How to Take Care of Your Skin during the Summer

how to take care of your skin

Learn how to implement healthy skin habits in the summer.

Summertime has officially started, and with it comes a huge array of fun outdoor activities. However, those days at the beach or working in the garden can wreak havoc on your skin. While the chapped lips and dry skin of winter are likely over for now, how to take care of your skin during the summer poses its own unique challenges for healthy, beautiful skin.

Here are some tips to keep it looking and feeling great through Labor Day:

First and foremost, protection from the sun is key for how to take care of your skin in the summer. Not only is sunburn painful, but over time sun exposure ages the skin, causing discoloration and wrinkles, and potentially leading to skin cancer.

Using a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 whenever you’re outside is critical. Alternatively, keep your skin covered with a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves and pants; light fabrics like linen and cotton can help you achieve this without overheating. Take an umbrella to the beach so that you can escape from the sun. If you’re still looking for a glowing tan, try a sunless tanning lotion.

Click here for health tips on how to combat the summer heat.

Even though winter’s dry weather may be gone, keeping hydrated (inside and out) is another key to keeping summer skin healthy. Extra heat and activity can quickly lead to dehydration, so make sure to drink plenty of fluids. This will help keep your skin looking soft and supple.

Don’t skip the moisturizer either; sun, wind, and water can dry the skin out, as can time spent in air conditioning. Try a lighter, oil-free lotion to avoid feeling greasy. Also, remember to take care of your lips, which can be susceptible to skin cancer as well, with a lip balm that contains sunscreen.

Regular exfoliation can also help improve your skin’s look and feel. By clearing away dirt, makeup and dead cells, you’ll be left with fresher, smoother skin.

Exfoliating can be especially helpful for improving the appearance of feet made rough from walking barefoot in the sand. Make sure to choose a product and regimen that’s suitable for your skin type, and don’t forget to moisturize afterward.

Changing up your makeup routine can help keep your skin looking its best in the summer. Opting for less makeup overall will not only help you avoid looking caked or streaky but will also feel cleaner and more comfortable on hot days.

Swap out heavier foundations and powders for tinted moisturizers and only use concealer where you need it (instead of over your whole face). If you use a powder blush, try switching to a cream or gel version. If you’re looking to get a glow while sticking to your SPF, try adding a little bronzer.

Even with extra care and attention, it’s not always possible to avoid all of the summer skin pitfalls. If you do end up with a sunburn, there are a number of steps you can take to soothe the pain and speed healing.

Apply a cool compress or take a cool bath. Use an aloe vera based moisturizer on the burn. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to rehydrate your stressed skin. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that doesn’t aggravate the burn. If the pain is too intense, taking an NSAID like ibuprofen or aspirin can help ease it and reduce the inflammation as well.

Extra time outdoors typically means extra contact with insects like mosquitos, bees, and ticks. Bites and stings can be itchy, uncomfortable, and can even make you sick; avoid them if possible by applying insect repellent and wearing clothing that keeps skin covered as much as possible.

If you do get bitten or stung, home remedies may be sufficient for the treatment of milder symptoms. Keep the location clean and ease any pain or itching with cold compresses, antihistamines, or soothing lotions like cortisone or calamine. However, make sure to get medical attention if you experience a more extreme reaction like a rash or hives, dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Time working in the yard, hiking, or camping can also mean exposure to irritants like poison ivy or poison oak. Again, prevention is preferable, so wear long sleeves and pants in situations where contact with these plants is likely.

Once exposed, there are a number of options you can use to ease the discomfort until the rash heals. Wash the area thoroughly; using a washcloth and soap helps ensure none of the oils from the plant are left on your skin.

Over the counter lotions like calamine can be applied to soothe the itch, or your doctor may prescribe a stronger steroid cream. Applying a paste made from baking soda and water or taking an oatmeal bath can also help.

Keeping your skin healthy in the summer can be a challenge. With some extra care and adjustments, you can easily handle many of the problems that can arise during the summer months, and keep it looking beautiful.

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