With temperatures heading up to 50 Celsius in the UAE, it’s vital to take care of your facial skin as it’s inevitably going to be exposed to some harsh rays and weather conditions. UV rays are your biggest enemy when it comes to dark spots, wrinkles, premature ageing and skin cancer. The drier weather can also wreak havoc.
- The first line of defence in the summer should always be a physical barrier from the sun and spending as little time as possible in direct exposure. Carry an umbrella or wear a large hat if you’re going to be walking outdoors, which will also help cope with the heat. Another option — if you’re brave enough — is a UV shield/visor that can be worn in front of the face. It can look a bit comical and Darth Vader-like, but it’s reliable in case you forget to apply your sunscreen.
- In the summer, you’d better stock up on your favourite sunscreen because you’re going to need it. The correct way to apply enough is to use two teaspoons for the head, shoulders and neck, and two tablespoons for the rest of your body. Sunscreens generally only last about 90-120 minutes so they should be reapplied every two to three hours while you are exposed to the sun; and even more frequently if you’re going swimming. Admittedly, wearing sunscreen can be pretty annoying and sticky — so it’s important to find one that works for your facial skin type.
- Face cleansing is a key step in any skincare routine, and in the summer, the type of products used can make a big difference. Cream and oil cleansers might be too heavy, so opt for a light gel-based cleanser that is gentle and won’t strip the skin of its natural oils. For nighttime, doing a double cleanse would ensure that the skin is left super clean and fresh. Contrary to popular belief, double cleaning doesn’t have to mean an oil cleanse followed by a foam cleanse; it can be any combination that’s best for your skin type, or just the same cleanser used twice. A popular option is micellar water, that will help break down make-up and dirt without much fuss.
- Even during the sweaty summer, it’s important to keep the skin hydrated with the right products. Don’t shy away from moisturisers — instead pick ones that have a mattifying effect or gel-based ones that won’t leave you feeling and looking like an oil slick.
- Too keep your skin in top shape, add in active ingredients that will help improve your skin. Vitamin C is a great addition as it helps brighten the skin while tackling pigmentation. A beta hydroxy acid serum or toner will help clean out pores and blackheads, and help prevent acne. Avoid physical exfoliants such as apricot scrubs as those can be too harsh.
As we all step out during the summer, whether it’s to the beach or the mall or the park, let’s not forget to take care of our largest organ — which is the skin. It’s a given that most people will get a bit of a tan, even if they didn’t mean to. But there are ways to help mitigate that damage, and to make sure the skin stays healthy.
- Similar to the UV visor, one option for the body is UV clothing such as gloves, sleeves, leggings and swimwear. These block out harmful UV rays when you’re driving, or at the pool or beach. Compared to applying loads of SPF, especially on little tots who can’t stay still, this one’s a simpler option to protect from the rays.
- While a physical exfoliant isn’t great on the face, it’s perfect to get your body feeling smooth and soft. Use an apricot or coffee scrub — or even a homemade olive oil and sugar scrub — all over the body to remove residue, sweat and grime. A good scrub will also help moisturisers sink in better.
- If you’d prefer not to add more products to your bathroom counter, then you can’t go wrong with an exfoliating wash cloth or mitt that can be found online or even in discount stores. These scrubby things can be reused many times and don’t need more than your regular soap to do the trick.
- To keep your both hydrated during the summer months, switch to lighter lotions and creams and apply them right out of the shower. They will sink in much quicker and won’t leave you feeling sticky and uncomfortable. If you want to get a bit fancier, there are new body serums with a host of beneficial ingredients such as hyaluronic acid that will add moisture.
- Love a good tan but want to avoid the risk of skin cancer? Self-tanner is the way to go. Use a self-tanning foam or cream all over the body with a mitt to avoid streaks. For the face, add a few drops of self-tanner to your moisturiser for that sun-kissed glow. Remember, there’s no such thing as a safe or healthy tan! Skin getting tanned due to the sun is a melanin response to skin cells getting damaged.
If you thought your hair was going to be spared during the summer, you thought wrong. The heat and UV rays can also negatively impact your coif.
- Hats really are our best friends during the summer — because not only do they save your skin, they save your scalp and hair too. Wearing a wide-brim hat can prevent hair damage from excessive sun exposure, and can also help prolong the life of your hair colour.
- During the summer, it might be a good idea to put down the heat styling tools and find other ways to style it. YouTube is full of tutorials for heat-free blowouts and curls using socks, rolled up T-shirts and other cheap options that are much healthier for the hair. Or else, let your natural waves and texture shine through.
- Focus on adding healthy hydration to the hair in the form of nourishing leave-in oils and conditioners; but make sure they don’t weigh your hair down and make it look greasy. If you’d prefer to avoid too many leave-in products, pick a hair mask that can be used after shampooing, to add nutrients and moisture to the hair and scalp.
- A greasy and itchy scalp is a common occurrence during the summer. To combat that, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo once a week for an ultra clean feeling. Scalp brushes have also been trending — and for good reason. They’re cheap and cheerful, can be used with any shampoo, and get rid of flakiness and grease easily.
- If you’re a water baby, it’s time to invest in a pre- and post-swim spray that protects the hair. Beach lovers should check out sprays that have UV and salt water protection, while those who are at the pool should be using a chlorine protection spray. Let’s not forget the trusty (but unattractive) swimming cap that can protect those precious locks.