With all of its beaches, tropical drinks and warm weather, it’s hard to hate summer. What we don’t love, though, are the skin problems that arise due to warm weather and spending our days outdoors. No need to be frustrated, ladies. We’ve pulled together solutions for the most common summer skin problems so you can live happy while sipping that lemonade on the beach. Read on!
The Problem: Clogged Pores. Whether you’ve got oily skin year-round or you only suffer during the summer, blazing hot temperatures during the summer can cause your skin to overheat, resulting in an over-production of oil. Sure, we all love a nice dewy glow, but there’s a difference between dewy and greasy.
The Solution: Stock up on oil-free cleanser, oil-blotting sheets and a matte foundation or BB cream, depending on which you prefer. If you can manage to stay in air conditioned areas or rooms with fans during the summer, that will help your body to not overheat, and thus produce more oil. When it comes to using a moisturizer, look for ones that are “non-comedogenic,” which essentially means “won’t clog pores.”
The Problem: Breakouts. That oil your skin is over-producing? If it’s left on your face for too long, it can cause some major breakouts. Plus, if you’re using brushes or sponges to apply makeup but you’re not cleaning the tools regularly, you’re simply swirling around a cocktail of liquid foundation, powder and oil, leaving your skin with no choice but to break out.
The Solution: First, make sure you’re keeping your brushes, sponges, and any other tools you use on your face clean. Mix warm water and mild soap in a shot glass and swirl brushes around in the mixture until the water is muddy. You’ll most likely be grossed out by how much product is left in the shot glass. Lay your brush flat to dry so the handle doesn’t get warped. Next, switch to an acne-treatment cleanser with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to treat acne. Make sure you’re patting your face dry with a clean towel (different than the one you use to dry your hands which can have bacteria on it).
The Problem: Heat Rash. When you’re spending tons of time outside in direct sunlight, the heat may be too much for your body to take. This has essentially nothing to do with whether or not you’re wearing SPF, this is simply your body overheating and resulting in tiny bumps and red skin. The likelihood of getting heat rash is upped when you’re active outdoors. If you’re exercising outdoors while it’s hot outside, your body heat and the sun’s heat come together for a not-so-fun time.
The Solution: Cool down the area where you’re experiencing heat rash with a cool, wet towel, allowing the area to air dry afterwards. A cool shower for about 20 minutes or so can also help, offering relief in an uncomfortable situation. If you try these options and you’re still uncomfortable, cortisone cream can help. Avoid wearing rough or tight fabrics around the area, and stay away from fragranced soaps and lotions as they can irritate skin.
The Problem: Sunburn. Even if you’re diligently applying and reapplying sunscreen, we all deal with sunburn at some point in our lives. You miss a spot, fall asleep on the beach, or forget to reapply, but whatever the cause, it’s likely you’ll have to treat a sunburn during the summer.
The Solution: If things are really bad, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like aspirin. Then, take a gentle and cool shower, gently patting dry (or air drying, depending how badly you’ve been burned). Applying aloe vera lotion or gel can help soothe and cool burned areas, and drinking water to avoid dehydration is key. If you’re planning on going out in the sun while you’re still burned, try to take cover under and umbrella or clothing that covers up the burned area.
The Problem: Bikini Line Rash. Considering the skin down there is incredibly sensitive, it’s simpler to have irritation than it is to not. Razor burn can cause bumps, which are only exacerbated when you’re at the beach getting sand and salt water on your body, but waxing can leave skin open and susceptible to irritation, too.
The Solution: If you shave your bikini line, try waiting longer periods of time in between shaves to give your skin a break. Be sure you’re using a clean razor and avoid the urge to scratch anywhere down there. Your fingernails contain bacteria, which can lead to infections. If you have ingrown hairs, be sure you’re exfoliating with a gentle exfoliator to rid the area of dead skin cells. If all else fails, use a cream specifically designed for being used around the bikini area to reduce redness and irritation.
The Problem: Bug Bites. If you’re outside during the summer, chances are that bugs are biting you and you’re itching like crazy.
The Solution: Besides getting yourself a serious bug repellent to avoid the bites altogether, there are a few steps you can take to make bites less intolerable. To calm your skin, use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or a cold compress to soothe your skin. For swelling, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory. To reduce itching, mix baking soda with water to create a paste, and apply to the bitten areas.
Image via Istock