What to know … and what to avoid both in and outdoors …

It’s almost that time of year again … longer days, warmer nights and lazy days outdoors …

But before you head off for the holidays, take some time to think about how best to protect your skin during some of the hottest months of the year.

From regulating body temperature through to maintaining overall hydration and serving as our primary defence against the environment, the skin plays a vital role in keeping us safe and healthy. As the body’s largest organ … it deserves a little bit more thought than perhaps just some last-minute sunblock! Proper skincare can go a long way to helping to preserve this important protective layer.

Dr Mathobela, a leading specialist dermatologist and OXY’s resident skincare expert, shares a few suggestions for a healthy and happy holiday:

  • Cleanse. Tone. Moisturise.
    No matter how busy or frenetic the holiday period can get, make sure you continue to follow at least the basic morning and evening skincare routine.
    Cleansing every evening helps to remove not only make
    up but dead cells and other impurities (including sunscreens applied during the day and environmental pollutants), and a morning cleanse removes any toxins eliminated by the skin during the night (dead cells eliminated by the skin whilst you slept together with moisturisers and serums used at night preparing the skin for morning topical applications). People with oily skin can start using exfoliating cleansers with AHAs or BHAs once or twice a week or more frequently if the skin can take it.
    Toner further helps to remove any last residue. However, skip toning if you have sensitive and/ or dry skin or use non
    alcohol based toners.  
    A quality moisturiser ensures your skin remains protected all day (and night). Switch from the heavy over hydrating moisturisers used during winter to a lighter moisturiser in summer. Even people who feel their skins are oily should moisturise to protect the skin barrier function and avoid skin irritation that can aggravate inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
  • Slather on that sunscreen
    Make use of a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30! Reapply sunscreen regularly (every two hours, especially when outdoors) to your face and all sun exposed areas. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen especially after swimming or getting wet. It’s important to use water resistant sunscreens that are also safe for the eyes when swimming or being involved in activities that lead to sweating. We also recommend wearing UV protective clothing as much as possible.
    Together with the use of sunscreen, we also recommend the use of Vitamin C serums, especially for those concerned about aging and hyper pigmentation as it helps boost collagen regeneration, reduces pigmentation and helps skin to clear unwanted toxins.
  • Avoid the hottest times of day
    Try to plan your holiday and summer schedule to allow for indoor activities during the hottest times of the day (typically from about 10h00 to 14h00). However, if being outdoors during these times is simply unavoidable … then head for some shade, find a leafy tree, don a wide brimmed sun hat and some loose and comfortable protective clothing … and try to catch the breeze …
  • Hydration
    Water. Water. Water. Not only is it fun to splash around in on hot days but keeping one’s body hydrated will go a long way to ensuring your skin remains hydrated too. Try to avoid, or limit, too many sugary and alcoholic drinks and remember to always have your daily supply of refreshing H20 nearby.
    Protect and hydrate your skin from the inside by enjoying the many delicious fruits summer has to offer, especially those with a high water content and rich in antioxidants to protect your skin from pollutants and add extra hydration to help maintain a young fresh radiant looking skin.
  • Say NO!
    In search of some summer kissed cheeks … avoid tanning beds and sun lamps, both of which are known to cause long term skin damage and contribute towards skin cancer.
  • Au Naturale
    Sunlight remains the best source of Vitamin D. From maintaining the health of one’s bones, teeth, immune system, brain and nervous system, amongst other, its benefits are well known.  It’s not about avoiding the sun completely this Summer, it’s about making smart choices to help ensure a healthy skin and happy holiday.