by Kacie Jump, Master Esthetician at Sacred Waters Holistic Spa & Boutique
Now that summer is upon us, let’s talk about what we can do during the summer months to protect our skin from damage due to environmental factors unique to summer months and more time spent outdoors.
It’s not just about damage caused by sun burns, but also inflammatory damage due to prolonged exposure to the sun and heat. Another problem clients may experience in the summer months is dehydrated skin, where the skin takes on a “crêpe-y” appearance and can lead to textural concerns.
The number one preventative measure one can take to not only protect but maintain healthy skin in the summer months and beyond is to wear SPF daily. This means reapplication of sunscreen throughout the day and even wearing sunscreen on rainy and cloudy days. Sun damage is the number one cause of aging (including premature aging). Aging in the form of “liver spots” is pigmentation deep within the dermis that comes to the surface of the skin as we get older from years of UVA sun damage. UVA rays are the aging rays of the sun that do more damage to the skin when compared to UVB (burning) rays. Ideally we want to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
The best way to accomplish this goal is to wear an SPF that is a physical sunscreen which contains titanium dioxide and zinc, versus a chemical sunscreen that contains a myriad of chemical agents that don’t truly reflect or scatter back damaging sun rays away from the skin. The advantage of a physical sunscreen is that unlike the chemical sunscreens we purchase at drug stores a physical sunscreen acts as a barrier on the skin. A physical sunscreen sits on top of the skin and reflects back the suns damaging UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, with the added benefit of keeping the skin cooler than a regular chemical sunscreen that absorbs the rays and heat of the sun. In keeping the skin cooler it helps to prevent not only redness, or erythema, but also inflammation, or edema, within the skin. This inflammation causes damage deep within the skin that can contribute to further pigmentation and aging concerns. Inflammation also causes many problems within the skin and in the long term can create skin disorders that could lead to the desire for more aggressive, costly treatments in the future.
Physical sunscreens have come a long way in recent years. Quality formulations, the titanium dioxide and zinc, can now better absorb into the skin. One drawback to a physical sunscreen is the price, but what you are paying for is the titanium dioxide and zinc, which are more expensive ingredients. However, when purchasing a physical sunscreen you are investing in a product that actually does what a sunscreen is supposed to do and one that offers far more protection from aging and from sun damage that could lead to skin cancers (which is the number 1 cancer in the United States of all other cancers combined). In other words it is important to look at purchasing a physical sunscreen as an investment into your health and wellness.
At Sacred Waters Holistic Spa & Boutique we have a wonderful physical sunscreen. Our Lavender Protective Moisturizer SPF 17 and Lavender Protective Cream SPF30 sunscreens by Naturopathica (preservative free) absorb completely into the skin and leaves the skin feeling silky, not greasy. It also smells wonderful, as it contains lavender which also serves to relief the skin from redness and inflammation.
Another summer skin care tip I can offer is to switch your moisturizer. In the winter months it is recommended to use a thicker, heavier moisturizer to keep that dry skin at bay (if you become dry in the winter months). The moisturizers we tend to utilize in the winter months are more oil based to treat dry skin. However, in the summer months people tend to become more dehydrated (lacking water) than dry (lacking oil). So I would recommend switching to a product that is more light-weight and water based for the summer months. A moisturizer that contains humectants which attract water from the outside environments, as well as hyaluronic acid which works to retain water within the skin, would be the best type moisturizer for summer from all skin types.
Refreshing toners like Naturopathica’s Balancing Lavender-Honey Mist are another way to hydrate and bool the skin on hot summer days. You can put these toners in the fridge for an extra cooling effect. Some may even ease the pain and speed up the healing process of a sun burn. The key is to find a toner that is water based, not alcohol based. Finally, one last tip is to simply drink more water in addition to switching to water-based skin care products in the summer. As Camille says, “Remember to breathe…and drink lots of water.”
For more tips, and if you have any questions you can speak to our Master Estheticians Kacie Jump and Cat Schechter at Sacred Waters Holistic Spa & Boutique for a consultation and facial service today!
To book you can call (804) 727-9934, or book online through sacredwatersrva.com. For further information you may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.