As you move from spring to summer, you probably take steps to change some things in your life. You might empty your drawers and replace your clothes with more seasonable clothes. You might “spring clean” your home to rid it of dust from being closed up. You might shake out your blankets or hang them in the yard to freshen them up. Others may take this time to perfect their “beach body,” getting ready for summer.
_What about your skin? _ Often, many of us don’t also consider making changes to our skin care routine during this season, but there are things you can do to prepare your skin for the summer months to keep it healthy and glowing.
When you exfoliate, you help remove the dry outer layer of skin, which can give your skin a glowing, smooth look. While you can exfoliate at any time, it is important to do so in the spring, after a long, dry winter. Be advised to take care when exfoliating: While you want to remove the dry skin on the top, you don’t want to scrub so hard you damage the skin underneath. There are a number of products on the market to help make exfoliating easy, such as brushes and scrubs. Look for or make an exfoliating scrub that contains coarse, dissolving particles (such as sugar) to help eliminate irritating the skin.
Take care of your skin after hair removal
When the warm weather hits, you are probably ready to show more skin- which can mean more frequent shaving of your legs and underarms. But shaving, waxing or other hair removal methods can irritate your skin. Be sure to follow instructions carefully for any hair removal products. If you are shaving your legs, be sure to put moisturizer on after shaving to replace the oils taken off by your razor. If you are waxing any areas, use a product specifically for after-waxing. Follow up with oil-free sunscreen and a light coating of talc-free powder. Wear loose fitting clothes after hair removal to help prevent ingrown hairs.
Revamp your skin care products
During the winter months, you might opt for soaps and moisturizers that are cream based to provide longer lasting hydration. These products are great when you are in heated environments and live where the air is dry during the cold months. But as the weather warms up, so does the humidity in the air -- so you don’t need a heavy moisturizer. Switch to lighter, lotion based moisturizer and use a light, natural soap, shower gel or cleanser. Look for ones containing oils such as coconut, avocado or olive oil. If you use foundation, you can switch to a tinted moisturizer instead of a heavy foundation (which might droop during the hot, humid days). Opting for water based products, rather than oil based, is a good general rule of thumb during the hotter months.
Avoid washing your face too oftenSkin tends to produce more oil during the warmer months. You might be tempted to wash your face several times a day, but this strips your skin of natural oils and can leave your face feeling dry. Washing your face too frequently can also cause glands to work overtime, producing and even oilier appearance to skin. Instead, wash your face only in the morning and nighttime. In between, use** oil blotters** to help keep down on the oil build up.
As the days get warmer, your body typically loses more water through sweating. That means you should be drinking more water each day. If you normally drink eight glasses of water per day, shoot for ten glasses during the hot weather. Your skin hydrates from the inside so if you aren’t drinking enough water, your skin is going to look dry and parched.
Eat foods with antioxidants
Combat some of the effects of the sun by eating plenty of foods rich in antioxidants. These include green leafy vegetables, green tea, berries and citrus fruits. These foods also give you an extra boost of vitamins A, C and E, which help to keep skin healthy.
Update your sunscreen
It’s a good idea to kick off your summer with a fresh bottle of sunscreen because sunscreen does expire. If you have a lot of sunscreen leftover from last season, chances are you aren’t using enough. When shopping, choose a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 (30 is better) and one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of Idiot's Guide to Adult ADHD,Idiot's Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love and Essential Guide to Asperger's Syndrome. She can be found on twitter @eileenmbaileyand on Facebook at eileenmbailey.