Although most of us associate cold, winter weather with dry skin, a lot of us actually experience dry skin in the summer months too. Whether it’s because our skin is exposed to more sun or we spend more time in air conditioned rooms, the summer months can really cause our skin to feel dry and flaky.
Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do the reduce or even eliminate flaky skin. It just takes a bit of care – like anything in beauty. Here we’re going to investigate some of the top causes of flaky skin and what you can do about it.
Too Much Sun Exposure
Is your skin peeling? It could be the result of too much sun exposure. According to Harvard scientists, the sun is the number one risk factor for skin cancer and one of the main causes of skin damage. Too much sun exposure, they claim, can lead to skin that is rough, wrinkled and overly dry. That’s why so many beauty experts today recommend that women use factor 30 sunscreen year round to protect from skin damage. The good news? SPF can be found in many facial products today, including foundation.
Sunscreen is great for taking the edge off the damage caused by the sun’s rays. But did you know that it doesn’t actually block out all of the ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun? You can slather yourself with factor 50 sunblock all day long, and still some of the sun’s light will get through to your skin cells and potentially damage them. This is why top age-defying celebrities, like Kylie Minogue, insist on walking around outside covered up. Cover your arms and wear a hat if you want to keep the sun at bay.
Lastly, don’t forget your extremities. You might apply the skin on your cheeks with sunscreen, but what about your lips? After all, they can burn too! Choose a lip balm with SPF protection. Many lip balms come with SPF 15 built in.
Turn Your Shower Temperature Down
There’s nothing wrong with having a warm shower (even in summer!). But taking a shower that is hot (more than 50 degrees), could be damaging your skin.
According to dermatologist Andrea Lynn, extremely hot water can strip the skin of its natural protective barrier, the sebum which prevents it from getting too dry. Without this oily substance to keep the skin supple, it quickly dries out, leaving it feeling flaky and uncomfortable. Also, repeated exposure to hot water can actually damage the skin permanently and could lead to serious health consequences in the future.
Lynn suggests turning the temperature down by about 10 degrees if you like taking hot showers, just to be on the safe side. She also suggests gently padding dry with a towel.
Leslie Baumann, a leading researcher at the University of Miami, says that women should choose their moisturiser carefully to avoid dry skin. Her advice is to look for a moisturising cream that contains ingredients that will replenish the skin’s natural oils. Outlets like The Beauty Store offer a range of moisturisers with natural oils. It’s all about repairing the skin’s own natural defences, according to Baumann. This is the leading cause of dry skin and why so many women are flaky.
When it comes to moisturising, there are some golden rules that women should follow. After showering, pad your skin dry. Then apply a thick layer of you favourite moisturiser quickly afterwards. Make sure you use a cream that has inbuilt SPF protection. Major health bodies recommend choosing SPF 30 or more, so go with sun protection to be safe.
Use A Soapless Cleanser
Cleansing agents are perfect for removing makeup at night. But if you’re using them day after day, they can start causing problems. Harsh cleansers don’t just remove makeup and grime: they also have the effect of removing the skin’s own defences, leaving it feeling dry and rough. Repeated exposure to harsh acids contained in many of these cleansing products can result in long-term dry skin that looks and feels bad.
According to Carolyn Jacob, a dermatologist, women should consider using cleansers that are free from additives or deodorants. They should also choose products which contain ceramides – fatty substances very similar to those found on your skin. These ceramides will help bolster the number of natural ceramides following the removal of makeup.
Only Shave After You Shower
Shaving on a regular basis can take its toll on your skin. The reason? Because the shaving motion removes many of the natural oils on the surface, just like cleansing.
Fortunately, there’s a solution. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the best time to shave is immediately after you’ve taken a shower. After a shower, hairs become softer and more easy to cut.