Summertime can wreak havoc on your skin. This is more true in some climates than in others, but almost everywhere has hotter temperatures and longer days. In some places the humidity added to the heat, along with ozone and pollution, can be exceptionally damaging. This is why it is really important that you take precautions to protect yourself.
Why Your Skin Matters
Your skin is the largest organ you have and it serves a number of important purposes. It is your outer covering protecting you with a water resistant barrier to the external environment and things in the environment that would otherwise harm you, such as the sun’s UV radiation, toxins, germs, and water. It also helps to regulate your body temperature and keep you from becoming dehydrated. It provides sensory input to help you feel temperature, discomfort, and pain and triggers reflexes to keep you safe. It also operates as a place for your body to store fat and water, which despite aesthetics is a good thing, and it makes hormones that support the rest of the body. When the skin is wounded or irritated the body increases blood supply to deliver infection fighting and healing compounds to it. Those injuries also trigger new skin cells to be produced. (Source).
The skin has three layers:
- The epidermis is the outer layer
- The dermis is the middle layer
- The subcutaneous layer is innermost
The skin has different thickness, sensitivity and texture depending on age, gender and how well you have taken care of it and yourself. Men have thicker skin, as do some older people and some people with diseases. The skin on the face tends to be the most delicate on the body.
How Summer Impacts Your Skin
One of the things that happens to skin as you age or suffer environmental damage is inflammation. According to Medical News Today, “Inflammation is a defense mechanism in the body. The immune system recognizes damaged cells, irritants, and pathogens, and it begins the healing process. When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a biological response to try to remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation can be uncomfortable but are a show that the body is trying to heal itself.” The sun burning you, as well as other environmental factors that you face during the summer, can trigger inflammation. Inflammation and skin aging have a very high correlative relationship. (Source). Thus, protecting yourself from sun damage will not only prevent inflammation, but it will help you to stay healthy, youthful and beautiful.
Keeping You Beautiful in the Summer
The best things that you can do to protect your skin this summer are:
- Always wear sunscreen and protective clothing. There is nothing better you can do for your look, or your comfort, than to make sure that you are not damaged by the sun’s UV radiation. Both UVA and UVB have an impact on your skin in the short and long-term. UVA are long wave rays and UVB short. UVA can penetrate deeply into the skin and may lead to photoaging, immune suppression, and can cause cancer. UVB burns the top layer of your skin and can also lead to skin cancers. The sun’s harshest UVB rays tend to be between 10am and 4pm in most climates and seasons. Any damage done is cumulative without intervention. Full spectrum 30 SPF sunscreens, full brimmed hats and long sleeves and pants can protect your skin. \
- Eat a lot of foods with antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that are damaging to your cells. In particular, combining vitamins E and C, which are both powerful antioxidants, are proven to have UV protection benefits when they are consumed in large doses. (Source). Consumption can come in the form of a supplement, but is best for you in the form of whole foods, fruits and vegetables. Nuts, seeds and vegetable oils are great sources of vitamin E and fresh citrus fruit and sweet red peppers are terrific sources of vitamin C.
- Limit the amount of time you spend outside on heavy pollution or ozone action days. Even with tons of protective clothing and sunscreen, summer pollution will find its way onto and into your skin. Chances are that even if you do not have sensitive skin you will notice feeling a little off on those days if you are outside too much. Even if you don’t notice anything wrong, you skin does. Pollution has an impact on your beauty. According to MD Magazine the impacts include increase risk of skin cancer, premature aging, and discoloration. If you do find yourself having to spend time outside in these conditions, it is recommended that you cleanse yourself as much as possible.
- Go light on the summer makeup. Health.com recommends that in the summer you swap out your concealer for tinted moisturizer. This will not only help you look more fresh, it will help your skin breathe better and lead to less obvious facial perspiration smears.
Use Delta-5TM. This new and unique fatty acid is derived from conifer seeds. Sciadonic acid, which has significant medical research backing it, has an acute effect on reducing inflammation of the skin. Using two to three drops rubbed evenly across the affected area will have an almost immediate impact.