Summer Skin Care Guide
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This is my favorite time of year. There is so much I love about summer. Walking barefoot in the grass, exploring the wilds, just feeling the sun on my face. All of it except summer skin challenges!
Heat rashes, bug bites, sunburns, breakouts from the weather thrive in heat and humidity. It can be a struggle to keep our skin looking wonderful. This Summer Skin Care Guide should help.
The most important thing when caring for skin in the summer is to wear a sunblock and facial products that have a higher SPF than what you may wear in the winter. Even if you aren't going to be spending much time outdoors, or on cloudy days, apply the SPF anyway. It will help your skin stay protected.
Prevention and Treatment of Summer Breakouts
All the sweating, extra oiliness, and our tendency to dry out our skin from too much washing with harsher face soaps can mean chaos for our complexions. Use these tips to help:
- Use a mild cleanser and wash face three to four times a day.
- Rice paper or Bamboo face powder is great to help with extra oiliness
- Use Sensitive skin moisturizer and foundation with a high SPF
- Increase the amount of water that you drink
Acne treatments are good to use if you have to treat the occassional breakout, but pick one for sensitive skin. Also, use it at night as it may make your skin extra sensitive to the sun if you are wearing it during the day. Keeping hair back out of the face can also help keep your skin stay free from breakouts.
Prevention and Treatment of Sunburns
The biggest mistake people make that can lead to sunburns is not applying sunblock often or thick enough. They also don't always cover all those spots such as the back of the ears and neck, leaving spots of sunburns in sensitive areas.
Apply sunblock at least twenty minutes before sun exposure and then every 45 minutes to an hour in extreme heat and apply it generously. Even water proof sunblock needs to be reapplied after being in the water.
If you notice that you are starting to burn, cover up immediately. Carrying a small umbrella with you can help, or put on extra clothing, or go indoors. It's important to do this when you notice you are starting to burn, because as soon as you notice this, chances are, you are all ready burnt.
You want to treat a sunburn right away by bathing in cool water. Add some milk to the bath too for an extra soothing cool down. Pat your skin to dry it, rubbing will be too harsh. Then apply aloe lotion. You can also keep a cool cloth handy to continue cooling yourself down. If you can stand the smell, use some vinegar on a cool cloth, it's very helpful in taking the burn away. Also, drink plenty of extra fluids as a sunburn can dehydrate you. If your sunburn starts to peel, refrain from peeling it more yourself, as this could cause further damage. You can use a wet wash cloth to gently exfoliate, and then apply plenty of moisturizer. There is no quick fix to peeling, other to avoid sunburn.
Prevention and Treatment of Heat Rashes
Rubbing of hot skin against hot clothing, sweat glands getting plugged with dead skin cells, or bacteria, similar to the bacteria found in breakouts can lead to an uncomfortable rash. Heat rash is also known as prickly heat. It happens in hot and humid environments. Heat rash might look like a bunch of little red dots on the effected area, or it can form into small blistery clumps of redness.
- Use a body scrub about once a week to remove dead skin cells
- Use antibacterial soap and oil free moisturizers
- Keep cool and avoid prolonged times in the sun
- Take an antihistamine
- Leave the rash alone, refrain from itching
- Take an oatmeal bath
- Use Aloe to keep rash moisturized
- See a doctor if there are blisters or if the rash prolongs for more than a day or so.
Prevention and Treatment of Bug Bites
Bugs! They are everywhere in the summer. If you spend anytime at all outdoors, it is impossible to avoid them. There are chiggers, mosquitos, ants, flies, bees, wasps, and a couple years ago I unfortunately even discovered a species of ladybugs that have a nasty bite. Most bites are nothing more than an annoyance, but if your heart rate seems to become unstable, or if your breathing is interupted, get immediate medical attention.
The best way to prevent bug bites is to wear bug repellent, especially during the high points of the day such as dawn or dusk. Wear long sleeves and long pants if you are going to be out in nature or around lakes. For other outdoor events, bring citronella candles and keep them burning. Another quick trick is to keep some sheets of Bounce fabric softener with you. For some reason, bugs don't like that.
If you do get bit the best thing to do is to wash the area right away. You can use ice, or a Bug Bite Kit to help reduce discomfort and swelling. Benadryl or ibuprofen may also help. If you get stung, be careful that you remove the entire stinger. Start at the base of where the stinger enters your skin and push down and scrape away with a credit card. Meat tenderizer will help draw the poison of stings out of your system quickly.
With a little extra forethought, you should be able to sail through summer with a minimal amount of skin emergencies. Keep this guide handy to help you out!