(Family Features) If you've ever noticed how thirsty you get when it's hot outside, that's because your body's natural water content evaporates more quickly in warm weather. It's not just your mouth that gets parched, however; your entire body, including your skin, can feel the impact of climbing temperatures.
Although it's often overlooked, skin is an essential organ that needs special attention and care. After all, not only does your skin tell the true story of your health and age, it provides a protective barrier to the rest of your body.
Keeping your skin supple, soft and well-hydrated helps ensure it doesn't dry and crack, which is just as possible during the warm summer months as winter. Use these tips to create a healthy summer skin care regimen.
Use proper sunscreen. The sun can dry out and damage your skin quickly even on an overcast day, and more so if you're near water, where reflections can magnify its intensity. Protect your skin from burning and drying out by using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 any time you venture outdoors. Also remember to check the sunscreen's expiration date to ensure you're actually being protected.
Moisturize often. Make moisture part of your daily routine, not just when you get out of the shower, but throughout the day. An option like Remedy Dermatology Series Moisturizing Lotion contains a proprietary botanical blend of nutrients, emollients and antioxidants, including green tea, clove and safflower oleosomes. Its smooth, rich formula absorbs quickly, leaving skin feeling soft with no greasy or oily residue. Formulated by skin care experts, the lotion helps skin stay moisturized for up to 24 hours and is free of 80 of the most common allergens that contribute to irritation and skin sensitivity. For more information, visit Amazon.com.
Shorten bathtub and shower time. It may seem contradictory that spending more time in the tub or shower strips your skin of moisture, but prolonged heat does exactly that. Keep your bathing time brief to minimize the chance of dehydration.
"Although a long, hot shower or a nice soak in a tub is very relaxing, hot water can really dry out your skin," said board-certified dermatologist and Medline Remedy consultant Dr. Jeanine Downie. "Damp skin helps hydration from your moisturizer lock in, so the best time to apply moisturizer is not when your skin feels the driest but rather after a bath or shower. Be sure to apply a thick coat of lotion immediately after getting out while skin is still wet to help keep skin soft and supple."
Exfoliate. Take time to regularly exfoliate, which removes dead skin cells and makes it easier for moisturizer to penetrate and reveal healthy-looking skin. Be sure to exfoliate gently and adjust your exfoliation schedule to your skin's unique needs so you don't irritate it.
Hydrate frequently. Applying lotion is an external strategy for maintaining your skin's natural barrier, but you can also keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. When you're dehydrated, the body pulls water from any source it can, including your skin. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 8-11 8-ounce glasses of water a day, and keeping a bottle of water on-hand at all times can provide easy, on-the-go hydration.
Consume hydrating foods. Similar to upping your water intake, you can increase your body's overall water content by eating the right kinds of foods. Many types of produce have a high percentage of water, like berries, melon, cucumbers and zucchini.
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