Ah summer! Warm nights, long sun-filled days, and weekends outdoors communing with nature! Of course there’s also scorching heat, suffocating humidity, excessive dryness, poisonous pollution, insect bites and sunburn to deal with. But do not despair: here are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your skin survives the heat without ruining your glow or your fun.
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser before going to bed every single night. This may seem intuitive to many of us, but it is worthy of being mentioned. During the day the surface of your skin is bombarded by dirt, pollutants, toxic materials, sweat and sebum production. This, as well as remnants of cosmetics that were applied earlier in the day can clog pores, irritate your skin, and even invite infection. They need to be gently yet thoroughly removed from the surface of the skin to give your pores a chance to breathe, and an opportunity for you to start the next morning with a clean fresh slate.
- The single most important thing you can do for your skin is to exfoliate 2 – 3 times a week. No amount of moisturizer or hydrating cream will work properly unless you get rid of the dead skin cells first. They block the absorption of moisture and make your skin look dull, pasty and dry. When you are in the shower, use a loofah, a natural skin brush or an exfoliating scrub on your body, gently massaging your skin in circular motions from the shoulders all the way down to your feet. To avoid scratching or damaging the fragile skin on your face and neck, be sure to use an exfoliant specially formulated for those areas. Avoid sunburned areas and broken skin. Follow up with your choice of moisturizing agents, and stand back to admire the glow!
- Always apply body lotion and facial moisturizer while your skin is still damp. Products that include a non-occlusive light oil among its ingredients will do the best job of sealing in the moisture that your body has absorbed during your shower or bath.
- The best way to avoid looking garish in bright sunlight is to follow the makeup rule: “less is more”. There are ways to stop your makeup from running and being ruined in the heat, but your best bet is to keep it simple. Light colored shades of eye shadow and lipstick will give you a fresh summer look. Consider using a tinted moisturizer instead of a full coverage foundation. Make sure you are using waterproof mascara and gel-based eyeliner to prevent smearing. A powder-based blush along with a very light dusting of setting powder can give you a polished look that will hold up even in high temperatures.
- Last but certainly not least, drink, drink drink! The average body is made up of between 60 and 75% water. Your skin needs water to look beautifully hydrated and smooth, but your body needs fluids in order to flush out toxins, waste products and function optimally. Being dehydrated can drain you of energy and leave you feeling listless, dizzy and unmotivated. Experts say that although thirst alerts us to needing water, we are already running low on water long before we actually feel thirsty. For every cup of tea, coffee or other caffeinated drinks you imbibe, it is suggested to drink 2 extra glasses of plain water. Caffeine is a diuretic and adds to your water deficit.