Spring officially struck last Sunday. Arriving with plentiful sunshine and (almost) t-shirt temperatures, summer feels like it’s hot on the heels of the year’s most-welcome seasonal shift.
And this means a few changes for your skin.
But don’t worry, we’re not looking to rip up the winter rule book and introduce a million extra steps. Our mantra at LifeJacket has always been to keep things simple, explain the science and leave you to make decisions that work best for you.
So here goes…
Autumn/Winter vs. Spring/Summer
Your skin is the body’s first line of defence and barrier from the outside world.
During summer, the outside world that your skin interacts with on a daily basis changes. Out go the bracing, cold, icy winds, low humidity and central heating. In come a new set of external influences: warmer air, higher humidity, air conditioning and stronger ultraviolet light (both UVA and UVB).
Generalising slightly but your behaviour also changes: more time outside, more exposed skin than in winter and higher activity levels (often resulting in extra perspiration).
Given these environmental and behavioural factors, the skin and its natural oils need support maintaining optimal levels of hydration and fending off attack, principally from UV light. This is true throughout the year but as the name of this post suggests, we’re focused on the five things we think will work hardest for your skin during Spring/Summer.
Oh. And they’ll also improve the appearance of your skin too.
SPRING/SUMMER SKIN PROTECTION GUIDE
1. MOISTURISE DAILY (WITH SPF)
Moisturisers can do two things depending on their ingredients: form a layer to block water leaving or try and add water to the epidermis. Think petroleum jelly vs. a lightweight gel.
Use what you like and apply once to twice a day (more for dry skin obviously). Because of higher humidity levels in Spring/Summer, your skin retains more water during the warmer months so a lighter moisturiser often does the job.
During the day, your moisturiser needs to contain SPF. No questions asked during Spring/Summer. Please just do it. Bonus points for using an evening balm/oil/moisturiser. Obviously, LifeJacket has you covered for day and evening moisturisers.
2. TAKE SUN PROTECTION SERIOUSLY
There’s a reason this section is the longest. It’s the most important at this time of year.
Home or abroad, sun protection is necessary all year round. That’s it.
But it’s even more true during Spring/Summer when UV levels reach their annual peak. Don’t be fooled by cooler air and forget the popular misconception about the outside temperature: damaging UV is present every single day.
When you’re outside, wear sunscreen religiously on exposed skin. Reapply every couple of hours. Protect your head with a hat or sunscreen. Use an SPF lip balm. Wear UPF 50+ fabrics if you don’t like the feeling of cosmetics on your skin. Carry a spare sunscreen sachet in your pocket so you don’t get caught out. Get in the shade as often as you can during the peak UV hours of 10am to 2pm.
All of these things will keep your skin protected, healthy and safe.
To be clear, we love taking life outside. We just want to make sure you’re skin-safe at the same time and that your long-term skin health is one thing you don’t need to worry about.
3. AVOID SOAP
Avoid soap-based products when cleaning as they’re drying and strip natural oils from the skin’s outer layer. Cetaphil, CeraVe make excellent and affordable options.
You only really need to wash with a product once a day – in the evening, to remove the day’s dirt, pollution, salt and SPF. In the morning, a splash of water is enough. The only exception would be if you’ve been working out and sweating, try to wash as soon as you can to avoid build-up in your skin.
4. FAKE IT
We get it. Most of us like the look of being tanned. The problem is that a suntan is the body’s natural defence mechanism and its way of telling you it’s been damaged. Damage could be anything on a spectrum from wrinkles, dryness, redness, itchiness or sensitivity, all the way to skin cancer (and hundreds of other things in between).
So, if you want to tan, fake it. Yes, you really did hear that correctly.
Use fake tanning products instead of the real thing. Use them overnight not in the morning. In the morning, you need to be applying SPF. The ingredients in both products don’t work well together.
5. DRINK UP
Avoid heat stroke and maintain cellular moisture from the inside out by drinking up. Especially if you’re active, outside and sweating. It’s quite common not to drink enough water during Spring/Summer: try and target 2-4 litres a day.