How to combat skin enemies!
Learn about summertime skin irritants and how to beat them
By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician
Heat, humidity, wind, pollution and UV Radiation. What do we do to fight these skin enemies and keep our skin balanced, clear and hydrated in the summer months? In this blog post we will look at each of these irritants, how they affect the skin, and what we can do to care for our skin.
Heat is welcomed in Michigan after the long winter. Intense heat for long periods can be tough on the skin, though. The body produces sweat when we are hot, to cool itself down. Sweat mixes with sebum and bacteria which can be the perfect storm for a breakout. This is why your cleansing regimen is so important in summer! Using a gentle gel type cleanser is a great option. I would also recommend a cleanser with gentle acids like salicylic or enzymes if your prone to breakouts in the summer because they will clean the pores and rid the skin of some dead skin cells. Heat causes inflammation as well. Inflammation is the cause of early aging, capillary breakdown (those little veins you see), and exacerbates acne and rosacea. A calming toner with hydrating calming ingredients can be helpful in combating inflammation. Keep one in the refrigerator and mist your skin several times per day.
High humidity has some of the same downsides high heat does when it comes to the skin. Hydration is so important to skin health and drinking plenty of water helps to ensure that our skin still has enough hydration left after sweating. Each cell needs water to carry out all of its functions. A serum with hyaluronic acid is a good choice for hydration in summer- but be aware that if your skin is truly dry- a serum will not be enough. For dry skins a nourishing moisturizer is necessary as well. Windy weather means more protection is needed to keep your skins barrier strong. This is another good reason to use a good moisturizer in summer, it creates a thin barrier between the skin and the wind, and locks in moisture. Keeping the skin supple is the goal.
Pollution is everywhere and is for the most part invisible. Spending time out doors in the summer around a factory or in cities, driving a car, using a lawn mower are all ways we release pollution into the air. Pollutants adhere to the skin and damage our cells. This is especially true for skin that isn’t healthy,and/or has an impaired barrier. It is important to wash your face every morning and every evening to remove these toxins from the skin. A good cleansing routine should include two different cleansers:
1. A “resting” cleanser, maybe a milky cleanser which is gentle and can remove makeup easily. Ex) Soften Up: Creamy Cleanser
2. A “treatment” cleanser that has targeted ingredients that help treat a skin concern like Acne, sun damage or anti-aging. Ex) Universal Moisturizer
UV Radiation or sun exposure is the leading cause of skin damage in the summer. It’s also the leading cause of early aging. Dehydration, inflammation, cell damage, hyperpigmentation, are all other issues the sun is to blame for, not to mention skin cancer. This is why broad spectrum SPF of 30 is recommended at all times of sun exposure. don’t forget to re-apply every 2 hours. Staying out of the sun at peek hours (when the sun is the strongest) is recommended. If you have spent time in the sun one of the best things you can do is re-hydrate. Drink plenty of water. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!