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Prevent summer skin setbacks

You've emerged from winter's harsh, windy conditions and done some spring cleaning on your skin. When summer comes, it's a whole new set of potential skin setbacks. Get a heads-up about a few common setbacks so you'll know how to keep your skin glowing with health.

Spirited summer adventures set you up for sweaty and dirty skin. In the summer, you're more likely to be part of beach holidays, camping and hiking expeditions, bicycle rides, or soccer matches in the park. Between all the picnics and play-dates, you still need to go to work and seem (and smell) presentable. But excess washing up and showering can rob your skin of surface oils and leave you feeling and looking dried out.

  • Keep your skin supple by taking quick, warm (never hot!) showers.
  • Apply a light moisturizer to enrich and seal in your skin's natural moisture.

A desire for smooth, hairless legs and armpits sets you up for razor burn and ingrown hairs. If you want to wear bikinis, shorts, miniskirts, or tank tops, you might shave more often now than at other times of the year.

  • A warm shower preps your skin for an even shave, and a scrub from bath gloves, a loofah, or a coarse-fibred washcloth exfoliates the skin.
  • Lather up with a shaving gel or cream (hair conditioner can work in a pinch).
  • Use a sharp razor blade and shave gently in the direction of your hair's growth; take your time. Rinse it well after each stroke and do a soft pat-dry.
  • Lightly glide a bit of moisturizer over your skin to prevent dryness and irritation.

Sun, sand, and surf set you up for burns, itches, and irritations. So use sunscreen diligently and your skin will thank you in the long and short run. In the long run, the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation damages the skin, leading to photoageing and an increased risk of developing skin cancer. In the short run, UV rays can cause sunburns. Sand and salty seawater can be therapeutic and exfoliating to some people's skin, but irritating to others. Prolonged exposure to water and wind can also dehydrate your skin, making it appear dull or dry.

  • Apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 at least 15 minutes before going outside and reapply it every 2 hours after stepping out and throughout the day, especially after you've been in the water or sweating.
  • Wash off promptly after beach romps to prevent sand chafing (especially on recently sunburned skin – ouch!).
  • Dry sand or a sprinkle of baby powder can also help to shake caked sand off of your skin.

Feed your skin
Summer brings tasty temptations: the siren call of the ice cream truck, the BBQ aromas wafting over fences, and sticky carnival sweets. It's all right to indulge now and then, but your food and beverage choices can affect your skin, for better or worse. You want to strive for the better, right?

  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can sap your skin of its lustre, and leave you too sluggish to splash, surf, or swim and too pooped to play.
  • Know your healthy summer skin ABCs. Eat foods with skin-enriching antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E. It shouldn't be too hard to find a spot in your summer picnic basket for nuts, citrus fruits, and dark, leafy greens! And B vitamins support skin cells; especially biotin, which can be found in eggs, legumes, and sweet potatoes.
  • Swim with the fishes. Essential fatty acids, found in cold-water fish, like salmon and mackerel, are responsible for skin repair, moisture, and elasticity.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2024. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

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