It’s almost August. How’s your skin holding up?
In Florida, summer means summer. And that means putting your skin through some pretty intense conditions, for months at a time.
But this doesn’t mean we just have to live with summer skin. We can fight back. And we can enjoy the hottest, wettest, most sunshiny part of the year with healthy, beautiful skin—both now and in the future.
What Causes Summer Skin?
Florida weather in general, and our beachy Bradenton lifestyle in particular, affects skin in extreme and sometimes paradoxical ways.
Sun damages our skin and sweating dehydrates us. Humidity encases our skin in moisture while heat rash makes us bumpy and itchy. Our natural defenses do everything they can, sometimes overcompensating and causing even more issues.
On top of that, there are congenital conditions like rosacea and even sun allergy that are exacerbated by summer conditions.
And then we step in with every product known to man, scrubbing and cleansing and slabbing all kinds of lotions on our skin at all times of day.
Summer is a skincare free-for-all.
What to Look Out For
We all should know by now that sunburns are bad. They cause immediate, visible damage, and they also drastically increase your chances for skin cancer. Sunburned skin will be red, warm and sensitive to the touch.
If your skin turns red or forms a rash after just a few moments of sun exposure, you might suffer from a sun allergy.
Somewhat counterintuitively, all our heat and humidity, and all the sweating we do in it, can lead to dry, dry skin. And because so many of us neglect our hydration and don’t realize how much we’re sweating, summer dries our skin from the outside and the inside.
Tiny red dots, often itchy, are a common indicator of heat rash (sometimes called “prickly heat”). This typical summer condition comes from blocked sweat glands. Heat rash often arises where your clothing sits tightly against your skin.
Along similar lines, excess sweating and oil, especially when combined with bacteria, can cause acne breakouts.
However, depending on where they occur, pimple-like conditions could also be folliculitis, or an infection of the hair follicles.
Flushed skin might just be your body trying to cool itself off. Your surface-area blood vessels open wide to bring heat away from your body’s core. But blushing, especially on your face, could also indicate rosacea—especially if accompanied by tiny red dots or visible veins.
Hives, blotches, and new or rapidly changing areas of pigmentation, or other prolonged skin issues, can indicate underlying and even serious conditions, including skin cancer.
Most importantly, consult your dermatologist if skin conditions last more than a couple of weeks or through changes in weather.
What You Can Do About Summer Skin
Your first concern should be protecting your skin from UV rays. Talk to your aesthetician for help finding a sunscreen with adequate SPF that works best for you.
For Sun Allergy
Unfortunately, by far the most efficient and effective way to treat sun allergy is to stay out of the sun. To keep up your outdoor lifestyle, just avoid peak hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and always wear sunglasses and sun-protective clothing. You skin cells may adapt slowly over time, but you have to work on gradual exposure.
For Dry Skin
Many sunscreen products pair well with—or even double as—moisturizers. As with any time of year, it can take some trial an error to find the moisturizer that works best for your skin. Just don’t overreact and overdo it; too much moisturizing, especially with the wrong product, will only cause more problems. And if you’re not drinking enough water, your fighting an uphill hydration battle.
For Heat Rash and Folliculitis
If heat rash keeps cropping up, consider a change in wardrobe. Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing works best this time of year, especially during exercise. Be aware of waistbands and bra bands and straps. If you’ve gotten warm, sweaty, and/or damp, don’t sit around in the same clothes. Give your skin a chance to cool off and breathe freely.
Acne is tough to tackle any time of year; in the summer it can seem daunting. But never fear! When you attack acne treatment with summer in mind, you can see real results. Remember to dot, pad or blot away sweat instead of wiping (which can mix up oils and bacteria and force them back into your pores). And talk to your aesthetician about the best non-comedogenic products for your skin type and activities.
Rosacea isn’t necessarily a summer problem, but the heat, sun, and wind can exacerbate it. Because it might be caused by hormonal changes or medications as well as exterior conditions, it’s best to consult a physician for a proper diagnosis before embarking on a treatment regimen.
Obviously, summer skin can be a combination of some or all of these conditions. That’s a lot to try to treat all on your own.
Consider Bellagena your Bradenton summer skin resource. After all, our expert, certified aestheticians live and work here in southwest Florida, year after year. When it comes to treating skin during the hottest time of year, we know what to look for, and we know what to do about it.