Hot and muggy weather can really do a number on your skin and complexion. And when it is summer all year round, keeping your skin in the best shape can be a challenging business.
Here are five hot weather skin problems that commonly occur and what you can do to keep it in check.
Heat Rash (Also Known as Prickly Heat)
One of the most annoying and painful skin reactions you can get is a heat rash. The itchy, painful rash occurs when dirt and grime block the sweat ducts. Because the sweat is trapped under the blockage, it ends up collecting under the skin, creating tiny but angry red bumps or blisters that itch. When these bumps break and the sweat flows out, it can lead to a prickly and slight burning sensation, which is why a heat rash is also often called prickly heat.
To reduce the chances of developing a heat rash, try to avoid excessive perspiration by only exercising outdoors during the cooler parts of the day (such as in the morning and evenings), or working out indoors in air-conditioning. And if you have perspired profusely, it is important to wash off the dirt and grime as soon as possible to prevent the sweat ducts from clogging up. Also, wear clothing that’s light-weight and not too tight, and that’s preferably 100 per cent cotton.
If you already have a heat rash, make sure to shower twice a day, especially at the end of the day. It would be a good idea to wash with a shower gel that has antibacterial properties. For relief, an ice compress can help to reduce the inflammation. There are also powders on the market, such as Snake Brand Prickly Heat Powder, which is quite effective for soothing heat rashes. Just dust some on the affected areas after a nice cool shower and you should feel immediate relief.
Sweat, dust, dirt and grime are not just a recipe for prickly heat, it can also be the unfortunate precursor to pimples and acne breakouts. Heat, sweat and pollution are a perfect formula for pimples and acne to bloom. The warm weather allows bacteria to grow and thrive while the dirt, oil and grime happily settle into our pores.
If you are prone to acne, it’s crucial to keep your skin clean. Wash your face at least twice a day with an antibacterial face wash, and anytime after you have perspired profusely in order to quickly remove dust and bacteria. Make sure to use non-comedogenic moisturisers and skincare for areas that are prone to breakouts such as your face, neck, decolletage and back.
If acne breakouts do not abate, do consider visiting a dermatologist.
When we perspire a lot, we lose moisture in our skin. When skin is dehydrated, it not only looks older, but it can also cause the skin to become dry, irritated and more likely to burn. And that’s not all; without proper attention, the skin on your lips will also begin to peel and crack.
The simplest way to prevent dehydration is to make sure you drink enough water. You can carry around a reusable water bottle on the go and remember to take a drink every 30 minutes. You can also stay hydrated by drinking fresh juices and eating water-rich produce such as watermelons, plums, peaches and oranges.
To keep skin looking plump and dewy, use a mild cleanser that is gentle on skin and avoid hot showers too. Also, make sure to moisturise after.
The time spent in air-conditioning to help you cool off can also exacerbate a dry skin condition. Instead of switching on the air-conditioner all the time, consider installing a ceiling fan or use a standing fan to keep your home ventilated and cool. It not only keeps skin from drying out, but it will also save you a ton in your utility bill (and reduces your carbon footprint).
When it is summer all year long, it is so important that you protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Among other annoying skin conditions, sun damage can lead to hyperpigmentation. Apply a daily sunscreen with an SPF 30, and make sure that the bottle or tube says broad spectrum, meaning it provides both UVA and UVB protection. This is particularly important for those who have sensitive skin, as the sun can easily cause skin damage and irritation.
If you are spending the day out in the sun, it is necessary not only to cover yourself in sunscreen. Remember to reapply every few hours to ensure you are constantly protected. Also, put on a pair of chic sunglasses to prevent dark circles. Wear a wide-brimmed hat for added protection and cover your skin with comfortable and breathable clothing. At the end of the day, soothe your hot skin with some cool aloe vera gel.
Warm weather is a hotbed for bacteria and viruses, and it’s terribly easy to come in contact with bacteria and viruses in crowded spaces and on public transport. Try to prevent skin infections and more by not touching your face and rubbing your eyes. Have an antibacterial gel or hand sanitiser on hand to use whenever needed, and make sure to wash your hands regularly.