It’s that time of the year when nimbu pani becomes the go-to option over garam chai or coffee, and umbrellas come out to give your sunscreen company. We would raid our fridge for juicy mangoes and ice creams, and crib each time our AC breaks down. Yes, we are talking about summers! Summer is upon us in all its glory. And with it, a whole lot of skincare issues too (read: pimples, acne, rashes, tan).
But fret not! Dermatologists say, just a few simple changes in your everyday skincare regimen can help you look your best while protecting your skin for a radiant glow that lasts all year.
What does summer do to our skin?
Tezpur-based dermatologist Dr Anjana Neog says that the sunny Indian summer can be pretty harsh on your skin if you don’t take care of your skin. “As the weather gets warmer and humidity increases in the environment, your skin’s sebaceous glands start producing excess sebum (natural oil). The oil secreted gets stuck on the surface of the skin, leading to stickiness, grease and blocked pores. People with oily skin are prone to acne as the bacteria and oils in the skin mix with the sweat causing clogged pores and acne.”
“When your skin is exposed to the harmful UV rays, melanin production increases to protect your skin from sun damage. Melanin has photoprotective qualities. Excess melanin results in darker, tanned skin. Other problems can include itchy skin, prickly heat, sunburn and rash due to sensitivity to the sun,” she adds.
Here’s how to take care of your skin
Exfoliate your body
The basic rule of skin care is to exfoliate your skin. Grab a body scrub and hit the shower. Gently rub your exfoliator in circular movements on your entire body from the shoulders down (you’ll want a facial exfoliator for your face and neck) and rinse clean. Continue to do this 2-3 times a week for year-round beautiful skin.
Remove excess oil
In summer, oily skin tends to get oilier. Use a face wash suited to your skin type that can deep cleanse and remove all the dirt and grime. People with dry skin would need a non-foaming cleanser. Opt for mild, alcohol-free and pH balanced cleansers.
Sunscreen is a must
The sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10.00 AM and 4.00 PM all year round. Even cloudy days can’t block UVA and UVB rays during the day, so you must apply some form of sun protection rain or shine. Pick a sunscreen that gels into your skin and gets absorbed. A good sunscreen has UVA and UVB products and comes in SPF 30 and SPF 70. It must be applied 20-30 minutes before you head out into the sun and reapply every 1-2 hours. Sunscreen application can go a long way in minimizing sun related spots and could even help delay the onset of fine lines and wrinkles. Dermatologists suggest changing the brand you use every 6 months.
Protect the commonly missed areas
While you’re likely in the habit of rubbing sunscreen on your face, arms, and legs, do you pay attention to the skin on the rest of your body? Your lips are just as susceptible to sunburn, but they don’t always get the protection they need. You can rub sunscreen on your lips, or utilize a lip balm with SPF in it. Also, it’s important to apply sunscreen on your feet. While the soles of your feet are protected by a thick layer of dead skin, the tender skin on the upper portion of your foot needs a little extra protection.
Water is bae
Water not only helps you feel fresh, but it also prevents dehydration and will help wash out a lot of toxins. Minimum 8 glasses of water are required to keep your body rejuvenated. If possible, carry a water bottle with you and remember to drink at least once every 30 min.
Hydrate with weather appropriate lotions
Look for something light and fast-absorbing. Choose gel-based (for dry skin) and water-based (for oily skin) rather than cream-based products as the former is lighter and non-greasy. Nothing spells summer more than a light refreshing fruity lotion. Make sure you apply right after you dry off from your shower. Cleansing, toning and moisturizing twice a day will help keep your skin clean and fresh.
If you’re out in the sun, be sure to cover up as much as possible. Pull out that umbrella, wear breathable clothing that still blocks UV rays, don headwear that protects your scalp, and don’t forget to shield your eyes from the sun’s bright rays; wear sunglasses for protecting your eyelids from sun damage.
Grandma’s natural remedies
There are ingredients in your kitchen that can help soothe the skin during summer. Lemon and tomato are very good for keeping your skin fresh. A quick way to use tomato is to juice tomatoes and freeze the juice using your ice trays. Use this as a gentle scrub every alternate day and let the juice dry on the skin before washing it off. The lycopene in tomato does wonders for the facial skin.
Practice these important summer skincare tips and keep your skin feeling and looking its best throughout the season.