We’re in for another hot summer up here in Washington State, and even moving into record high heats this weekend. We have no shortage of beautiful beaches, lakes, and waterfronts to choose from here. But before you jump out into the hot summer weather, give your skin some love. Remember that your skin is your largest organ and healthy skin is vital for your well being. Here are five ways to keep your skin glowing, safe, and healthy this summer.
Don’t just play in the water, drink it!
You know you’re supposed to drink water. You know staying hydrated is crucial for your health. Did you also know that dehydration can cripple your skin’s ability to heal itself? There exists some controversy in the medical community as to how much water is too much, and whether drinking more water has a significant positive effect on the skin’s texture and appearance. However, everyone agrees that dehydration, or not enough water, impairs your skin’s health. Dehydration dries out your skin, inhibits your ability to sweat and urinate, and can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and more serious problems. The more time you spend in the sun, the more your body will sweat and the more water it will need to stay hydrated and healthy. Each time you venture outside, make sure you drink that glass of water!
Sunscreen is your best friend.
This might be an obvious one, especially for those of us who’ve experienced a bad burn before (ouch!). Still, we can’t overstate the importance of protecting your skin from the sun and its damage. In addition to the short-term risks of painful burns, sun damage, even mild damage, speeds the aging process in the skin. You may have heard this called photoaging. The sun doesn’t just hit the top of the skin where you burn; sun rays penetrate into the deepest layers of the skin. Damage to the dermis is not immediately visible, and will cause your skin to show signs of aging years after the damage hits. Thankfully we do have ways to treat photoaged skin, but save yourself a trip and sunscreen up this summer!
Exfoliate the dirt (and chemicals) away!
Exfoliation’s primary purpose is to help your skin shed and heal itself. It removes the dead skin cells and makes room for new growth, encouraging your skin to repair itself. This process promotes collagen production which can make your skin brighter, firmer, and smoother. Bear in mind that sun damage which penetrates the dermis layer will need more than exfoliation to heal. Still, exfoliating your skin will help repair the upper layers of skin, and keep it clean! When swimming outside in the sun you’ll expose your skin to a wide variety of dirts, sunscreens, and chemicals which can irritate skin and exasperate damage. So after a day in the sun, exfoliate!
Moisturize. And moisturize again.
Exposing your skin to sunlight dries it out. Skin is prone to dryness because your skin cells shed more rapidly than most other cells in the body. While there are mixed views on daily moisturizing in the skincare community, there is no doubt that excessive sunlight will cause your skin to lose essential water. Moisturizing helps prevent your skin from losing water. There’s a catch, though: It also keeps the dead skin cells stuck to you. Because of this, we recommend exfoliating before moisturizing!
Consider Photodynamic Therapy
Photodynamic therapy is known for treating cancerous and precancerous cells in the skin. In addition to this, it can be a good treatment after you get too much sun. Today it’s used for a variety of treatments: bacterial infections in the skin, eyesight problems, acne, and of course sun damage! Photodynamic therapy works by emitting fluorescent wavelengths which selectively kill bad or abnormal skin cells. Particularly after a bout of too much sun, or a burn, eliminating suspicious cells can reduce the risk of sun cancer. You should do your part to give your skin preventative care, but if you’re spending a lot of time in the sun, ask us about photodynamic therapy!
We don’t mean to scare you out of your summer. By all means–enjoy the sunshine! Swim in lakes or dip in your pool, go on that hike, and soak up your vitamin D. Just make sure that while you’re out enjoying summer you give your skin lots of love. Use sunscreen, pay extra attention to your skin’s condition, and build good skincare habits. And remember, if you’re near our locations in Kirkland, Kennewick, Anacortes, or Yakima, we’re here to give your skin the extra care it needs. Give us a call with questions!