Summer is just around the corner and that means backyard barbecues, summer sports and plenty of splashing around in the water under the hot sun. As things begin to thaw out, you may find yourself being increasingly active and outdoors. While it’s great to embrace the warmer weather, don’t forget to take extra precautions to protect your skin against the harsh New Zealand sun.
- Be sun-smart
Protecting your skin against harmful UV rays is important year-round but in the summer, sunscreen should be worn without compromise!
When selecting a sunscreen, dermatologists recommend one that offers broad-spectrum protection (which protects against both UVA and UVB rays) and has an SPF of 30 or higher. In the summer it’s also a good idea to invest in some waterproof sunscreen. Even if you aren’t planning on swimming, the waterproofing also helps to combat sweat.
It’s important to apply sunscreen to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours if you’re outside. A lot of people apply a daily sunscreen to their face and forget about their neck, chest, and hands, which are equally as exposed to the sun and prone to suffering very noticeable damage over time.
Unfortunately, a little sunburn in the summer is it's almost inevitable and if you do end up a with a burn, don’t neglect it. You can expedite your skin’s healing process by keeping it well-hydrated and protected from further sun exposure. These techniques will also guard against general summertime dryness that comes with dehydration and exposure to salt water and chlorine.
If you want radiant, glowing skin, it is important to exfoliate year – round, but don’t overdo it. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, exfoliating once a week is more than enough. For your face, choose a gentle exfoliator, that removes dead skin cells without causing irritation. For your body, choose a natural, coffee-based scrub. A bonus tip is to exfoliate your body with sand during your next trip to the beach. Sand is great natural exfoliant. Follow with a dip in the water, and you will be left with the smoothest, silkiest skin you have ever had in your life!
- Nourish your skin from the inside-out
Drinking lots of water is about the best thing you can do for your skin. Water helps carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells, regulates your body temperature, flushes bacteria and is the surest way to keep your skin happy and hydrated. Doctors recommend drinking 6-8 cups of water a day — more if you’re going to be participating in outdoor activities.
You can also hydrate externally with a well-chosen moisturizer. The perfect moisturizer will provide lasting hydration, nourishment and protection from pollutants. Essence of Humanity’s Nourishing Moisture Cream, for example, is jam-packed with antioxidants from natural sources to fight against external aggressors like barbecue smoke, sand and sweat; and its flaxseed and melon seed oils replenish skin cells and lock in healing moisture. It is recommended that you apply a moisturizer in the morning before you leave the house and in the evening after you’ve cleansed with a gentle but powerful cleanser like Essence of Humanity’s Softening Cream Cleanser.
Summer is always too short, so go out and make the most of the warm weather and holiday festivities — just remember that looking after your skin is a year-round job!