How To Protect Your Skin From the Summer Heat
You’ve likely heard it all before: avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to four p.m., drink plenty of water, wear hats, check for new spots on your skin, etc. While these are all tips you should follow, it’s not always enough to protect your skin from burns, breakouts, and sun damage. To help you better defend yourself from the sun, let’s look at a few tips that will help you protect your skin from the summer heat. Use Sunscreen the Right Way Let’s get the stuff you’ve likely heard of out of the way–sunscreen is non-negotiable, but no one mentions that you’re likely using your sunscreen the wrong way! Sunscreen has an SPF rating, which stands for sun protection factor. This number tells you how long you can stay in the sun without risking sun damage and having to reapply. For example, SPF 50 can protect you for about 500 minutes, or 8 hours, before reapplying. However, this doesn’t mean you can go outside for three hours, stay inside for five, and then go back out without reapplying. Once the time is up, you have to put more sunscreen on. After you sweat off your sunscreen or go in the water, you have to reapply, no matter how long it’s been. Additionally, sunscreen doesn’t magically begin to protect you from the sun the second you put it on. It takes about 20 minutes to absorb into your skin before it can do its job. Change Up Your Skin-Care Routine In addition to switching things up to protect your moisture barrier, you should consider changing other aspects of your skin-care routine. Throughout the summer, you’ll likely sweat, and all of that sunscreen can leave your skin feeling greasy, which is a recipe for clogged pores. During the day, switch out oil-based moisturizers for lightweight, water-based ones that won’t trap dirt and bacteria. Gentle cleansers with salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acid will also clear up pores. You’ll also want to start exfoliating at least once a week if you aren’t already, as your cleanser can’t remove all of that gunk. However, don’t exfoliate too often! One of the most common exfoliation mistakes people make is jumping head-first into exfoliating and doing it two to three times a week. This works for some people, but for others, this can lead to a damaged moisture barrier! Protect and Strengthen Your Moisture Barrier Your skin’s moisture barrier, also known as the stratum corneum, is the outermost layer of skin that helps you retain moisture and acts as a shield to protect your skin from allergens, dirt, bacteria, and UV rays. However, your moisture barrier can become damaged, so to protect your skin from the summer heat, you should protect your moisture barrier, too. Moisturizing twice a day should become a habit. Face creams have the healthy fats, oils, and water necessary to keep your skin hydrated, moisturized, and healthy. Avoid using harsh soaps, really hot water, and applying intense skin peels. Also, consider using skin-care products that contain ceramides, glycerin, squalene, hyaluronic acid, and other ingredients that hydrate the skin.