The signs of summer are everywhere. From beautiful flowering foliage to families strolling, ice cream in hand, along the promenade, we’re all just happy to finally feel some sun that actually warms our bones!
However, when the winter coats are packed away, the SPF should come out to play, because the sun’s intense rays mean business, especially when it comes to our skin. If you aren’t protecting your skin then you’re going to put it at risk for anything from accelerated aging to an increased risk of skin cancer.
In this article we’ll talk about all the ways the sun can affect your skin and exactly what you can do about it so you can get out there and enjoy all this happy, bright season has to offer!
Factors that can influence your skin during summer
During the warmer months, when the temperatures begin to soar, you’ll find yourself sweating a lot more than usual.
While sweating is a completely natural process and excellent for detoxifying the body, it can also contribute to clogged pores, which then results in acne breakouts. Whether it’s one pesky pimple or a whole bunch of them, no one really wants to deal with acne, especially during this fun season when you may find yourself going out more often than during the chilly months.
However, and this may come as a surprise, sweating can also be a good thing for your acne! Sweating helps to detoxify the system, flushing toxins out of the body that may lead to blemishes. You have to be sure to keep your skin clean though after a sweat fest, so always be sure to cleanse or spritzsome of our toner to keep your skin clean and your pores open after an intense gym sesh or day out at the beach.
Of course, many people do suffer from acne when it starts to heat up and while the reason isn’t totally clear, it seems to be due to an increase in sebum production in the summertime. Our sebum also takes on a slightly different compositionduring summer to help keep our bodies cool. Sebum is what contributes to that gorgeous, dewy glow and can be a godsend for ladies suffering from dry skin, however too much sebum can throw the balance off and tip the scale in the other direction, meaning breakouts.
While there’s no denying that soaking up the rays feels like pure bliss, especially when you have a sparkling pool or shimmering ocean to cool off in as you please, it’s important to remember that overexposure to the sun may quickly change the bronzed goddess glow you were going for to that of a freshly cooked lobster, never a good look!
Too much sun exposure will not only result in a painful, blistering sunburn, it also significantly increases your risk of extrinsic aging in the skin. In fact, uv rays are responsible for a scary 80% of extrinsic skin aging. This results in a loss of skin elasticity meaning saggier skin with more lines and wrinkles. So while your sunkissed glow is sexy in your twenties, 15-20 years from now any damage that occurred will manifest as uv skin damage. What’s really alarming is that the sun will continue to damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer hours after you head indoors!
Uv rays break down collagen and elastin, two structural proteins responsible for keeping the skin firm, taut and plump.
UV rays also reduce the amount of Vitamin A in the skin, a vitamin that is absolutely essential for skin health. Vitamin A helps to encourage healthy cell production and plays a role in keeping the skin’s barrier function strong. A damaged barrier function means more pollutants can sneak their way into your skin and really speed up the aging process. Vitamin A helps to lock moisture into the skin cells, however uv rays deplete this vitamin, which in turn means more water may be lost through the pores, resulting a dry complexion that, once again, ages much faster than a healthy one.