5 Dermatologist-Approved Summer Skin Defenses

  
     
    If you have sensitive skin, summer can be a source of apprehension and stress. That’s because so many summer elements threaten your dry, easily irritated skin. But like every year, you will be going places that can exacerbate your skin issues – the pool, the beach or picnics in the park. How do you embrace the summer while staying comfortable? Here are five dermatologist-approved defenses to give you the confidence you need to get outside and enjoy the summer sun.
 

 1. Find Your SPF

    Have you ever wondered just exactly what that sun protection factor (SPF) number is on your sunscreen? The SPF is a multiplier. It tells you how many times longer your skin is protected from the the sun’s UVB radiation compared to the amount of time it takes to burn while not wearing sunscreen. So, for example, if it takes 20 minutes for unprotected skin to start burning, applying an SPF 30 as directed will theoretically keep your skin protected for 600 minutes (30 X 20). With that being said, it is important to reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes when swimming or sweating, and every 2 hours of sun exposure. The reason for reapplication is that the protection can wear off or break down over time and needs to be reapplied to maintain maximum protection. 
    Dermatologists generally agree it’s a good idea for those with sensitive skin to use sunscreens with higher SPF. As the SPF number increases the amount of UVB rays that are able to penetrate into the skin decreases. For example, SPF 30 allows roughly 3% of UVB rays to penetrate into the skin, and SPF 50 lets in about 2% of UVB radiation. While you might think 3% of all rays getting into the skin isn’t bad, the reality is that SPF 50 allows 50% less UVB rays to penetrate into your skin as SPF 30.
    Unfortunately, some people find SPF products to be a source of irritation to dry, sensitive skin. If that includes you, chances are you are using a chemical sunscreen and should consider checking out a mineral sunscreen that will be gentler on sensitive skin.
 

2. A More Resilient Moisturizer

    If you have dry, sensitive skin, you probably already have a good go-to moisturizer, but is it the right one for the sticky summer? Heavy moisturizers can work great in the cold weather, but during hot summer months, they can be the source of skin irritation by trapping a lot of dirt and grime beneath them. Our recommendation is to switch to a highly moisturizing but lighter-weight moisturizer to avoid added summer irritation. If you haven’t had luck with lighter-weight moisturizers being effective for your dry skin, consider Curél® Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer. It’s a heavy-hitter for summer hydration because it provides deep hydration, but it absorbs quickly without the sticky, greasy feel of heavier moisturizers.
    You’ll also want to avoid moisturizers with fragrances in them. While they can provide a pleasing aroma, they can also trigger irritants like allergies, hives, psoriasis and more. And it doesn’t matter if the product describes the fragrance as “natural.” Scents are comprised of hundreds of substances. It’s better to just avoid them, for the sake of your skin.
 

3. Apply More Antioxidants

    Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that help protect the skin from the damaging effects of free-radicals. Free-radicals are produced in the environment from sources like the sun, tanning beds or pollution, and can cause severe skin issues such as advanced signs of aging or even DNA damage. Applying an antioxidant-rich cream or serum and then layering an SPF product over the top can help provide complete protection from most of summer’s aggressors.
 

4. Break Out the Broad-Rimmed Hat

    Reduce exposure and look great doing it. A broad-brimmed hat is always in style during the summer. When it comes to hats, you have many options. Yes, the baseball hat looks great but think broader. For every inch of hat brim you regularly wear, you can reduce your risk of cancer to covered skin by as much as 10 percent. So, in theory, a three-inch brim could slash your risk of skin cancer to covered skin by thirty percent.
 

5. Hydrate

    During the summer, your body is steadily losing water due to sweating. And when you're dehydrated, your skin is far less elastic. That's because vital organs such as your brain, lungs or liver are given priority for the body’s precious water resources. The primary connective tissue in your skin is called collagen, and when it becomes dehydrated, its strains and begin to crack, resulting in wrinkles.
    Do your skin a favor and drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day, to keep your body’s largest organ functioning properly. Drinking plenty of water not only helps remove toxins and waste products from your body, but it can also help clear up your skin while keeping that collagen hydrated and your skin healthy.
 
Learn more about Summer Skin Stressors by clicking here.
 

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