All the organs of the body need water. Water is also a key component of the skin. As the largest organ, the skin contains approximately 64 per cent of water. This is why hydrating the skin is important. Our skin has several different functions: to protect, regulate, and feel. It is a barrier against external toxins, like pathogens and chemicals. The skin also regulates body temperature and helps us sense our surroundings. As the outermost barrier of our body, skin regulates the body water content by controlling trans epidermal water loss (passing from inside the body to the outside via the skin’s topmost layer), as well as by blocking water permeation from the outside. Your skin is an organ. In fact, it is the largest organ in your body, protecting you from the outside, in. As we age our skin’s ability to retain water and moisture decreases, so it is imperative that we incorporate good hydration habits into our daily routines. Adequate moisture and hydration in our skin ensure our skin is strong and resilient; helping it to repair itself and bounce back from internal and external transgressors.
During summer, your skin’s natural hydration process is easily disrupted by a lack of water and other risk factors that are part of everyday life, including harsh weather, extreme indoor environments, everyday stress, or even daily cleaning. So, all types of skin — even oily and combination — can become dehydrated. Likewise, if your skin is dry, it may not necessarily be due to dehydration — but rather, a lack of oil at the surface. Here are a few tips to ensure that your skin is smooth and supple through the coming months:
- Consider Changing Your Face Wash:
Cleansing your face is the most basic skincare routine that you need to follow, irrespective of the season. During summers, the climate is hot and humid. Your face tends to produce more oil during this time, so you need to change your cleanser accordingly. The heat and humidity of summer mean you can swap out a heavier cleanser (think cream or oil cleanser) in favour of a gentle, foaming option. Wash your face twice or thrice a day to feel refreshed. Pollution residue deposited on the skin makes it fragile and dry. This is why it is essential to cleanse.
- Do Not Forget Sunscreen:
This is something that you absolutely cannot forget during summers. Sun protection for your face, hands, legs, and any other exposed parts of your body is vital. Excessive UV exposure can permanently damage your skin and cause sunburn, wrinkles, fine lines, skin cancer, and premature ageing. Invest in sunblock or sunscreen that has a broad UV spectrum (at least SPF 30). Apply it twice a day on all the exposed parts of your skin. During the hottest season of the year, we know that sun protection has to be a priority in our routine. Remember to never use sun protection below SPF 30 and UVA-PF 10.
- Adopt a Dual-Purpose Moisturizer:
Moisturizers re-establish the stratum corneum, your outermost layer of the skin, which protects from harmful pollutants and chemicals and prevents further irritation or dryness. Despite the weather being hot and humid, you still need to moisturize. Even if your skin already feels oily, you should always follow cleansing with a moisturizer. A lightweight texture will help keep that outer layer nourished without feeling too heavy on your skin. The moisturizer you use in the winter may not do the trick in the summer. But in the summer when it’s hot and sticky outside, you may find that a lightweight face lotion is all you need to help keep your skin hydrated.
Thicker moisturizers can lead to clogged pores, inflammation, and acne. Especially if you have acne-prone or oily skin, losing one skin-care step with a combination moisturizer/SPF can help keep skin clear.
- Add A Punch of Antioxidants:
Creams and serums loaded with natural extracts and antioxidants reduce inflammation (which is pretty common in summer), neutralize harmful free radicals, and repair your skin. Invest in serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens that come with an additional punch of antioxidants. For instance, vitamin C protects your skin from environmental damage, prevents wrinkles, and boosts collagen development. Layer a few drops on your skin between cleansing and moisturizer. If your skin is craving more hydration, it might need a little extra something-something.
- Add an Exfoliation Skin-Care Step:
During summer, your skin works hard to keep itself healthy and heal any irritation or sunburn. Help your skin in this process by exfoliating it gently. Exfoliation helps buff away the dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking radiant.
If you have oily skin, incorporate more exfoliation into your skin-care routine.
- Tone Your Skin:
Toners are a must-have during the summer months. A good toner keeps your skin oil-free and clean. It also reduces the appearance of pores. When applying toner, pay attention to your T-zone as it is the part of your face that secretes the maximum oil during summer.
- Pamper Your Skin with a Face Mask:
Not only are face masks a treat for your skin, the right mask can help provide your skin with long-lasting hydration and a myriad benefit. Of course, this method only works if you’re using the right formula.
- Use an Eye Cream:
While you may think that eye creams are reserved for mature skin, think again. The truth is, just as the skin on your face can lose moisture, so can the skin around your eyes. In fact, the skin around your eyes is the most fragile and thin skin on your body, so you need to give it extra TLC. Whenever you are stepping out in the sun, do not forget to wear sunglasses. This will prevent the formation of wrinkles around your eyes. Don’t forget to apply a moisturizing eye cream both during the day and at night. Use products that contain hydrating ingredients. Massage the area around your eyes every night to relax the muscles.
- Cool Off with A Face Mist:
In the moments where you wish you could replenish your skin’s moisture in the middle of the day, grab a facial spray for a quick midday pick-me-up. A cool face mist works wonders on a hot and humid summer day. It helps in soothing sunburns and inflammation and makes your skin look fresh and dewy.
- Always Take Cold Water Showers:
Avoid hot showers and steam baths during summer as they dehydrate your skin. Take a cold-water shower instead. It keeps your skin pores unclogged and prevents acne breakouts. It is also much more refreshing.
Over-showering, or showering in water that is too hot, can lead to over-drying your skin, leading to inflammation and even summertime eczema.
- Make Sure All Your Makeup is Non-Comedogenic:
When it comes to makeup during the summer months, go minimal. That’s because your skin needs to breathe when the weather is super hot and humid. Take a close look at your makeup product labels and only keep those that are non-comedogenic. That's a fancy word for a product formulated without pore-clogging ingredients. That might include options like a powder sunscreen, an oil-free primer, or a lightweight foundation.
- Stay in the Shade:
All our experts recommend their patients wear sun-protective clothing, wide-brim hats, and sunglasses in the sun. We don't expect you to wear a long-sleeve shirt every single moment you're on the beach, but be mindful to expose as little of your body as possible to direct sunlight. That might mean sitting underneath an umbrella, wearing an extra-large hat, or avoiding the midday sun.
- Don't Forget to Hydrate:
Hydration is always important for our skin, but even more so in the summer. Aim for eight glasses of water a day, which will have great results, when it comes to your skin. Hydration can also help skin recover after a sunburn.
- Get Enough Exercise:
Physical activity improves blood flow, which means your skin cells get more oxygen. Thus, your body heals any tissue damage (like a sunburn or acne). Add some fun to your workout routine. Even better, go cycling, play volleyball with your friends, or try hiking. Any form of exercise is good for your health.
- Don’t Cut Down Your Resting Time:
Your body needs time to repair itself and maintain healthy skin. That’s why no matter what schedule you maintain, try to take out enough time to rest. This is crucial because, during the summer months, the days are longer, and most of us tend to be active for longer. Being exposed to the sun longer also leads to dullness and the appearance of the signs of ageing. Getting enough sleep prevents the signs of ageing, improve skin barrier function and makes you look generally fresher and more attractive.
- Don’t Forget Your Hands and Feet:
You spend all that time on your face, it’s easy to forget about your poor hands and feet. Your skin does not end at your neck. Most of us tend to forget our feet. Now that you have replaced your winter boots with summer sandals, you need to take care of your feet as well. Use a scrub to remove the dead and dry skin cells. Moisturize your feet, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen lotion on them.
BENEFITS OF KEEPING YOUR SKIN HYDRATED
Flush Out Toxins: Up to 60% of the human body is water. Staying properly hydrated is important for our body’s own complex and sophisticated detoxification system. Adequate water intake will transport toxins and waste products, efficiently removing them through urination, breathing, or sweating; in turn, regulating your body temperature, lubricating joints, aiding digestion and nutrient absorption.
Improves complexion: Water is vital to the visible and internal health of your skin. Why? Because the skin retains this hydration and utilises it to look plump, vibrant and refreshed. With proper hydration comes reduced fine lines, smaller pores, enhanced elasticity and an overall improved complexion. Sufficient water consumption helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, making it less prone to dehydration leaving you with a radiant glow. On the flip side, when you don’t drink enough water, your skin can look tired, dull and just simply lacklustre.
Reduces Oil Production: While it may seem counterintuitive, adding hydration will help to regulate oil production. An easy mistake to make when your skin feels oily and congested is to avoid hydration with the aim to ‘dry it out. However, the reality is far away from complexion. Sufficient hydration can trigger your body to create more oil to compromise for dryness. On the other hand, if your body and skin are better hydrated, it’s likely that your skin’s secreted oil is more dilute and that your skin itself is “moister” or hydrated, allowing for better absorption in the outer layers.