Cornerstone Clinics

Summer Skin | Dr Ruhil Badiani | Cornerstone Clinic | Dubai

HOW CAN HYDRATION AND DIET AFFECT SKIN HEALTH IN THE SUMMER?

 

Hydration and diet play crucial roles in maintaining skin health, especially during the summer when increased temperatures and sun exposure pose greater risks to skin damage. Hydration is vital as it helps maintain skin’s elasticity and suppleness. In summer, higher temperatures and increased perspiration can lead to dehydration, which can make the skin appear dry, dull, and more prone to wrinkles. Drinking ample water, typically around 8-10 glasses a day, helps replenish lost fluids, supports the skin’s barrier function, and aids in detoxification, leading to a clearer complexion. Consuming water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelons, and oranges can also boost hydration levels.

 

Diet significantly impacts skin health. A diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by UV rays. Foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, nuts, and leafy greens, help combat free radical damage and support skin repair. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and strawberries, aids in collagen production, maintaining skin firmness. Omega-3 fatty acids, present in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, have anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe sunburned skin and reduce redness. Additionally, including probiotics from yogurt or fermented foods can improve gut health, which is linked to clearer skin. Avoiding excessive sugar and processed foods is equally important, as they can cause inflammation and breakouts. Moderating alcohol and caffeine intake can also help, as both can dehydrate the skin.

 

In summary, staying well-hydrated and consuming a balanced, nutrient-rich diet are essential strategies for maintaining healthy, glowing skin during the summer months.

 

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL STEPS IN A SUMMER SKINCARE ROUTINE?

An effective summer skincare routine is essential to protect the skin from increased sun exposure, heat, and humidity. Here are the essential steps to ensure healthy and glowing skin during the summer:

  1. Cleansing: Start with a gentle cleanser to remove sweat, excess oil, and impurities. Use a foaming or gel-based cleanser that won’t strip the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
  2. Exfoliation: Exfoliate 1-2 times a week to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. Use a mild exfoliant to avoid irritation and over-exfoliation, which can make the skin more sensitive to the sun.
  3. Toning: Apply a toner to balance the skin’s pH levels and tighten pores. Choose an alcohol-free toner to avoid dryness. Ingredients like witch hazel and rose water can be particularly soothing and refreshing.
  4. Hydration: Use a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated without clogging pores. Gel-based moisturisers with ingredients like hyaluronic acid are excellent for maintaining moisture in the skin during hot, humid weather.
  5. Sun Protection: Sunscreen is crucial in a summer skincare routine. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, ideally SPF 50, and reapply every two hours, or more often if swimming or sweating.
  6. Antioxidants: Incorporate antioxidant serums, such as vitamin C, to protect the skin from free radical damage caused by UV exposure. Antioxidants also aid in skin repair and brightening.
  7. Hydrating Mist: Throughout the day, use a hydrating facial mist to refresh and soothe the skin. Look for mists with ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile.
  8. Night Care: In the evening, cleanse again to remove sunscreen and impurities. Apply a nourishing night cream or serum to repair and replenish the skin overnight.

 

HOW DOES SUNSCREEN PLAY A CRUCIAL ROLE IN SUMMER SKINCARE?

Sunscreen is a cornerstone of summer skincare due to its vital role in protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation, comprising UVA and UVB rays, poses significant risks, including sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer.

Protection Against Sunburn: Sunscreen absorbs or reflects UVB rays, which are primarily responsible for sunburn. By preventing sunburn, sunscreen reduces immediate skin damage and the risk of painful and potentially blistering burns.

Prevention of Premature Aging: UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, leading to premature ageing, characterised by wrinkles, fine lines, and loss of elasticity. Daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays, helps maintain youthful skin by preventing these effects.

Skin Cancer Prevention: Prolonged and unprotected exposure to UV radiation is a leading cause of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Regular use of sunscreen significantly reduces the risk of developing these conditions by shielding the skin from harmful UV radiation.

Reduction of Hyperpigmentation: Sunscreen helps prevent hyperpigmentation and dark spots, which can be exacerbated by sun exposure. It is particularly important for individuals prone to melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Enhancement of Overall Skin Health: By protecting the skin from UV damage, sunscreen supports overall skin health. It prevents DNA damage in skin cells, reducing the risk of mutations and preserving the integrity of the skin barrier.

For maximum efficacy, sunscreen should be applied generously to all exposed skin areas at least 15 minutes before sun exposure. It should be reapplied every two hours, or more frequently if swimming or sweating. Using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 ensures adequate protection.

WHAT ARE THE SKINCARE CONSIDERATIONS FOR TRAVEL DURING SUMMER?

Traveling during the summer requires special skincare considerations to protect against increased sun exposure, varying climates, and potential disruptions to your usual routine. Here are essential skincare tips for maintaining healthy skin while traveling in the summer:

Hydration: Traveling, especially by air, can dehydrate the skin. Carry a hydrating facial mist and a good moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated. Drink plenty of water to maintain overall hydration, which is crucial for skin health.

Sun Protection: Sunscreen is indispensable. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. Consider bringing a travel-sized sunscreen for convenience.

Cleansing: A gentle cleanser is essential to remove sweat, oil, and impurities accumulated during travel. Opt for travel-friendly sizes or pack your favourite cleanser in a reusable travel bottle.

Moisturiser: Choose a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated without clogging pores. If you’re traveling to a dry climate, consider a more intensive hydrating cream.

Antioxidants: Incorporate antioxidant serums like vitamin C to protect against free radical damage from increased sun exposure and pollution. These serums can help maintain a bright and even skin tone.

Avoid New Products: Stick to your tried-and-tested skincare products to avoid potential allergic reactions or breakouts that can result from new products.

Sun Accessories: Enhance sun protection with physical barriers like wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and lightweight, long-sleeved clothing.

Post-Sun Care: After a day in the sun, use soothing products like aloe vera gel or a calming mask to address any sun-induced irritation or redness.

 

WHAT ARE THE BEST PRACTICE FOR EXFOLIATION IN SUMMER?

Exfoliation is a key component of summer skincare, helping to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and maintain a radiant complexion. However, it’s important to practice it wisely to avoid irritation, especially with increased sun exposure. Here are the best practices for exfoliation in summer:

Choose the Right Exfoliant: Opt for gentle exfoliants to avoid over-stripping the skin. Chemical exfoliants, like alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), can be less abrasive than physical scrubs. Products with glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid are effective options.

 

Frequency: Exfoliate 1-2 times a week to avoid over-exfoliation, which can lead to sensitivity and increased risk of sunburn. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you might increase the frequency to 2-3 times a week, but monitor your skin’s reaction closely.

 

Timing: Exfoliate in the evening to give your skin time to recover overnight. This reduces the risk of immediate sun exposure post-exfoliation, which can make skin more vulnerable to UV damage.

 

Moisturise: Follow exfoliation with a hydrating and soothing moisturiser to restore the skin barrier. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and aloe vera can help maintain hydration and calm the skin.

 

Hydrate: Keep your skin hydrated from the inside out by drinking plenty of water, which supports overall skin health and enhances the benefits of exfoliation.

 

Avoid Irritants: After exfoliating, avoid using other potentially irritating products, such as retinoids or high-concentration vitamin C serums, immediately afterward. This can help prevent irritation and maintain a healthy skin barrier.

 

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF HUMIDITY ON SKIN AND HOW CAN I MANAGE THEM?

Humidity has a significant impact on the skin, particularly during the summer months. High humidity levels can lead to various skin issues, but with proper management, you can maintain healthy skin.

 

EFFECTS OF HUMIDITY ON SKIN

Increased Oil Production: Humidity stimulates the sebaceous glands, leading to excess oil production. This can result in shiny skin and clogged pores, increasing the risk of acne and breakouts.

Dehydration**: Despite the presence of moisture in the air, high humidity can cause dehydration as sweating increases, leading to loss of essential skin moisture and nutrients.

Bacterial Growth: Humid environments promote bacterial growth, which can exacerbate skin conditions such as acne and folliculitis.

Sweat and Heat Rash**: Excessive sweating can lead to heat rash or miliaria, characterised by red, itchy bumps, especially in areas where sweat is trapped.

 

MANAGING HUMIDITY’S EFFECTS ON SKIN

Cleansing: Cleanse your face twice daily with a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser to remove excess oil, sweat, and impurities. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid to help unclog pores.

Exfoliation: Exfoliate 1-2 times a week to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. Use gentle exfoliants to avoid irritating the skin.

Moisturising: Use a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser to maintain hydration without adding excess oil. Gel-based moisturisers with hyaluronic acid are effective for keeping the skin hydrated without feeling heavy.

Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect against UV rays. Opt for a non-greasy, mattifying formula to control shine.

Hydration: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated from the inside out. Hydrated skin is better equipped to handle environmental stressors.

Blotting Papers: Carry blotting papers to absorb excess oil throughout the day, keeping your skin fresh and matte.

Loose, Breathable Clothing: Wear loose, breathable fabrics like cotton to allow your skin to breathe and reduce sweat accumulation.

 

HOW CAN I ADJUST MY SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR DIFFERENT SKIN TYPES DURING SUMMER?

Adjusting your skincare routine for different skin types during summer is essential to address specific needs and challenges posed by the season. Here’s how to tailor your routine:

 

OILY SKIN
  1. Cleansing: Use a gentle, foaming cleanser twice daily to control excess oil and prevent breakouts. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid.
  2. Exfoliation: Exfoliate 2-3 times a week with a chemical exfoliant containing glycolic or salicylic acid to keep pores clear.
  3. Moisturising: Choose a lightweight, oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturiser. Gel-based options with hyaluronic acid work well.
  4. Sun Protection: Use a mattifying sunscreen and opt for a non-greasy, water-based formula to reduce shine.

 

DRY SKIN
  1. Cleansing: Use a hydrating, creamy cleanser to avoid stripping natural oils. Cleanse once daily or use a gentle cleanser in the morning.
  2. Exfoliation: Exfoliate once a week with a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells without causing irritation.
  3. Moisturising: Apply a rich, hydrating moisturiser with ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. Consider layering with a hydrating serum.
  4. Sun Protection: Use a hydrating sunscreen and look for formulas that include moisturising ingredients.

 

COMBINATION SKIN
  1. Cleansing: Use a gentle, balancing cleanser twice daily to address both oily and dry areas.
  2. Exfoliation: Exfoliate 1-2 times a week with a mild exfoliant to prevent clogged pores and flakiness.
  3. Moisturising: Apply a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturiser to oily areas and a more hydrating formula to dry areas.
  4. Sun Protection: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and opt for a formula that is neither too greasy nor too drying.

 

SENSITIVE SKIN
  1. Cleansing: Use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser to avoid irritation. Cleanse gently twice daily.
  2. Exfoliation: Exfoliate sparingly, about once a week, using a very gentle exfoliant like a mild enzyme peel.
  3. Moisturizing: Choose a soothing, hypoallergenic moisturiser with ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile.
  4. Sun Protection: Use a mineral sunscreen and look for formulas with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are less likely to cause irritation.

 

To book a skin consultation or for more information, contact us at +971 50 494 6377 to schedule an appointment with our GP, Dr Ruhil Badiani.

 

Dr Ruhil Badiani is a British doctor, who studied, graduated and practised in London for 10 years, before moving out to Dubai. Dr Ruhil Badiani has experience in treating patients of all ages and backgrounds. She values the patient doctor relationship and recognises the importance of psychological and social factors, as well as the physical factors, which contribute to a patient’s presentation. She recognises the importance of lifestyle changes to improve health and prevent disease, and is confident in the diagnosis and monitoring of chronic disease.