Myths about sun exposure and your skin
At its best, summer means sunshine and days at the beach, but for those of us with sensitive skin, it can also mean unexpected breakouts and irritated skin.
You probably know that sunscreen is an absolute must, but do you know how best to care for your skin during longer, hotter, sunny days?
Today, we’re mythbusting and sharing knowledge about how catching some rays can affect sensitive and acne-prone skin. So put your shades on and get ready to be enlightened about sun exposure and your skincare routine.
Can you fight acne with a sun tan? Myths and truths about summer skin care
Myth: A sun tan can help treat or prevent acne
Many of us (your humble blog writer included) grew up hearing that spending time outside tanning could help with breakouts. But that’s simply not the case.
Some people believe this, and it’s easy enough ot understand why. Tanned skin may somewhat disguise blemishes, and right after sun exposure your skin will usually be a little more dry, which can make it seem to the naked eye like acne is healing.
Plus, the sun helps your body produce vitamin D, and blue light therapy is good for acne, right?
The reality is, sun damage is always bad for your skin. As well as long-term repercussions for your skin health like wrinkles and an increased risk of skin cancer, being out in the sun without protection dehydrates it, which only exacerbates acne in the long run. Dry skin produces more sebum and more sebum means more pimples. So stay hydrated and protect your skin!
Myth: Aloe is the only way to help a sunburn
Many people only know to put aloe on a sunburn, but if you do get burnt, there are many things you can do to bolster your skin’s health. A sunburn dries out your skin (and hurts like heck), so you’ll want to go beyond soothing aloe (although real aloe vera is definitely a helper!).
Here are a few ways you can speed your healing process and reduce discomfort if you catch a few too many rays this summer:
- Cool it down. Keep the affected skin clean and apply a cold compress wrapped in a towel for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
- Apply a gentle moisturizer, especially after showering. You can also use hydrocortisone and aloe to soothe the skin and aid healing.
- Drink plenty of water! Hydrate from both inside and out with water or electrolytes-packed sports beverages.
- If you’re able to, take a low dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce pain, inflammation, and redness.
Myth: There’s no need for moisturizer in the summer
Winter may be the season of dry, flaky skin, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to moisturize in the summer!
High temperatures can mean you’re more likely to get dehydrated, which can cause skin irritation and dryness just as dry air can in the winter. Plus, higher sebum and sweat production thanks to higher temperatures can send you on your way to zit-town, so staying properly moisturized is important if you want to keep acne in check.
Moisturize daily in the summer with a gentle, lightweight moisturizer designed for acne-prone skin.
Myth: You should skip sunscreen sometimes to get more Vitamin D
As discussed above, sun damage is never good for your skin, so wear sunscreen even when you’re out seeking vitamin D!
Many people believe that sunscreen prevents you from getting sufficient vitamin D, but that’s simply not supported by science. No study has ever found that those who wear sunscreen outside do not get enough vitamin D, and even proponents of a short period without sunscreen to boost vitamin production suggest at most 10 to 15 minutes without sunscreen for maximum benefit.
The cost benefit is clear – there are way more benefits to wearing sunscreen. Don’t worry, you’ll still get the boost of D you need.
Myth: More sweat always means more breakouts
For some people, it seems like summer breakouts come like clockwork. You sweat more, and more sweat means more clogged pores, which in turn lead to more blemishes. But it doesn’t have to be like this! There are ways to prevent breakouts even after an intense workout on a hot, humid day. Sweat itself doesn’t cause acne – it’s what happens after that does.
Here are a few things that might help if you struggle with summer acne during sweaty season:
- Wash your face in the morning and before bed with a gentle cleanser suited to your skins needs.
- Use that same cleanser to rinse your face before a workout to remove any built up oil, grease, or cosmetics – sweat can trap these in your pores, causing breakouts.
- After a workout, shower right away, ideally in not-too-hot water. If you can’t shower right away, use a wipe or wash your face as soon as you can, and avoid touching your face until you can shower.
Truth: The best way to treat and prevent acne is from the inside and outside
With these tips, you can take care of your skin all summer long.
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Check out our reviews, learn about the science of bacteria, and shop our products to find what works for your unique skin.