Summertime is a sweaty, sticky, and sun-filled season. With beach days and dips in the pool abound, skincare can often fall by the wayside. The warm summer months are a fantastic breeding ground for harmful bacteria to thrive in, so taking care of your body and your skin is of utmost importance.
Many consumers only think of winter as the prime season for skincare issues. However, the summer season can bring along its own array of skin afflictions, many of which can be incredibly damaging if not treated correctly. Let’s take a look at the eight most prevalent summer skincare issues and how they can best be treated to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.
It is no surprise that the first issue that comes to mind for summertime skincare is sunburn. Sunburn is a nasty skin affliction that almost everyone will experience at some point in their life. It is the result of extended sun exposure and can leave your skin red, cracking, peeling, and even blistering.
- Utilize protective sunscreen before and throughout your time in the sun. Sunscreens above SPF 30 work best for UV ray protection. Avoid sunscreens with harsh chemicals and irritants like Oxybenzone. Instead, look for sunscreens with zinc oxide, Avobenzone, or Mexoryl SX.
- If you’re already burnt, red, and itchy, apply cooling aloe vera gel to the afflicted area.
- In the future, avoid direct sun exposure, especially when you don’t have access to strong sunscreens. Utilize hats, scarves, umbrellas, and other coverings to protect yourself.
2. Ingrown Hairs and Razor Bumps
Other annoying skin problems faced by both men and women alike throughout the summer are razor bumps and ingrown hairs. These irritating, unattractive bumps can occur when there is a build-up of bacteria or dead skin in hair follicles. This causes the hair to grow in an unnatural direction, leading to painful and itchy red bumps and boils wherever you shaved.
Sometimes ingrown hairs and razor bumps are unavoidable, but there are a few ways to prevent and treat them in the summer months.
- Proper shaving technique is essential in avoiding ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Use a gel-based emollient shave cream and always shave with the grain of your hair if possible. Shave under warm water, but quickly splash with cold water when finished to seal up pores and follicles. Apply a body moisturizer afterward.
- Skip shaving altogether and opt for a waxing treatment, although redness and ingrown hairs can still occur after waxing.
- Laser hair removal can remove unwanted body hair from areas like legs, arms, armpits, chests, and bikini areas. Dermaplaning can also remove unwanted facial hair using a small, incredibly sharp blade.
3. Heat Rash
While it is most prevalent in babies and young children, heat rash can still affect adults spending too much time in the hot weather. Heat rash is characterized by uncomfortable red patches of rash-ridden skin. It is caused by extended exposure to hot, humid environments, not just from extended sun exposure.
- Heat rash can go away on its own after a few days spent inside.
- Wear light, breathable clothing during the summer months.
4. Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac
Poison ivy, oak, and sumac rashes are another skin condition that is prevalent in the summer and mostly affects children. However, if you are an active, outdoorsy adult, these pesky plants may bother you too.
When your body comes into contact with these plants, the leaves emit an oily substance called urushiol. The plants themselves are not poisonous, but urushiol is and it can spread easily, so it is important to treat poison ivy, oak, and sumac rashes as soon as they flare up (usually within 24 hours of contact).
- Topical ointments like calamine lotion to ease itchiness and irritation.
- Avoid unmarked trails and always wear proper protective clothing when hiking or camping.
- Know what to look for. Understand how to identify these plants and avoid them when spending time outdoors with your family. Remember – leaves of three, let them be!
5. Eczema and Acne Flare-ups
Heat and humidity in the summer are going to cause you to sweat – a lot. Sweat and damp clothing can lead to more bothersome skin conditions and flare-ups. If you’re prone to eczema or acne, summer can be a challenging time of year. Luckily, there are a number of ways to reduce these irritating flare-ups.
- Try a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) facial or a photofacial. PRP facials use your own blood, removed safely via centrifuge, to reduce facial redness and acne scars. Photofacials can be used on the face and the body to diffuse redness and combat prevalent acne issues.
- Microneedling is another process that can combat redness and reduce the appearance of acne scars. By putting tiny micropuncture wounds in the top layer of skin, cell turnover, and collagen and elastin production are kickstarted.
- A chemical peel can be used to remove the outermost layer of damaged and dead skin on the face to smooth the face’s surface and improve acne scars and red spots.
6. Dry Skin
Surprisingly, dry skin can be an issue even in humid summer temperatures. You sweat much more in the summertime months, leaving skin dehydrated and irritated by salt deposits. Consistent moisturizing and the occasional spa treatment can remedy summertime dry skin right away.
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) facials can also assist in rehydrating your skin. Your body’s stem cells call in collagen-producing fibroblasts to replace dry, damaged tissue with rejuvenated, hydrated skin.
- Use moisturizing sunblocks and body lotions before, during, and after prolonged exposure to the sun.
- Hydrate continuously while enjoying summertime activities. Wear light, moisture-wicking clothing and protect yourself from harmful UV rays with hats and coverups.
7. Visible Scarring
Beautiful, sunkissed skin is the hallmark of the summer season. However, as your body becomes more tanned, scars and blemishes can become more noticeable. There are many over the counter and professional remedies available to combat scarring so you can feel gorgeous all summer long.
- The standard treatment for scar reduction is over the counter scar creams like Mederma. While these have some noticeable effects, they’re not as effective as professional treatments.
- DermaSound Elite Facials use water and low-frequency sound waves to penetrate and exfoliate damaged skin. They are great for reducing the visibility of acne and other scars.
- Microneedling is also useful in reducing the appearance of scars on the skin.
8. Wrinkles and Age Spots
Perhaps the most worrisome skincare issue for women, wrinkles and age spots can be brought on or exacerbated by prolonged exposure to sunlight and warm weather. Luckily, innovative technology has made it easy to reduce the signs of wrinkles and aging.
- Used on the face and body, laser skin resurfacing can smooth skin tone, fix deep lines and visible blood vessels, and overall reduce the effects of aging.
- Using the latest technology, microdermabrasion facials exfoliate and remove the top layer of dry, dead skin. It can help reduce the appearance of fine and deep lines, wrinkles, age and sunspots, and other general aging issues.
- Makeup is another great way to cover wrinkles and signs of aging. There are tons of options for antiaging makeups, like the Obagi Nu Derm system, which helps to hold moisture, even skin tone, diminish lines and wrinkles, and reduce age spots.
Protection from the sun and its harmful UV rays throughout the summer months is essential if you want to keep your skin feeling healthy and nourished.
While sunscreen and other over the counter topical solutions may be useful in the short-term, the sun can cause lifelong damage to your skin if not treated properly and professionally. Medical spas often offer incredibly beneficial skincare treatments like chemical peels and microdermabrasion that can reduce the effects of sun damage on the skin.
Protect yourself and your skin for summer – and for life – by utilizing a variety of at-home and professional spa treatments to combat sun damage.