With the arrival of summer, the desire to enjoy the outdoors and good temperatures increases. As a consequence, our skin is more exposed to the sun, chlorine or salt, elements that can cause problems for the health and appearance of our skin. Therefore, we must pay special attention to skin care in summer and maintain proper sun protection.
Although a correct and moderate sun exposure has benefits for our body both physically and mentally, it also entails a series of health risks if it is not carried out in the right way and always with adequate protection.
Yes, the incidence of the sun on our skin encourages the production of vitamin D, which contributes to the absorption of calcium in the bones. It also helps the remission of skin problems such as acne and psoriasis, to control cholesterol levels or lowers blood pressure, among many other benefits.
On a psychological level, the sun is an effective antidepressant, and produces an elevation of the mood by helping to increase the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that produces a feeling of well-being. It also keeps us more active and awake by reducing levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep and wake cycle.
Next, we explain how to enjoy summer and the benefits that the sun brings us in a safe way, protecting and caring for our skin. Read on to learn all the secrets to take care of the skin in summer.
How to take care of your skin in summer
As we have mentioned, if we want to show off radiant skin in summer we must counteract the effects of high temperatures, increased exposure to the sun and the effects of chlorine and salt.
To achieve this and take good care of your skin during the summer, you should pay attention to three fundamental pillars: protection, hydration and regeneration.
Why protect ourselves from the sun?
In summer, especially during the central hours of the day, it is essential to protect the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The reason is that excessive exposure to sunlight can cause solar erythema (skin burns), premature skin aging, photoallergic or phototoxic reactions, and even genetic mutations such as melanoma (skin cancer).
In addition, we must take into account certain factors that influence the amount of ultraviolet rays we receive:
- During the central hours of the day, UV rays reach their maximum power.
- Staying in the shade reduces UV exposure by at least 50%.
- Light clouds do not protect us from the sun. Be very careful with those slightly cloudy days, which can mislead us and make us lower our guard. You should know that almost all UV rays pass through light clouds.
- Not to the same extent as snow, but sand also reflects a considerable percentage of UV rays.
- Water does not protect us from the sun. Although somewhat less than on the surface, UV rays from the sun also penetrate the water. Therefore, it is important to use waterproof sun creams, reapply at least every 2 hours and not trust ourselves with the sensation of freshness that water provides.
For this reason, the use of sun cream is imperative to protect our skin in summer. In addition, it is necessary to choose a suitable sun cream for our skin, which provides us with optimal protection. Here’s how.
Choosing the right sun protection factor
In order to safely enjoy summer and keep our skin beautiful and healthy, it is essential that we choose a cream with a suitable sun protection factor for our skin type.
What is the sun protection factor?
The index or sun protection factor (FP, IP or SPF) allows estimating the photoprotective efficacy of a sun cream. Calculated in the laboratory, these rates represent the time required for a sunburn to occur. Increasingly, protection factor measurements are being carried out under real conditions of use (after immersion and sweating), which allow the real photoprotective power to be determined more precisely.
At a theoretical level, the protection factor is the relationship between the time required for a burn or sunburn to occur with and without the product applied. For example, if a person suffers a sunburn after 15 minutes without protection, a protection factor of 10 means that it would take 150 minutes to obtain the same sunburn with the sunscreen applied.
But beware! in practice this is more complicated, since the factor would only be valid if every centimeter of skin was covered by 2 mm of cream and for a given and constant UV intensity. In addition, various external parameters can influence the effectiveness of the product, such as skin type.
Regarding creams that are labeled as “waterproof”, it means that the product will maintain 70% of its filtration capacity after two 20 minute baths. In practice, as a general rule it is advisable to apply protection at least every 2 hours of exposure or after enjoying a bath.
Choose the protection factor based on your skin phototype
In order to know what level of sun protection you should adopt, you will need to determine your skin phototype. The phototype allows you to estimate your ability to tan and the best way to protect yourself, choosing a sun protection adapted to it.
There are 6 phototypes, classified from lighter to darker skin:
|Phototype||Type of skin||Sun tanning||Protection factor|
|Phototype I||Very fair skin with freckles / Blonde or red hair.||It does not tan and systematically burns in the sun.||FP 50+|
|Phototype II||Very fair skin / Blonde or brown hair / Freckles appear in the sun.||She hardly tans and often burns in the sun.||FP 50+ with emphasis on freckles|
|Phototype III||Fair skin / Blonde or brown hair.||It tans progressively and sometimes burns in the sun.||FP 30 to 50|
|Phototype IV||Dark skin / Brown or black hair.||Tans well and burns little.||FP 30|
|Phototype V||Very dark skin.||It tans easily and sunburn is rare.||FP 15 to 30|
|Phototype VI||Black skin.||Never sunburned.||FP 15 to 30|
The table refers to levels of moderate or high solar intensity; For extreme situations with very high solar intensity, it is advisable to choose an FP 50+.
Also, keep in mind that children’s skin is thinner and extremely sensitive to the sun. Therefore, for children use a high sun protection factor is essential to avoid damage to the skin.
Other forms of sun protection
Apart from protection creams, it is advisable to protect ourselves from long sun exposure with suitable clothing, hats or sunglasses. Remember that, for example, the skin around the eye is more delicate and much thinner than the rest of the face. We must also protect the lips, a very sensitive area that is often forgotten, with lip balms that contain sun protection.
In addition, nutrition plays a very relevant role in protecting our skin against the inclemency of summer. In general, it is good practice to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables in our diet during the summer, due to the benefits and extra hydration that they provide to our body.
To protect and recover our skin from the sun, there are foods that will help us maintain spectacular skin, thanks to their contribution of especially interesting nutrients:
- Carotenes: Both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene have an antioxidant and protective effect on the skin along with other phytochemicals. In addition, they reduce the redness of the skin after sun exposure, and can be transformed into an active form of vitamin A. They are largely found in certain fruits and vegetables (apricot, peach, mango, plum, carrot, pumpkin, broccoli, pepper…) and in dark green leafy vegetables.
- Vitamins: They play a fundamental role in cell renewal and protection against free radicals. Fruits and vegetables are important sources of vitamins.
- Omega-3: It is an essential fatty acid that we can only acquire through diet. Omega-3 is recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties and benefits for the immune system, and among many other benefits, it keeps the skin hydrated and strengthens its protective barrier. We will find it in nuts such as walnuts and oily fish.
Keep skin hydrated
The second pillar for skin care in summer is hydration. In addition, it must be taken into account that the high temperatures in summer make it difficult to maintain a good level of hydration.
Being proactive, before launching into sun exposure, exfoliating our skin is a good way to prepare it for summer. Exfoliation removes dead cells and impurities that accumulate on the surface of the skin. In this way, our skin will regain its luminosity and will show a more uniform tan, and we will achieve a clean skin that will better absorb the products for its care.
Already during the summer, it is essential to hydrate the skin of the whole body daily with a good moisturizer, which is rich in nutrients. We must also pay attention to the skin of the face, which is sometimes forgotten. To do this, using a tinted moisturizer that includes sun protection is a good option for day to day, as a substitute for makeup base.
But our dermis is not only hydrated with creams. Drinking plenty of water is especially important in summer (between two and three liters a day), due to the increased perspiration caused by high temperatures. Although it is essential for the proper functioning of our body, as well as for the hydration of the skin, this is a pending issue for many people.
Also adapting our diet will help us maintain an adequate level of hydration throughout the day. By increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables we will obtain an extra water, in addition to being refreshing foods suitable for this time of year if we consume them in salads.
Repair skin from the sun
And finally, the third pillar that will allow us to maintain beautiful and healthy skin despite the inclement summer weather, is to carry out a good repair.
After exposure to the sun, it is essential to nourish and repair our skin. For this, there are body lotions whose function is to calm the skin after the attacks of the sun and hydrate it to compensate for dryness. They are the well-known after sun, which contain ingredients that help repair and soothe the skin.
It is important to choose high-quality and effective products, rich in nutrients, highly hydrating, and that are respectful with our skin. Slow Spa offers you a wide variety of treatments to achieve a healthy body and mind, and always using the best skin care products.
Both in all our treatments and in our boutique, you will find only 100% organic and vegan products, based on highly effective active ingredients such as baobab or petitgrain. Like L’Huile Relax Intense by SCENS, a thermo-relaxing body oil that brings together the best organic seed oils and essential oils. You can provide your skin with a high concentration of the most repairing active ingredients in the world and the best hydration with exclusively natural ingredients.
In addition, thanks to the action of a good massage you can activate circulation, improving blood flow and favoring the arrival of nutrients to the epidermis, while improving the elasticity of the skin. At Slow Spa you will find the best treatments and massages in Barcelona to show off radiant and healthy skin also during the summer season.
Tips for summer skin care
In summary, these are the tips to take care of your skin while enjoying the summer:
- The exfoliation prepares our skin before exposing ourselves to the sun, eliminating impurities.
- Always use a protective cream with the appropriate protection factor for your skin.
- Do not forget delicate areas such as the contour of the eyes or the lips. Protect them with specific products for those areas.
- Hydration is essential:
- Apply daily cream to hydrate the skin.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day.
- Repair your skin after each sun exposure with a good after sun lotion.
- Include in your diet foods rich in carotenes, vitamins and Omega-3, which protect from within and help repair your skin.
- Avoid sun exposure during the central hours of the day, where the incidence of UV rays is greatest.
- Wear hats or caps, sunglasses with approved lenses or wide and light clothing, with fabrics such as linen, anything goes to reduce the areas exposed to the sun during the worst hours of the day.