Home TLC for Stressed Summer Skin

If you have jumped on every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors this summer – boating, hiking, biking, or playing outdoor sports, as we near the end of the season your skin may be in need of a little TLC.  Even those who have consistently used sunscreen, hats, or lightweight clothing to protect their skin from the elements may have noticed some new dark spots, dehydration, or clogged pores.  While any unusual or changed spots should be checked out by a dermatologist, many issues can be addressed with over-the-counter products. 

Environmental damage caused by the sun, water, or wind can be treated by a dermatologist with procedures like laser therapy or chemical peels.  But creams and lotions can also be effective although they take longer and require daily use over a period of weeks or months.   Anyone with sensitive skin should consult with their dermatologist for a recommendation on which products to use, and of course, keep up using a daily SPF!

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s important to look for products that suit your skin type and are hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic, as well as provide a consumer hotline to contact with any questions.   Start with one new product at a time to avoid irritation and test the product on your forearm before applying it to your face or hands.  Follow directions for use, and discontinue if you experience any stinging, burning, redness, or itchiness. 

Gentle exfoliation can help lift away dead skin cells and improve the appearance of the skin.  Using a fine scrub, soft brush, or cloth, gently exfoliate clean skin in small, circular motions for about 30 seconds and rinse with lukewarm water.  Never scrub sunburned skin or areas with a cut or wound.   Follow with a moisturizer. 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can be applied topically to treat photoaging and hyperpigmentation. Topical Vitamin C serum may cause slight irritation and should be applied carefully to avoid the eyes.  Studies have found products that also contain Vitamin E can help Vitamin C serums work more effectively – store in a cool, dark place and discard after 6 months.  Follow the serum with a moisturizer.

If rainy days are in your weekend forecast, treat yourself to a little pampering and get glowing!