bar of soap.

One of the biggest complaints we hear during the summer is, “My skin gets so oily!” The binders that hold a bar of soap together are in an alkaline base (high ph balance), which will strip all the water and natural oils out of the skin, causing the surface of the skin to dehydrate. Your skin cells need to stay moist in order to be healthy, and without water, your skin will be producing more oil to compensate for the lack of water which is that last thing you want your skin to do in the heat of the summer! Using soap can also cause more break outs as the dehydrated cells being caused from the drying soap can cause a layer of dry skin cell buildup which can trap oil and keep them clogged in the pores. Try a sulfate-free cleansing gel such as a Clarifying Cleanser. .

Avoid dairy products if your skin is prone to break outs.
With the heat and humidity in the summer, break outs are a real concern for a lot of people. And we’ve all heard that greasy foods and chocolate cause breakouts. In our experience, when breakouts are cyst-like in the chin and jaw-line area, most often this is related to excessive dairy products in your diet. Try cutting out cheese, milk, ice cream, and frozen yogurt, and watch your skin clear up! There are many other ways to get calcium in your diet; broccoli, asparagus and orange juice.

When soothing sunburn, avoid applying lotion. Instead use cold yogurt!
Okay. So you thought you had on plenty of sunscreen and the next thing you know, you got fried. A common misconception about soothing sunburn is that you should keep re-applying lotion (especially aloe vera-based lotion) to keep the skin moist. Layering lotion on sunburned skin traps heat, keeping the skin red longer. Skin must breathe to let out heat. Cold plain yogurt applied to the skin works as an anti-inflammatory and heat remover. Apply, let dry for 15 minutes, and rinse. Repeat every hour.

Use hand cream that contains sunscreen.
Did you know that the majority of aging that occurs on the hands (sun spots and wrinkles) is attributable to driving in the car with your hands on the steering wheel? Make sure to use a hand cream with an SPF of at least #15 every day.

Load up with antioxidants, both topically and internally.
Research continues to indicate that antioxidants, when used topically in skin care serums and moisturizers and taken internally by eating spinach, tomatoes, berries and sweet potatoes, can provide your skin and body with the defense it needs to fight off damaging free radicals which increase aging. One of the main ways we get these damaging free radicals is through sunlight – even while wearing a sunscreen! Vitamin C is a popular ingredient that will provide your skin with age-fighting antioxidant protection.

Don’t rely only on your sunscreen.
Sunscreens wear off, sweat off, and wash off, so reapply every hour if you are out in the sun. Also, wear a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing to guard your skin against sun damage. If you want to look young, avoid the sun! No amount of sun exposure is damage-free. A little sun means a little damage, and a lot of sun means a lot of damage. And suntan beds are the worst!

Put the brakes on brown spots with a skin lightener.
Skin prone to hyperpigmentation and discoloration (brown spots), the summer sun can really exacerbate this condition. But did you know that it is not only the sun that causes these spots to come out during the summer, but the heat from UV rays? So even if you are absolutely diligent about re-applying sun protection and wearing a hat when outdoors, your melanin activity can still be stimulated resulting in an increase of brown spots. If you are prone to hyperpigmentation, you must use a skin lightener every day to suppress the melanin activity to prevent pigmentation from getting worse during the hot summer months.

The bottom line…
The #1 cause of lines and wrinkles is sun exposure. If you want to look young, avoid the sun. It’s really that simple.
A little sun damage = a little damage.
A lot of sun = a lot of damage

Article by
Santa Barbara Facial Plastic Surgeon