By Erika, Pure Matters
The warm summer months carry a host of inconvenient skin problems, from acne to sunburns, to oily or dry skin, and itchy mosquito bites, all of which make the idea of baring skin so much less appealing. Don’t worry -- you don’t have to wear a muumuu all summer! You have other options. Read on for tips on how to avoid and treat summer skin problems.
Every summer in Washington, D.C., the mosquitoes come out in hordes, searching for innocent victims. Itchy bug bites are hard to ignore and you can damage your skin by scratching at them. My grandmother’s cure for bug bites was always Calamine lotion -- I remember it leaving big pink blotches on my skin, like scars from a war with the mosquitoes. I also remember it working quite well.
Cortizone cream makes another great over-the-counter remedy for itchy skin reactions. Purchase it at any drugstore and rub it onto the affected area so that you can finally concentrate on something more fun than not scratching. As much as we all hate needles, I’m a huge advocate of allergy shots. I actually got allergy shots for mosquito bites because I used to get huge welts every time they bit me. I noticed a positive difference in my skin’s reaction to those little buggers after getting weekly shots for a few months.
If your itchy skin isn’t related to a bite of any kind, it could be dry from the heat (more so depending on the climate). In this case, try using moisturizer on a regular basis. An unscented lotion may be the best option for those of us with sensitive skin. I’m all about the Lubriderm Daily Moisturizer. My dermatologist recommended it to me when I was a kid and I’ve been using it ever since then. They also have a version with SPF so you can get rid of two potential skin issues with one product.
Those of us with pasty pale skin that burns easily need to be extra careful in the sun. Actually, even those lucky enough to just get beautifully bronzed in sunlight should be careful. We’re all susceptible to burns, melanoma, and a future of leathery looking skin and we should all try to avoid these sun-related issues.
It’s quite a shock for my skin to see sunlight after the cold winter months, and if I forget to put sunscreen on and spend an hour or two in the sun, I turn bright red, followed by pain and eventual peeling. Not pretty! It’s so important to apply sunscreen on a regular basis. Throw some on every morning after showering so you don’t forget. And make sure to reapply regularly if you’re spending extended amounts of time in the sun.
Having trouble picking the right sunblock? I love EWG’s Skin Deep® annual sunscreen guide. The organization publishes an annual guide to the best sunscreens out there that both protect your skin and don’t contain the harsh chemicals that some manufacturers use. Check out their handy lists including the Best Beach and Sport Sunscreens and the Best Moisturizers with SPF.
Many of us suffer from summer acne. Heat and sweat can cause pores to clog up, often in places like your forehead and back. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it also takes a toll on our confidence.
The best way to treat summer acne is to prevent it from happening, by using some of these tips:
• Clean your face regularly. This can help prevent clogged pores. Try using a mild cleanser in the morning and at night and an exfoliating scrub twice a week. You don’t have to break the bank on the fancy stuff -- plenty of budget-friendly face products exist. Like I mentioned previously, I usually go for the unscented versions because my skin is extra sensitive to fragrance.
• Drink more water. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking water regularly. It helps flush out the toxins and keeps your skin glowing and healthy.
• Don’t touch your face. Especially if you haven’t washed your hands in a while, avoid the inclination to touch your face. You’re merely putting bacteria on your face from whatever you previously touched.
If it’s too late to prevent acne, don’t fret. You can purchase an over-the-counter acne treatment. If that doesn’t work, it may be time to make an appointment with your dermatologist.
Another way to keep your skin glowing and healthy is by taking supplements that ensure your skin gets the nutrients that it needs.