Take care of your skin this summer

What’s your favourite season of the year? We’d bet that most people would choose summer, especially when it’s as warm and sunny as the summer we’ve been experiencing for the past couple of weeks. It’s amazing how much better we feel basking in blue sky and sunshine, and if the forecasters are right (fingers crossed!) it looks like we’ve got at least another month or two of fantastic weather ahead of us. But whatever you’ve got planned, there’s something you must never forget to do… and that takes especially good care of your skin.

Because it’s not only summer’s heat and humidity that can play havoc with your fragile epidermis. The combination of sweat, dust and pollution can clog up your pores and hot winds can take the shine out of your natural glow. And let’s not forget the potential dangers – both short and long-term – which can be caused by prolonged exposure to even moderate UV light, not to mention the discomfort and pure embarrassment of turning into a lobster after a careless day in the sunshine.

The good news is, all those problems are easily avoided if you just follow a bit of simple advice. And here it is!

Exfoliate regularly

Gentle exfoliation is at the heart of any good skin care routine, and that goes double during the summer months. According to experts, we shed almost a million skin cells every single day, which breaks down to around 30,000-40,000 skin cells every hour. It’s all part of our skin’s natural life cycle but, when the dead skin cells don’t slough off properly, they can collect in our pores and result in blackheads, whiteheads and other nasty breakouts. Even if those nasties don’t happen, our skin can still look dull and dry if we don’t exfoliate regularly.

The solution is to use an exfoliator 2-3 times a week to keep your skin soft and healthy – a facial exfoliator for your face and neck and a body scrub for your shoulders and the rest of your body. Use gentle circular movements to rub the exfoliator in and then rinse your skin clean and gently pat your face and body dry.

Stay watered

Water doesn’t only keep us dehydrated – which is why experts recommend we drink six to eight glasses of water a day regardless of the weather – it also helps flush out the toxins that naturally accumulate inside our body. And the good news is, you don’t have to indulge in fancy designer water before your skin can experience the benefits – anything from plain ordinary water to coconut water to fruit juices to green tea can hydrate you and help keep your skin clear and detoxified. In fact, the antioxidants in green tea can be especially magical for your overall skin health.

Don’t be stingy on the sunscreen

Everybody knows this part, but it’s always worth repeating. Before you set out to enjoy the sun, always apply a high SPF sunscreen to keep your skin protected (use a waterproof sunscreen if you’re intending to take a dip in the pool or the ocean) and then reapply it every two hours while you remain outdoors. Also, the sun is at its most damaging between 10am to 4pm so try to stay indoors or stay in the shade as much as possible during those hours.

Keep make-up minimal

Wearing make-up in extreme heat and sunlight can be a serious pain. Not only could it potentially slide off your face at the very worst moment it will also massively add to the possibility of clogging up your pores. Also, nobody enjoys getting eye make-up inside their peepers or looking like a panda when they step out of the water. So, try to keep your make-up as minimal and low-key as possible during the warm summer months but always remember to use a gloss or lip balm with SPF to ensure your lips stay fresh and protected.

…and remember your feet!

We all like to give our feet an airing during summer but exposure to the sun and other elements (like walking across sand or hot ground) can stop them from looking and feeling their best. Don’t worry, though. Exfoliating your feet at least once a week will help to keep them smooth and applying an oil or lotion immediately after you’ve taken a shower and just before you go to bed will ensure that valuable moisture stays locked in place. Also, when your feet feel sore and tired don’t be tempted to soak them because it could dehydrate them even further – use a sugar scrub instead.

Follow these simple suggestions and your gorgeous skin will still be glowing by summer’s end. Enjoy the sunshine, everybody!

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