Summer has finally arrived and we now have countless opportunities to be outside under the harsh African sun. While this time of year is often fun and care-free, we do need to become more mindful of looking after our skin.
Here are some tips to keep your skin looking healthy this summer:
• Stay Hydrated. We can now spend hours playing with our kids, barbequing, swimming, hiking, camping and enjoying our favourite outdoor activities. This all occurs under the heat of the unrelenting sun and causes an increase in water and electrolyte loss which can cause dry skin. Make sure to drink plenty of fresh water, herbal teas and vegetable juice to hydrate, and try to minimise the amount of coffee, soft drinks and alcohol you consume as these contribute to dehydration.
• Protect yourself. Sun exposure for 15-20 minutes without sun block is important during the summer months in order to obtain good levels of vitamin D. However, much more than this could cause skin damage. Make sure to wear sun block, cover up and wear sunglasses during the peak hours of 11am-3pm.
• Increase your nutrition. Increased sun exposure can create a demand for antioxidants and nutrients like Vitamin C and E, quercetin, selenium and zinc. These can act as a natural sunscreen (not to replace sun block), reduce skin cancer risk and repair sun damage. Take a good quality anti-oxidant supplement and eat more carrots, kale, broccoli and brightly coloured fruit and vegetables.
• Exfoliate. During summer the skin sheds dead cells at a faster rate and might make your skin look dull. Make sure to exfoliate with a good body brush and a light scrubbing wash on your face and body.
• Repair and soothe. Since sun and sea exposure can dry the skin, a good moisturiser will help to bring back your glow and get rid of wrinkles caused by UV light. If you have an unsightly and painful sunburn make sure to soak in a bath using Epsom salts to reduce pain. Follow this up with some cooling aloe repair gel and you will be back at the beach in no time!