Top Tips to Keep Your Skin Healthy all Summer Long

Your skin requires TLC all year long, but this is especially true during the hot, summer months when problems such as heat rash, acne breakouts, and sunburn hit their peak.  As temperatures rise, so too do many of our most common skin concerns.  Not only does this mean that we should be more vigilant in our skin care, but it may also mean a change in your normal routine in order to keep problems at bay.  Here are three of our top tips to help keep your skin healthy this summer while looking and feeling great.

Exfoliation Recommendations for Summer

You may already make exfoliating multiple times per week part of your skin care routine.  The practice sloughs away dead skin cells, preventing them from clogging pores and allowing skin to appear fresh and smooth.  However, for most of us, the summer months may require a slight change in the typical exfoliation routine.

If you don’t plan on spending much time outside and you are vigilant about protecting your skin from the sun, including covering up, seeking shade, and never being caught without sunscreen, your current exfoliation schedule is likely okay.  However, for those who will spend a greater amount of time outdoors, it is wise to reduce the frequency, as regular exfoliation can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Keep Skin Hydrated While Eliminating Oil

The heat and humidity of the summer months can increase oil production in the sebaceous glands and often leads patients to treat their skin more harshly than is necessary.  As dehydration of the skin is also a concern during this time, it’s important to strike a balance between the two.  Try to keep oiliness under control with occasional treatments using glycolic or salicylic acid and products such as powder or rice papers to absorb oil from the surface of the skin.

Meanwhile, continue to keep skin properly hydrated by choosing moisturizers with hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.  You can also keep skin fresh by drinking plenty of water and using a light toner mist throughout the day.

Prevent and Treat Summer Sun Damage

Of course, the primary concern for skin during the summer months is overexposure to the sun.  By now, we are all familiar with the damaging effects of the sun such as premature aging, discolorations, and skin cancer, making daily sunscreen application a year-round necessity.  However, the long, hot days of summer that typically find us outdoors for longer stretches are particularly important.  If there is only one step that you take to protect your skin this season, make it regular, daily use of sun block with an SPF of 30 or higher.  Unsure which brand or type to purchase?  Check out our sunscreen recommendations.

By taking proper precautions such as using sunscreen, seeking shade, and covering up with hats and other protective clothing, you should be able to keep any sun damage to an absolute minimum.  However, if you do find that your skin has been overexposed, follow our dermatologist’s tips for quickly soothing a sunburn.

You might love the sun and long days of summer, but your skin may not.  Keep it healthy and protected by following the tips above, and contact our dermatology clinics in Baton Rouge and Lafayette for additional recommendations and treatments.

Chad Prather, M.D.