Taking good care of your skin is important throughout the year. However, special care must be taken now, as summer heat sets in. Exposure to the sort of heat we experience in India causes sweating, which can clog your pores, often causing your skin to look dull and oily.
How summer sun exposure can impact the skin:
UV light from the sun causes photo-ageing in the form of brown spots, coarse skin and wrinkles, whether you have burned your skin or not. When sunlight comes in contact with skin, a cascade of damage results (including the stripping of barrier lipids) causing inflammation, production of reactive oxygen molecules that affect healthy cell growth, and stimulation of collagen destructing enzymes.
There are three types of UV rays:
- Ultraviolet A (UVA): The longest wavelength of the sun, this one penetrates the dermis, your skin’s deepest layer. Sun damage can activate free radicals and promote skin ageing.
- Ultraviolet B (UVB): This wavelength of rays penetrates the skin’s upper layer, the epidermis. These rays can cause sunburn, allergic reactions and skin cancers. Skin that has suffered sunburn – especially if the burns are painful – have a risk of developing melanoma (skin cancer) eventually with multiple episodes. Fair skin types are relatively more prone to develop sunburns, and therefore more prone to melanomas.
- Ultraviolet C (UVC): Generally these rays are filtered by the ozone layer. They are known to be the most damaging rays.
Apart from UV rays, the sun also emits Infrared rays. Excessive exposure can negatively impact collagen and your immune system. Infrared rays can also come from sources of heat such as sitting too close to stoves and baking ovens.
Note: The impact on fair skin tends to be greater as it contains less pigment. The pigment in the skin acts as a natural sunscreen, blocking some of the dangerous UVA and UVB rays.
How to stay protected from the summer sun:
- It is advisable to stay away from direct sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun is almost directly overhead and UV radiation intensity is at its strongest. Stay in the shade as much as possible and wear protective clothing.
- Wear plenty of sunscreen. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before stepping outside. You should also remember to reapply it after 3 to 4 hours, especially after contact with water, or if you are sweating. Shop for sunscreen that blocks against UVB and UVA rays.
- Cold Showers: After being exposed to the sun all day, a hot shower could potentially further dry the skin. A cool shower after sweating helps keep the skin unobstructed, decreasing acne breakouts
- Moisturise your skin: In the summer, it is tempting to ease up on moisturising because your skin may not feel as dry. However, remember that good moisturisers work gradually over time, and must be used consistently. In case you do get a sunburn, we recommend acting fast and moisturising liberally, preferably with a lotion containing aloe vera. This will keep the burned skin well hydrated, and it will help to soothe the discomfort.
- Wash your face correctly: Washing oily skin can be tricky. Not washing frequently enough can lead to an onslaught of clogged pores and acne. However, washing oily skin too often can lead to drying up of the skin. Try using blotting papers on areas where excess oil is an issue. Generally, washing your face 2-3 times per day during summer is advisable, but this may vary from person to person depending on the oiliness of your skin, outdoor activity, etc.
Beyond direct skin protective methods, you can also make certain lifestyle adjustments that can help you maintain healthy skin through the season:
- Drink lots of water: Drinking water regularly has great benefits. It has a direct impact on your body’s regular functions, as well as on the appearance and health of your skin. It is widely recommended that drinking a minimum of 8 glasses a day is necessary.
- Don’t cheat on your sleep: Lack of sleep can result in higher levels of stress hormones, which may in turn slow the production of collagen in the skin. As mentioned, when our skin starts slowing down collagen product, it begins to lose elasticity and starts looking tired and worn.
- Watch what you eat: Vitamin A rich vegetables like carrots, spinach have antioxidant properties, which help promote healthy skin. Go easy on the alcohol, and spicy and fried foods, as they all dilate blood vessels and compound your oily skin woes. If you are tempted, limit yourself to one drink a night, and eat spicy foods no more than once per week.
- Avoid spraying perfume on your skin in the sun: The alcohol in perfume can irritate your skin when it reacts with the sun. Some people can also develop an allergy and rash which, can lead to pigmentation. Instead, try using your fragrance on your clothes instead of your skin.
If at any time you do experience any skin or hair problems this season, remember getting expert help is a simple and quick process with Remedico. You can start your consultation immediately from wherever you are — answer a few simple questions, upload some images, and you’re done. From start to finish in as little as 5 minutes. You will then receive a personalised treatment plan and follow ups from our team to help you maintain glowing and healthy skin and hair throughout this hot season.
If you have any additional thoughts, ideas or suggestions with regard to the content above or anything skincare related – do write to us. We are always excited to hear from all of you!