Don’t Make These Summertime Skin Care Mistakes
As the hottest months of the year approach, many people are ready to hit the beaches and barbecues. Enjoying some summer sun is a given here in sunny Houston – but don’t let these summertime skin care blundersdamage your most valuable asset – your face!
Mistake #1: Not wearing sunscreen every single day.
Even when it’s cloudy, raining, or you’re working inside most of the day, you need sunscreen. Damaging UV rays that cause skin cancer and premature aging can easily penetrate clouds, and even just a few minutes a day of sun exposure adds up.
Mistake #2: Only applying sunscreen to exposed skin.
Unless your clothing has a UPF rating, it’s probably providing close to zero protection for your skin. Most lightweight, thin summer fabrics provide an SPF of 5 to 7 at best. So if you’re going to be out for more than a few minutes, apply sunscreen all over before you get dressed. Or better yet, invest in some UPF clothing, and you can skip this step.
Mistake #3: Assuming your sunscreen lotion is enough.
While sunscreen is a key part of protecting your skin, it shouldn’t be the only defense. The sun’s rays are powerful and will eventually penetrate even the most diligent sunscreen application. For reinforcement, use UPF rated clothing (see mistake #2), wear a wide-brimmed hat, and seek shade whenever possible – especially when the sun’s rays are strongest in the middle of the day. These measures will further prevent sun damage and its undesirable effects.
Mistake #4: Not Reapplying Sunscreen Often Enough
The standard sunscreen rule is to reapply every two hours, but it’s more complicated than that. Water, sweat, toweling off, and any kind of friction will remove some of the sunscreen and leave you susceptible to burning. Most water-resistant sunscreens must be reapplied every 40 to 80 minutes to maintain effectiveness (look at the bottle to know for sure). Apply to dry skin liberally.
Mistake #5: Washing Too Harshly
You want to get all that sunscreen, sand, and sweat off your face – so you find the strongest cleanser available and scrub away. It may feel great in the short term, but treating your face like a pile of dirty dishes will wash away all its natural oils and hydration, leaving you with dryness, flakiness and irritation. This can lead to flare-ups of eczema and acne, and can make you look older. To keep skin supple and maintain its natural protective barrier, use a gentle skin cleanser and alcohol-free products. There’s no need for harsh scrubs or drying astringents.
The number one, best way to keep skin youthful and radiant is to protect it from the sun properly and diligently. But, sun damage and aging happens to nearly everyone. If you’re seeing lines, wrinkles, dark spots, dullness, or other issues, we have a variety of solutions that can help – both surgical and non-invasive. Contact the office of Dr. Michel Siegel to discuss what products, treatments, or procedures will help you to look and feel your best.