Dr Mohamed Moukhtar, Medical and Scientific Affairs Manager at LEO Pharma GCC.
It is easy to neglect our skin in summer – especially in the scorching heat. The warmer, more humid weather and prolonged exposure to the sun rays can bring with it a fair share of skin related problems. Sun damage can lead to damaging your skin in several ways. It can lead to wrinkles, marks, pigmentation, dry skin, and even skin cancer over time. The hottest time of the year needs a cautious skincare routine in order for you to enjoy it to the max.
There are several things you need to do to best take care of your skin during this sunny season. Dr Mohamed Moukhtar, Medical and Scientific Affairs Manager at LEO Pharma GCC, has mined out a few of them.
- Protect yourself from the sun – One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems — as well as increase the risk of skin cancer. For the most complete sun protection, you should use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 that is able to filter out about 93% of UVB rays, seek shade when the sun’s rays are the strongest, wear sunglasses that block UV rays and wear protective clothing that covers your skin.
- Don’t smoke – Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. It also narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin, which decreases blood flow. This drains the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — the fibres that give your skin strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — can contribute to wrinkles.
- Treat your skin gently – Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. To keep it gentle, you should limit bath or time and use warm water rather than hot, avoid strong soaps because these can strip oil from your skin, apply shaving cream and shave carefully in the right direction of the hair, and lastly, after washing or bathing you should gently pat your skin dry with a towel and not by rubbing it.
- Eat a healthy diet – A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne isn’t clear, but some research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin.
- Manage stress – Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and/ or other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin and a healthy state of mind, take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.
The most important skin care routine that everyone should follow at all times regardless of their skin type would be to moisturize regularly and drink plenty of water. Now that we are starting the summer season, it is also highly recommended to use sun protection when staying under the sun for long periods of time.