The Most Common Summer Skin Mistakes & How To Avoid Them
Jul 06, 2012 14:58
While summer time usually means plenty of fun in the sun, that doesn't mean you can slack off on your skin care regimen. Besides protecting your skin from that scorching sun, here are a few other common skin mistakes that you'll need to keep in mind:
Not Using Sunscreen
We all know by now that baking in the sun is the worst thing you can do to your skin. Not only does it make you look older faster, studies have revealed that 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers in the U.S. are linked to sun exposure.
Despite this, many people still aren't doing enough to protect themselves: according to a recent survey from The Skin Cancer Foundation, 49% of men and 29% of women say they have not used sunscreen in the past 12 months. And 32% of men said they considered themselves extremely or very knowledgeable about how to get adequate sun protection, meaning that a majority aren't quite sure about how sunscreen works or how often you need to apply. Which brings us to...
Not Using Enough Sunscreen
In the survey, more than 60% of men said they believed one application would protect them for at least four hours. But in reality, most sunscreens should be reapplied every two hours. More application is needed for activities such as swimming after sweating profusely.
When applying sunscreen, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends "generously coating" any exposed skin that won't be covered by clothes. You'll need to squeeze out at least an ounce (enough to fill up a shot glass) or more depending your on body size. One study found that most people use less than half that amount.
Not Wearing Sunglasses
Sunglasses aren't just for looking cool on the beach, they can also help minimize wrinkles and fine lines caused by squinting. The type of sunglasses you use can also make a big difference. Many of the cheaper ones don't meet recommendations for UV ray protection. If possible, look for a pair that blocks at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays. Bring your sunglasses to an eye doctor as they can scan the lenses to measure how much protection they offer.
If you're not protecting your peepers when you're in the sun, you're exposing yourself to a greater risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and skin cancer on the eyelids, which accounts for up to 10% of all skin cancers. And that's a bigger price to pay than forking an extra $100 for the right pair of sunnies.
Taking a Dip After Shaving Yourself
There's nothing wrong with wanting look smooth while lounging the poolside, but try to finish up the beauty routine at least a couple of hours before you go for a dip. Going in the water right after shaving, waxing or undergoing laser hair removal can cause irritation to that extra-sensitive skin, which will definitely not look good in a bikini!
Not Staying Moisturized & Hydrated
Besides sunburn, sun exposure also saps moisture from skin. The result can leave you looking flaky, scaly and totally not sexy. While lotions and moisturizers can make a difference, drinking more water also helps. You can also try sipping on coconut water or eating foods with high water content (watermelon and cucumbers).
Neglecting Your Feet
While flip-flops are the best summer accessories, wearing them too often can result in cracked heels. Try moisturizing after showering to help the skin absorb better. Sleeping in socks also works. A weekly pumice stone scrub can also help remove excess skin.
Scratching Bug Bites
Summer also means plenty of bug bites. While scratching can offer a bit of relief, it's not really skin-friendly. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Neal B. Schultz, scratching will only make bites more inflamed, leading to greater itchiness and pain. And too much aggravated scratching can actually tear up the skin, leading to infection. If you're looking for a natural remedy for itchy bites, check out our list here.
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