Looking after your skin is very important. However, sourcing the right products for your skin type can be challenging – particularly if you’re uncertain of what category you fall under. Throughout your life, your skin will go through multiple changes; whilst you may have suffered from oily, acne-prone skin as a teenager, you may now be noticing dryness. Although age plays a factor in this, so do the seasons, so you should make sure that you’re catering to your skin’s needs over the course of the year.
As the weather warms up, increased exposure to the sun, bugs and insects, in addition to a change in humidity, can alter the appearance of your skin. In this guide, we will look at some of the causes of changes to your skin and how you can combat them. From natural remedies to expert advice, find out more below.
There are many benefits to spending time outside, and when the weather begins to heat up, spending time in your garden or at a park is a wonderful afternoon activity. With this in mind, you’ll need to ensure that your skin is properly prepared, during the summer the sun’s harsh UV rays can cause lasting damage, even penetrating your skin through thick clouds. So be sure to keep it topped up with a suitable SPF throughout the day to give your skin the best protection.
Not only can sunburn be painful, causing your skin to feel hot and appear red, but frequent bouts over long periods of time can increase your risk of skin cancer. This is a result of damage to your skin’s cells and the levels of ultraviolet radiation that are absorbed. If you have experienced regular sunburn over the course of your life, you’re more likely to be at risk, so taking preventative measures is best. Wear a high-level SPF when outside, even increasing the number of antioxidants in your diet could help lower your risk.
Bites and stings are never pleasant, however, you’re more at risk of a painful surprise during the warmer seasons. Not only can these hurt and look unsightly, but some can cause lasting damage and disease. From wasps and bees to ticks and fleas, the first step is to identify what has bitten you.
Depending on the type of bite, you may experience a number of different symptoms, including rashes, swelling and pain. Most of these side effects will subside after taking an antihistamine or applying a bite cream, but some, such as a circular rash from a tick, may be cause for concern - and you should seek medical advice.
In terms of bites, a mosquito bite is perhaps the most common and, as a result, they can be the easiest to identify. Due to the absence of teeth, a female mosquito will pierce your skin, sucking blood from two tubes to feed and provide protein to her eggs. During this process, mosquitos will use their saliva as an anticoagulant, which makes it easier to draw out blood. This can lead to blister-like swollen patches that may be itchy.
There are more than 3,500 different species of mosquito all over the world. Although a mosquito bite isn’t normally harmful, some can carry disease and viruses, such as malaria, zika and yellow fever. Therefore, if you’ve travelled to a tropical area recently, it is best to have your mosquito bites checked to rule these diseases out.
Back in the UK, the Mayo Clinic, advises that the best way to prevent mosquito bites is by using an insect repellent, and to install screens on your windows and doors, to keep them out of your house.
Bees and Wasps
During the warmer months, alfresco dining is often interrupted by the presence of bees and wasps. A sting from both is similar, although identification can be helpful, especially in the case of anaphylaxis.
Although bees and wasps are likely to avoid you, a sting from one of these can cause short-term pain and irritation. Once stung, venom is emitted resulting in a raised area of skin, with a white mark visible at the sting site. Those stung will feel a burning sensation and sharp pain, although this typically subsides after a couple of hours.
Stings do not normally cause any lasting damage, although large local reactions can occur, which means that you may have experienced an allergic reaction to the venom. In these instances, extreme swelling can occur, and you may feel nauseous. Despite being allergic, a large local reaction doesn’t necessarily lead to anaphylactic shock and any discomfort can be eased by an antihistamine.
Summer skincare recommendations
Changes to your skin are often easy to manage, especially if you know how to combat them. Throughout summer, there are a number of different products that you can incorporate into your routine in order to minimise the appearance of fine lines, prevent dryness and improve elasticity. However, it is important to first identify areas that need improvement in order to ensure that you’re using the right products for your skin type.
Otherwise known as Vitamin A1, retinol is a fantastic product to use for the stimulation of new skin cells. Summer is the perfect time to start using a retinol serum or cream, as your skin may take a while to adapt to the ingredient. The warmer weather can lower the risk of dryness, a side effect you may experience when you start using the product. However, retinol can increase sun sensitivity, so it is important to pair with a high SPF. As a result, using retinol at night is the best way to add this to your skincare routine and avoid using it if you have sunburn.
Exposure to the sun can increase melanin production, leading to dark spots, but using products with Vitamin C can help to avoid this. Working to minimise dark spots, you will also see a reduction in fine lines thanks to its anti-ageing properties, as well as the appearance of scars being reduced.
Vitamin C should be applied in the mornings before your SPF, as this allows it to soak directly into the skin. A serum or cream is the best way to do this, as they are often thicker, so more moisture can be locked in.
Glycolic acid is another ingredient that should appear in your summer skincare routine. As the weather warms up, your skin’s oil production can increase, and, if you’re not frequently exfoliating, this can lead to an excess of dead skin cells and clogged pores.
Although oil production is often associated with shiny skin, the absence of exfoliation in your routine can lead to dryness and dullness. Glycolic acid is, therefore, a perfect product to use as its particles are smaller than similar ingredients, allowing it to penetrate deeper beneath the skin’s surface.
Summer Skincare Advice
Whatever your plans are this summer, making sure you’re protected from the sun is essential. In order to keep your skin feeling and looking great, be sure to follow the advice listed below:
- Always wear SPF with high coverage.
- Reapply your SPF throughout the day, especially after swimming.
- Wear a hat to avoid sun damage to your scalp.
- Swap out heavy-duty winter moisturisers and opt for something lightweight.
- Stay out of the sun between its hottest hours to avoid burning.