The pool or the beach may look inviting and the thought of a little time in the sun may seem like a good idea, but the compounding affects of the pool, beach, sun, and air condition on your skin may change your mind.
For starters, the chlorine, while great to trap and kill any algae or bacteria that gets into the pool, can also strip your skin's outer layer of its protective coating of oils, sweat and natural acid. Likewise the fluctuating levels of salt and other chemicals in the ocean have a somewhat abrasive and drying affect on your skin which can be problematic for extremely dry or delicate skin. The sun certainly has its allure-especially when it comes to adding a little color to your skin, but the problem is the color is often indicative of cellular damage and can be accompanied by long-term skin challenges or premature aging. Finally, the wind and air condition provide much needed relief to the heat from the summer, but usually at the expense of drying out your skin.
Here are a few tips that should help keep your skin healthy and radiant through the summer months:
With extended time in the sun and peeling, you'll be tempted to exfoliate more often in the summer. Not only should you resist this temptation (limiting yourself to no more than twice a week), you should exercise caution when exfoliating. Be sure to use gentle exfoliating products and limit the pressure you apply with your hands, fingers, washcloth or loofah to minimize damage. And if your skin looks a little pink after you're through exfoliating, don't worry because the exfoliating action naturally stimulates circulation and blood flow causing the blush of color to your skin. It's also important to remember to take the time to follow exfoliating with a nourishing or hydrating product to put back some of the natural oils and moisture you've stripped away.
I make my own exfoliator using virgin coconut oil and sugar. It’s good enough to eat! : ) Check out www.tropicaltraditions.com for other ways to use virgin coconut oil.
We’ve found that Body Balance applied with your hand or a cotton ball will nourish and help you skin heal from overexposure. You skin will absorb the 121 nutrients in Body Balance and the aloe will help sooth and heal sunburn and itchy, dry skin. Do this several times a day, and I think you’ll be impressed with the results.
Your sunscreens and suntan lotions are intended for short-term use, meaning that once you have come in from the sun you should wash them completely from your face and body. The chemicals and other active ingredients for sunbathing or sun blocking can be drying or very oily, so it's important that you remove them with a gentle, natural cleanser and follow with a moisturizing product to help replace the natural oils the sun and chemicals strip away.
Skip the sun if you're on antibiotics. Antibiotics, like anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines, often contain ingredients that are photosensitizing-meaning they can leave your skin vulnerable to ultraviolet light exposure. This can cause itching, scaling, rashes, and inflammation as well as cause a pretty nasty sunburn. If you have questions about whether you should avoid the sun while taking your prescription medication, check with your pharmacist, doctor or dermatologist (very important as some topical skin products from your dermatologist can be very photosensitive).
Drink lots of water. This isn't just important to your system which is often dehydrated after being in the sun, it's critical for your skin which is the first organ affected by sun exposure.