Summary of key points
As the temperatures rise and humidity levels soar, maintaining optimal skin hydration is challenging. However, it’s a crucial aspect of your skincare routine. Without enough moisture, your skin can start to get dull and itchy.
However, there are many steps you can take to keep your skin nourished and glowing during the hottest months. Try applying these practical strategies to protect your skin amidst extreme heat and humidity.
Stay Hydrated From Within
Drinking an ample amount of water throughout the day helps maintain your skin’s moisture levels. Hydrated skin starts from the inside, so make sure to keep sipping on water to support your skin’s hydration.
In the warmer months, you should be drinking more water, especially if you’re working out in the heat of the day. Aim for no less than eight glasses each day. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go to remind you to top up on that H2O.
Opt For Lightweight Moisturizers
In high heat and humidity, go for lightweight, oil-free moisturizers. These formulas provide hydration without the heaviness, preventing clogged pores and excess oil production. Look for a suitable gel-based moisturizer as they’re non-oily, fast absorbing and more hydrating.
Additionally, you should moisturize after your bathe or shower. Doing this helps lock in the moisture before it’s lost. Gently pat your skin dry before applying any creams, paying extra attention to dry spots like your elbows and knees.
Adopt a Gentle Cleansing Routine
Cleansing your skin is essential, but a gentle approach is key in extreme conditions. Use a mild, hydrating cleanser in the morning and at night to remove sweat, excess oil and impurities. Harsh cleansers can strip away natural oils, leaving your skin vulnerable to dehydration.
A gentle approach ensures your skin remains clean, refreshed and primed to absorb the benefits of your skincare products. By treating your skin with care, you can maintain a healthy barrier and prevent the effects of dehydration.
Apply That Sunscreen
Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF can protect your skin from harsh UV rays and subsequent moisture loss. Dermatologists recommend choosing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and applying it generously to any areas vulnerable to sun exposure. You must remember to reapply it every two hours, especially if you’re swimming, sweating or sitting in direct sunlight.
Remembering to apply sunscreen daily — even if you’ll be spending the day indoors, it has multiple benefits besides sun protection. Sunscreen can prevent premature aging, lower your chance of developing skin cancer and can aid in an even skin tone.
Watch Out for the Sun
If you’re planning on spending extended time outdoors, it’s vital to take extra precautions beyond just applying sunscreen. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses can shield your face and eyes. You can also seek shade during peak hours by sitting under an umbrella to minimize direct sun exposure. Clothing-wise, long-sleeved shirts and linen pants can shield you from the sun.
Following a day in the sun, use aloe vera, chamomile or calendula products to soothe your skin. Avoid picking at any dry patches or sunburnt skin, and give the boiling hot baths and showers a miss.
Incorporate Face Masks in Your Routine
Try using a face mask one or two times a week. These are full of beneficial ingredients — like hyaluronic acid, glycerin or natural extracts — that can deeply moisturize your skin. When these absorb into your skin, they seal moisture in and protect it.
Add Water-Rich Foods to Your Diet
Include hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumbers, leafy greens and citrus fruits in your diet. These water-rich foods contribute to your overall hydration, and provide essential vitamins and antioxidants that promote skin health.
Consider refreshing, hydrating meals like salads loaded with leafy greens, chopped veggies, lean proteins and grains. Add some tomatoes, celery and radishes to your salad, and top it off with some shredded chicken or a can of beans for added protein. Not only will this provide some much-needed hydration on those hot summer days, but it’s packed with nutrients that keep you fuller for longer. You can even drizzle on a citrus dressing to further boost your hydration.
Consider adding these foods to your diet to keep your skin hydrated:
- Avocado: The protein and fats can support your skin’s collagen and elasticity. Add half an avocado to a piece of toast for the perfect breakfast.
- Sweet potato: As a great source of vitamin A, sweet potatoes can give your skin a healthy glow, reducing the appearance of dry and flaky skin.
- Salmon: This omega-3-rich fish keeps your skin looking supple. Use it to create a balanced and skin-supporting dinner.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Vitamin E promotes moisture in the skin. Drizzle some over your salad or roast vegetables for healthy fats.
Make Sleep a Priority
Though getting sleep sounds easy, most Americans average less than seven hours a night. Try to sleep at least seven to nine hours nightly to ensure your skin has enough time to balance its moisture, repair sun damage and refresh itself. Plus, getting enough sleep can make you less stressed, supporting your healthy glow while the sun beats down.
Remember to Exfoliate
Exfoliation involves removing dead skin cells using a body scrub, allowing moisturizers to penetrate better. Incorporating body scrubs into your routine once or twice a week can help eliminate dry and flaky skin, leaving your body feeling soft and smooth.
Body scrubs with ingredients like activated charcoal allow for deeper cleansing, unclog your pores and improve skin discoloration with weekly use. You can even create your own body scrubs at home using ingredients like sugar, coffee grounds, oatmeal and honey. Be careful not to overdo it though, as it can lead to over-drying and harm to your skin’s barrier. By exfoliating as necessary, you can ensure your skin allows products to absorb properly.
Go for a More Natural Makeup Look
On hotter days, embracing a more minimal makeup look is the way to go. Thick makeup can trap sweat and oil, potentially leading to clogged pores and unwanted breakouts. A lighter makeup routine allows your skin to breathe and can prevent excess moisture from getting trapped, causing acne and blemishes.
When it’s extra hot out, opt for BB creams, tinted moisturizers or lighter foundations that give you coverage without suffocating your skin. It’s a small change, but it helps your skin stay hydrated and avoids clogging your pores.
Remember to Protect Your Lips
While you’re preparing your face for hot weather, don’t forget about your lips. The skin there is much thinner and lacks oil glands, which is why they’re prone to cracking and burning. Go for a lip balm with high SPF to stay hydrated and protect against damage. As you’re shopping, keep an eye out for ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and white petroleum jelly for a barrier against the elements.
Try to get a lip product without a fragrance if you can — these ingredients can dry you out. While you’re out in the sun, remember to reapply your balm or chapstick, especially if you’re also eating or drinking.
Check the Ingredient Labels
Pay attention to ingredient labels to prevent accidentally drying out your skin when shopping for skincare products. Research your skin type and ingredients to avoid so you know what to look out for. Avoid purchasing products containing alcohol-based ingredients, as these can strip your natural oils and result in dehydration.
You should also avoid products containing:
- Alpha-hydroxy acid
- Benzoyl peroxide
Limit Your Alcohol and Caffeine Intake
Besides investing in a whole new skincare cabinet, you can consider adjusting your lifestyle choices. Reducing your alcohol and caffeine consumption can prevent your skin from drying out. Alcoholic drinks and caffeine are known to increase urine production and contribute to fluid loss.
By limiting your intake of alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks, you can help your body retain liquid, supporting skin hydration. Choosing drinks like water, herbal teas, natural fruit juices and even mocktails can further contribute to glowing and moisturized skin, even on the hottest days.
Consider Using Facial Mists
A facial spray or mist can be a refreshing addition to your regimen. Hydrating sprays can be an effective way to combat the impact of heat and humidity. These products contain a blend of water-binding ingredients that provide instant hydration to your skin.
You can replenish moisture levels and soothe redness or irritation with a quick spritz. Whether used as a midday pick-me-up or a final step in your skincare regimen, you can leave your face feeling rejuvenated.
Keep Your Skin Supple This Summer
There’s no need to compromise your skin’s well-being during extreme heat and high humidity. By implementing a few strategies and making minor adjustments, you can create a comprehensive skincare routine that protects your moisture levels, leaving you looking and feeling radiant. Embrace these tips and confidently step out into the heat, knowing your skin is equipped to thrive.