Each season has its special impact on your skin — both good and bad. Summer’s no different. While you’re outdoors and active in the heat and sun, your skin is exposed to some pretty harsh conditions. Keep it healthy and looking great with some simple changes in your skin care.
Solutions for the biggest summer skin problems that I see in my dermatology practice:
Thick, rough and cracked feet: Walking barefoot or in sandals leaves feet thick, rough and cracked. Keep them soft with exfoliation. My ‘step by step’ instructions to keep your feet soft and attractive this summer: Dermatologist’s 3 Simple Steps For Sandal Ready Feet By Spring
Athlete’s foot: sweaty athletic shoes and public showers breed fungus. If your feet are scaly, itchy and cracked you may well have picked up this highly contagious problem. Get rid of the fungus before it gets worse by following my instructions: Dermatologist’s Tips For Athlete’s Foot Fungus Treatment.
Chapped and sunburned lips: Sun and wind chap and burn lips fast. You need good sun protection when you’re outdoors, and mineral sunscreen products designed specifically for the lips, such as Lip Cotz, are the best. Some colored lipsticks can also give your lips good sun protection.
For moist, healthy lips you also need constant applications of a really good lip balm like Ceralip or pure shea butter. I recommend avoiding lip balms with a lot of medicated or herbal ingredients because I see so many people whose severely chapped lips are actually due to allergic reactions to these ingredients. I recommend using just the hydrating ointment base in lip balms and skipping all the dicey ‘extras.’
Gardener’s Hands: chapped, rough and cracked hands are a part of summer for you if you’re a gardener (like me). Good hand care is essential to keeping your hands looking even remotely presentable outside of the garden. The same hand care that I outlined in the winter for all the folks with chapped hands from hand sanitizers will fix your gardener-worn hands too.
“Embarrassing” arms and legs!: I can’t tell you how many people are embarrassed to show off their arms and legs; like it or not, summer fashions show more skin. After about our mid-twenties, just about everybody has to put a little work into keeping their arm and leg skin looking good. My recommendations:
At a minimum, moisturizing will help control the dry, flaky scale and give your skin an attractive, dewy look.
Adding sun protection plus alpha hydroxy acid hydration combined with physical exfoliation keeps the age spots from darkening. I give you instructions in my post: Stop The Summer Darkening of Your Age Spots.
On top of that, if you add a sunless tanner, you’ll have evenly bronzed, dewy hydrated skin with a buffed and polished glow! I tell you how in: Use Self Tanners Like A Pro.
Stressed facial skin: In the summer, facial skin care is all about survival; summer sun and environmental exposure will cause permanent damage to your facial skin unless you protect it every day. Sunscreen and antioxidant skin care products are essential for anyone seriously concerned about facial wrinkles and age spots (not to mention skin cancer). The best sunscreens are the mineral-based products. The best antioxidant protection comes from products with high concentrations of vitamin C and products that combine green tea and caffeine. Every day there are new ‘miracle’ antioxidants and sunscreens hitting the skin care market, but in my opinion, the mineral sunscreens and vitamin C and green tea/caffeine antioxidant products have the best scientific evidence proving their benefits; they’re what I personally use and recommend for my patients.
With good skin care you can have soft, healthy and fabulous-looking skin all summer long.
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Photo: Thanks and gratitude to Dystopian