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Summertime Skin Health and Safety

Summer Skin
When the weather gets warmer and the sun starts shining, you head outdoors. While the summer brings plenty of chances to get out and active, it also comes with some cautions - for your skin. From the sun's potentially damaging rays to drying chlorine of the local public pool, your skin is at risk.

Do summertime seasonal dangers mean that you need to run from the sun? Before you give up, give in, and hide in a dark, dark room for the entire season, stop and take a look at how you can help yourself (and your skin) to stay healthy.

Protect Your Skin

The most obvious summertime skin risk is the sun. Its damaging UV rays can cause issues that range from premature aging to melanoma. The best way to combat sun damage is to stay away from the rays. But this doesn't mean that you need to stay indoors during the day.

Whether you're at the park or relaxing in your yard, find a shady tree to sit under - especially during the peak sunlight hours, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Along with hanging in the shade, wear UV protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses.

Wear Sunscreen

Sunscreen is also a vital part in preventing damaging sunburns and reducing the risk of developing skin cancer. Choose a broad spectrum product that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 30. Instead of waiting until you're already out in the sun, apply the sunscreen half an hour prior to going outdoors.

Make sure to reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours if you'll be outside all day. You should also reapply the product if you're swimming, sweating, or using a towel to dry off (this will wipe the sunscreen away).

Along with using sunscreen when you're going outdoors for a pool or beach day, continue to use an SPFcontaining product daily. The sun's rays still reach your skin when you're driving or walking from home to work. Choose a moisturizer or a foundation product (if you wear makeup) that also contains a broad-spectrum sunscreen in it.

Tan Without Sun

A glowing tan is the mark of summer. But trading your pale winter skin for a summer tan doesn't have to increase your skin cancer risk. It can actually help to reduce the chances of sun damage.

How can tanning cut your skin damage/cancer risks? Using an SPF-containing self-tanner gives you a golden glow (or a deep, dark tan, depending on the brand and how much you use), minus the sun's harmful rays. And the added SPF provides UV protection too.

Reduce Oil

The summer heat and humidity can make your face feel like an oil slick. Combat the greasy feel of your summertime skin with oil-free facial products. This includes oil-free moisturizers (your skin may still need some moisture, even if it's on the oily side), oil-free cosmetic products, and oil-free sunscreens.

If your skin is still oily, choose a cleanser that gently removes the grease. Daily cleansing, especially at night, can also help your summer skin by removing any leftover sunscreen or makeup. Leaving these products on as you sleep can clog pores and cause breakouts.

Combat Dryness

Oily skin isn't the only summertime skin issue that you may have to deal with. A day in a chlorine-filled pool or a soak in the salty sea water can leave your once-supple skin dry and flaky.

Exfoliate your flaky skin daily with a gentle product. Follow your exfoliating routine with a moisturizer. Again, if you have oily or combination skin, choose an oil-free product. Body butters and other deep moisture treatments are ideal for seriously dry summer legs and arms.

Is your skin damaged, dry, or breaking out? A professional is the best place to start when trying to combat summer skin issues. Contact Associated Dermatologists for more information.