Beach days, Christmas, summer barbies, and test match after test match; summer in Australia sure is debatably one of the best times of the year. However, while the hot weather makes for endless days of fun in the sun, the summer climate and festivities can be harsh on our skin. Airconditioning, excess sun exposure, chlorinated pools and salt water are very dehydrating to the skin, which results in dryness, redness, irritation and overall skin damage. Lollies, sweets, changes in our diet, an increase in alcohol consumption, as well as, the increased stress over the Christmas period, can also wreak havoc on our skin, causing breakouts, redness and inflammation. But before you hop on the next boat to Antarctica, don’t despair, there are plenty of simple tips and tricks that can help keep us flawless all summer long.
Ah, the good old aircon. Its hard to imagine a summer in Australia without one. I honestly don’t know how my family survived for over 14 years with only a portable fan. They’re a luxurious necessity for most households and for many businesses and offices. However, while working in an artic paradise is no comparison to a 40+ degree day, aircons are more like a double-edged sword when it comes to skin health. While they do help to keep us cool which minimises flushing, redness and heat related irritations, unfortunately the cold air sucks humidity from the environment which causes dehydration, dryness and a whole array of other problems. The drying action of the epidermis disrupts the skins protective barrier layer, and without which, your skin becomes more sensitive, prone to irritation, dull, and itchy. Dehydrated skin also ages faster and more noticeably than hydrated healthy skin. Fine lines and wrinkles begin to form at a faster rate and skin begins to lose its elasticity and takes on a droopier appearance. Using and air humidifier at night or within an airconditioned room can help to combat the lack of moisture in the air and help keep skin hydrated.
Similarly, chlorinated pools and salt water can also dry out our skin and create irritation. After going for a dip, don’t forget to rinse off with some fresh water and pop on a good moisturiser to combat dehydration.
While its unthinkable for many of us to even consider shunning the good old aircon during the summer months, or the cheeky trip to the beach/pool, we can combat epidermal moisture loss by ramping up the hydration in our skincare routines. Using a good barrier cream suited to your skin type will help to maintain hydration in the skin and decrease evaporation of moisture from the deeper layers of the skin. Using a refreshing sprits or hydrating mist throughout the day can also help to revitalise dry skin and maintain moisture levels. For an extra boost of hydration during the summer months, adding a hydrating serum such as Ultraeutical’s B2 into your routine will also provide your skin with what it needs. This serum contains masters of moisturisation and anti-inflammatory ingredients, vitamin B5 and B3 to give all-out hydration while soothing your skin.
Sun protection is also a must have for when the UV rating is as high as it is during the Australian summer. 90% of aging is a result of accumulated sun damage. UV rays not only burn and harm the DNA of skin cells which causes them to malfunction, mutate and lead to skin cancers, but it also breaks down and slows the production of collagen and elastin, which creates sagging, lines and wrinkles. Sun exposure as well creates pigmentation problems on the skin such as age spots and uneven skin tone, and creates inflammation, which if repeated can become chronic, and lead to cellular stress which again, increases signs of premature aging on the skin. For more info about how important sun protection is not only in summer but the whole year round, see the blog post below.
While Christmas is a great time for most people it can also be a very stressful time for many of us which unfortunately, also has an impact on our skin. An increase in stress within our body can increase androgen hormone levels, which intensifies the production of sebum. In turn, this can create oilier skin and breakouts, and that’s definitely not what any of us want for Christmas. Stress also impacts our sleep and as such, disrupts the skins natural regenerative process at night leading to a dull, lifeless complexion and dark circles. Being stressed can also cause us to change our diet and influence us to opt for some not so healthy choices, and thus again, can lead to breakouts and congestion.
Many of us also love to indulge with a couple of ‘cold ones’ arounds Christmas time too. While alcohol for the most part is fun, an increase in the substance can unfortunately also negatively impact the skin. Alcohol is a dehydrating substance and so, increases dehydration in the skin. It can also create inflammation and worsen some inflammatory conditions such as acne, dermatitis or psoriasis. Not to mention depending on what you drink, many spirits or cocktails contain quite a large percentage of sugar which can again increase inflammation and breakouts. Always remember to drink responsibly and rehydrate after a big night where possible to help reduce the impact on your skin.
While Christmas and the Summer months can be some of the best, our skin unfortunately, may not be feeling as merry. But remembering some quick tips and tricks such as making sure to up the hydration in your skincare routine and minimise stress during this period can help significantly to keep you flawless all summer long.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
- Skin x