Localize Your Skincare For Summer
At 35°C, we’re all inclined to show more skin. But air pollutants and the sun can cause problems such as accelerated skin aging, hyperpigmentation and dermatitis – problems that can be exacerbated depending on where you live. Here is how you can localize your skincare regime for a healthy, well-protected complexion.
Choose your skincare products wisely
The type of barrier protection your skin needs in winter is usually different from what it needs in summer, so you will need to make adjustments.
Exfoliating should go hand-in-hand with moisturizing, as it helps to remove the dead skin cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin. This allows the nutrients from the moisturizer to be absorbed easily. Doing one without the other won’t work that well.
To look after your skin in the best way possible this summer, you need to factor in where you live.
Humid environments are known to increase the sebum production in your skin, making it oilier and prone to acne lesions. Dermatologist at Laserderm Illovo, Dr Noori Moti-Joosub, suggests changing your oil-based moisturizer for something more water-based and less hydrating.
If your skin’s oil production is overactive in Durban’s humid environment, your initial thought may be to exfoliate more often. However, stripping your natural oils too regularly will only make things worse. Exfoliate twice a week and speak to your dermatologist if you don’t see any difference.
Unfortunately, Johannesburg weather is always dry, making your skin prone to dehydration and atopic dermatitis. Moti-Joosub recommends using a rich emollient every day to keep your skin protected and strong.
Due the city’s dry weather and substantial amount of pollution, Joburgers are often exposed to a number of environmental harms. Exfoliating more than three times a week could be too harsh on your skin. Speak to your dermatologist and be sure to alternate between a good cleanser and detoxification mask programme.
Although summers are warm, they can also be slightly dry. Make sure to use a surfactant-free soap when washing, to preserve your natural skin oils.
With plenty of oxygen in the air, Capetonians should be able to follow the general rule, as stated by the American Academy of Dermatology, and exfoliate twice a week. Keep in mind that exfoliating can increase skin sensitivity by up to 45%; if your skin is sensitive, bring it down to once a week.
Find out more about the best ways to take care of your skin here.
During the summer, use an oil-control sunscreen. Its thinner, less hydrating consistency will prevent your skin from feeling too oily.
Get the right sunscreen
Sunscreen is a household essential. Whether it’s summer or winter, unprotected sun exposure can be detrimental. Of course, the most serious risk is skin cancer. If that isn’t enough to get you into the habit of wearing sunscreen, sun damage is also one of the main causes of premature skin aging, hyperpigmentation, discoloration and inflammation. Having said that, not all sunscreens are created equal. If you’re going to spend a decent amount of money on a product, you need to be sure it will do its job. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of a sunscreen will tell you only how long the sunscreen will protect you from being burned by ultraviolet rays (UV). Factors such as skin type, intensity of sunlight and perspiration will affect this. And SPF will not give you enough protection on its own.
“The best sunscreen needs to include high-SPF, broad-spectrum protection and antioxidants. DNA repair is also a necessity to prevent skin cancer cells from forming,” recommends the product manager for skincare at Genop Healthcare, Kelly Jefferson.
Think you’ve got the sun-protection basics covered? Take our short quiz to see how well you know fact from fiction, before you go shopping for your next sunscreen.
1. The SPF number is the most important information on the sunscreen bottle.
FALSE. While getting the correct SPF is important, that number indicates only how long you’ll be protected from UVB rays – the ones that cause a visible burn on the skin. It has nothing to do with UVA rays. You need to find a sunscreen that protects against both.
2. Sunscreen ensures a safe tan.
FALSE. Any change in skin colour after UV exposure is an indication of UVB damage, whether it turns brown, golden or red. Genop Healthcare’s Kelly Jefferson says: “A tan is the skin’s way of trying to protect itself from the sun. Therefore, the minute the skin changes colour, we know the skin is under stress and cells begin to get damaged. No tan is actually safe! Sunscreen provides a layer of protection which allows one to be exposed to the sun for longer before getting burnt.”
3. High-SPF sunscreens mean you can reapply less often.
TRUE. These sunscreens do buy you a little more time in the sun. However, it’s best to get into the habit of reapplying every two hours.
4. Waterproof sunscreen will last while you swim.
FALSE. There is no such thing as a waterproof sunscreen, only water-resistant. Sunscreen usually washes off in 40 to 80 minutes.
5. You need to use sunscreen only when you’re in the sun.
FALSE. It is crucial to wear sunscreen on exposed skin every day, no matter what. Even driving to work in the morning in your car is enough to cause sun damage; while ordinary glass blocks UVB, it has little effect on UVA.