Tips to Preventing Dry Skin in the Summer Months

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • The summer sun, swimming and even air conditioning can leave you with dry skin throughout the summer months. With clothes that leave more of your skin bare, the flaky, dry patches are more noticeable and sometimes more bothersome than in the winter months. By taking extra care, you can keep your skin soft, smooth and ready to show off.

    Use precautions when in the sun. After a long, cold winter, it is good to feel the sun and you might want to just sit and soak it up, feeling the warmth of the sunshine. Make sure you take preventive measures, such as wearing sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30, stay out of the direct sun during the hours between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM and wear a wide brimmed hat. Long sun exposure can dry out your skin, using these preventive measures will lessen the drying effects of the sun. Be sure to apply sunscreen to your ears, hands and feet.

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    Avoid beauty and health products that contain alcohol. Check the ingredients on the products you use, including insect repellants, sunscreens, astringents, toners and shaving gels, to make sure they don’t contain alcohol, which dries your skin. Look for sunscreens that contain added moisturizers instead.

    Take extra care after swimming. The chlorine in pools and salt in the ocean dry out your skin. When done swimming, take a cool or warm shower (not hot) to wash off the chemicals and then liberally apply moisturizer to damp skin.

    Turn up your air conditioner. The humidity during the summer helps to moisturize your skin. Air conditioners work as a dehumidifier and pull the moisture out of the air. Staying in air conditioning all day can dry out your skin. Raise your air conditioner a few degrees to lessen the effects.

    Exfoliate your skin. You should exfoliate your skin in the morning, before applying moisturizer. Removing the dead skin cells helps your skin better absorb the moisturizers.

    Be sure to drink enough water. The best way to hydrate your skin on the outside is to start with the inside. Keeping your body hydrated keeps your skin moisturized naturally. Be sure to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day.

    Keep baths and showers short and warm. Avoid hot water as this strips your skin of natural moisturizers and limit showers or baths to 5 or 10 minutes.

    Switch from lotions to creams. Look for creams that contain shea butter, mineral oil, petrolatum, glycerin, olive oil or jojoba oil to help keep your skin smooth. Creams are less irritating than lotions. Apply moisturizer to damp skin immediately after bathing or showering. Apply moisturizer to your hands every time you wash them.

    Wear gloves when gardening or working with household chemicals. The chemicals in many household cleansers can cause dry skin. Before doing any work with your hands, protect them by wearing gloves.

    Stay away from products containing perfumes. These types of products often also contain alcohol. Look for “fragrance free” or “hypoallergenic” products to reduce irritation and drying. Use cleansers that are soapless and fragrance free. Soap can strip your skin of natural moisturizers.

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    Shave immediately after your shower. Hair is softer and more pliable when wet. Always use a shaving gel or cream, preferably one with a built in moisturizer and shave in the direction your hair is growing. Make sure your razor blade is not dull as this can cause nicks and cuts.

Published On: May 23, 2014