Summer is synonymous with skimpy. Come March, everyone’s busy digging out those summery dresses and swimsuits. But when the seasonal allergies start breaking out, along with sunburns – things can look far from pretty. And if you’re especially prone to dry skin, you’re pretty much at the mercy of those harsh ultraviolet rays.
That’s the thing about dry skin. No matter how hot it is, you will still notice dry patches and flaky skin; flaws that you can’t hide behind all that skimpy clothing. You definitely need to moisturize, especially if you’re wearing makeup which would otherwise cling to those dry patches and make your skin look worse. But then as the day draws to a close, the combination of humidity and sweat will eventually cause your makeup to melt off your face.
Of course, dry skin is just as problematic in winters too. But unlike December’s bulky woolens, summer’s style follows the skin-is-in theory. So how do we manage or avoid dry skin dilemmas in the summer and keep ourselves looking great in our itty-bitty clothing?
Simple. By staying aware of these 5 summer mistakes that can make your skin go from soft and supple to dry and scaly, and what you can do to avoid the assault on your skin.
5 Tips To Take Better Care Of Your Skin This Summer
1. Exposing Yourself To Too Much Sun
Prolonged exposure to the sun’s harsh UV rays damages your skin and can also lower its moisture retention abilities. Both UVA and UVB rays can also break down the collagen and elastin in your skin’s tissues – two essential proteins that are responsible for maintaining the structure of your skin. Your skin will be unable to replenish and repair itself quickly and you’ll be left wondering as to why your skin is breaking out, why your rashes never heal, and why your face is suddenly full of crow’s feet. Even worse, you could be diagnosed with skin cancer.
What you should do: This may sound extremely disappointing, but do try to cover up as much skin as you can before stepping out into the sun. Loose, airy, light-colored shirts, skirts, and trousers and accessories like scarves, hats, sunglasses, and umbrellas will be your skin’s best friends, especially if you plan on spending a long time in the outdoors.
Also, no matter what, don’t be caught dead without sunscreen. Invest in some high-quality moisturizer with broad-spectrum protection, or a separate sunscreen; for Indian summers, you would need to look for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Which brings us to the second point.
2. Applying Sunscreen The Wrong Way
Yes, there certainly is such a thing called sunscreen etiquette, which most of us don’t end up following. Not applying sunscreen in any season, let alone summers, is akin to committing skincare blasphemy. But applying it the wrong way is just as bad. We either use too little or we just get lazy and apply it only on our face.
What you should do: Sunscreen must be applied to your entire body, even the parts that are covered by clothing. For this reason, you need a generous amount of sunscreen; experts usually recommend about an ounce – a full palm’s worth of sunscreen for your whole body. Next, apply a medium to thick, even layer of sunscreen and pat it onto your skin. Wait for at least 20 minutes before you put on your clothes and your makeup.
If you’re going to spending the whole day outdoors, remember to take your sunscreen with you so you can keep reapplying it after every 2-3 hours.
3. Not Moisturizing The Night Before
Having dry skin poses an entirely different set of challenges for women who like using makeup regularly, especially during summer. Far from doing its job of masking your flaws, it actually seems to do the opposite. And even if you do moisturize before putting on that foundation, you find yourself becoming a streaky mess. Not quite the look you were going for.
Your skin, however, is not designed to receive makeup first thing in the morning, especially if its dry. Hurriedly slapping on some moisturizer before applying your makeup doesn’t work either because you aren’t giving it enough time to be absorbed so that it can do what it’s supposed to.
What you should do: Choose a moisturizer that suits your skin the best and apply it all over your skin at night, just before you hit the sack. That way, you give your moisturizer plenty of time to penetrate the deep layers of your skin and you’ll wake up with soft, smooth, and hydrated skin that’s ready to hold your makeup well.
4. Having Too Many Hot Showers/ Too Much Swimming
Yes yes, we know. How can water possibly cause dry skin when humidity only makes it better?
Hot water, however, can quickly strip your skin of its natural oils that are absolutely essential for nourishing your skin and keeping it soft. And if you’re someone who spends plenty of time in pools, you will need to watch out for chlorine, another harsh chemical that can dehydrate your skin.
What you should do: Keep your showers short and stick to cool to lukewarm water. As for avoiding chlorine in swimming pools, the ideal scenario would be to not expose your skin to this chemical in the first place. But if you absolutely cannot avoid swimming pools, consider using a lotion or a waterproof cream that neutralizes the chlorine and blocks the chemical from drying out your skin.
5. Using Harsh Soaps And Solvents
With the temperatures soaring and your skin pouring out all that sweat, we totally get why you’d want to double your usage of your bathing soap during summer. But did you know many of your store-bought soaps, body washes, and shampoos are infused with chemicals that are used in bug repellents, fertilizers, and other similar solvents that would come in handy for those gardening projects? Regular exposure of the skin to such chemicals could worsen your dry skin condition by dissolving the natural protective oils and moisturizers in your skin.
What you should do: When buying soaps and shampoos, always check to see if they’re free of fragrances and certain chemicals that can dry out your skin and cause irritation. However, we also understand that it can be very hard to understand those long words listed under the ingredients section at the back of your skincare product unless you have some sort of a biochemistry degree. Just keep the following list of chemicals in mind, the next time you go shopping:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate
- Phenoxyethanol (or ethylene glycol monophenyl ether)
- Aldehydes (especially formaldehyde)
- Phthalates (especially dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, and dimethyl phthalate)
Also, remember to choose mild cleansers with moisturizing properties that are free of fragrances and dyes, for these can damage your skin as well. In fact, many of the above chemicals are used in abundance in makeup products too, so you may want to apply the same rule when choosing your foundations, lipsticks, and compact powders.
Dry Skin Loves Ayurveda!
Ayurveda, India’s first form of medicine, is uniquely suited to address almost any kind of skin problem because it treats not only the symptoms but also the underlying imbalances that cause it.
In India, summers can be particularly unforgiving for those of us with dry skin. Luckily, with wellbeing-focused brands like Lever Ayush entering the Indian skin care market, we needn’t fret! Backed by 5000 years of Ayurvedic wisdom, Lever Ayush has worked hard over the years to bring to you a range of high-quality, organic products sans the unnecessary chemicals. Carefully curated with authentic recipes and processes prescribed in the ancient Granthas, Lever Ayush brings to you a whole range of ingredients that leave you spoilt for choice – be it a turmeric face cream targeted to fight skin pigmentation or a soap made from cow’s ghee to quench your skin’s moisturizing needs.
Follow the basic thumb rules and your skin should automatically start behaving itself. Make sure you remember to drink plenty of fluids and eat lots of fruits and veggies along with using the right kind of skin care products. You’ll soon see that getting your summer glow on isn’t as difficult as you thought!