I live in Colorado, which means we hear the phrase “dry heat” an awful lot.
It gets hot here, but since we have next to no humidity, it’s much easier to bear than the summers in, say, Louisiana, where my soon to be sister-in-law (Joey) lives.
She’s coming to Colorado this summer and her impending visit got me thinking about ways to help her care for her skin while she is here.
I know when I went to visit Joey in New Orleans last summer, my skin had a bit of a shock. It is not used to humidity, but oh my word did it love that moisture! I had definitely over-packed moisturizers and hand cremes because I was just not prepared for not needing them like I do here at home.
If you, like Joey, are traveling from an area of high humidity to a climate like Colorado this summer, I want to help make the transition easier for you! Or, if you have lived in dry heat your whole life but still struggle with dry, flaky skin, I hope these tips help you get the glowing, healthy summer skin you’re after.
Caring For Summer Skin in a Dry Climate
The first line of defense against high altitudes, dry climates, and dull skin is hydration! Drink lots of water throughout the day to keep your body happy! I love to add fruits and herbs to my water to keep it interesting – some of my favorite combos are cilantro and lime, lemon and basil, and mint and melon. I’ve been using the Citrus Zinger water bottle to infuse my water and I love it! It lets the pulp mix with the water but keeps the seeds and herbs at the bottom of the bottle and not clogging up the spout. (Learn from me: make sure the lid is secure before you turn the bottle over to add fruits and herbs! Tired me has made this mistake more than once!)
An essential step in taking care of summer skin is exfoliation! It’s easy for skin to dry out in the summer months and exfoliating with a sugar/salt scrub or a Snarky Bar while in the shower will remove dry, dead skin cells and reveal the healthy skin underneath. Exfoliation should be performed about 2 to 3 times a week depending on what your skin can handle. Using gentle, circular motions, scrub your body from neck to toes for at least two minutes per body part to remove the dead skin cells and expose the healthy cells below. I know it sounds like a lot of time but the time is well spent – better to spend an extra 10 minutes a few times a week on healthy skin than an extra 3 minutes and not see the amazing results you want.
Exfoliation will also help your summer glow last longer! Whether you are a sun worshiper or prefer to use tinted tanning products, exfoliation creates a smooth canvas that will tan more evenly and more effectively.
I like exfoliation to be the last step in my shower so I can quickly follow it up with the next steps. (Be sure to shock your pores into closing if you plan on masking right away after a shower – a little blast of cooler water is all it takes!)
Masking is important during the summer months for several reasons: we are outside more often, sweating and exposed to the elements, using sunscreens and bug sprays that clog pores and leave residue behind, and of course our skin has been depleted of the moisture it needs thanks to wind, water, and sunshine! A detox mask for your face (like Go West) or your body (enter The Stripper!) will work wonders in removing the gunk left behind by the environment. I recommend using a detox mask at least once a week during the summer months, especially if you are a swimmer or outdoors often.
To replenish moisture, there is really nothing more effective than honey and oats! Use a body and face mask infused with oats to attract and trap moisture while it calms any irritations you may have from bug bites or sun exposure.
If you know me, you know I never have less than two hand cremes on my person at any given time. Living in Colorado, on-the-go moisturizers are a must! But it all starts at home – moisturizing after showering or masking is imperative to healthy, glowing summer skin. Pay close attention to the ingredients in your moisturizer and be sure to look for ingredients such as honey, aloe, shea butter, vitamin C, and coconut oil to nourish, protect, and repair skin as it moisturizes. I like to choose an in-shower moisturizer when I shower at night for a little extra protection while I sleep. I love how it feels to put the lotion on damp skin – it really locks in the moisture!
Protection goes a long way in preventing overly dry summer skin. A moisturizing sunscreen is a must – and be sure to use one specially formulated for your face and one for your body. Body sunscreens often contain ingredients that can clog the pores on your face, creating a whole new collection of issues! Try to stick to shorter lists of ingredients – your skin absorbs everything you rub into it and the last thing you want pumping through your system is yucky, harmful chemicals.
In areas like Colorado, with our high elevations and intense sunshine, skin protection is absolutely essential to your overall health. Opt for wide brimmed hats, fuller coverage with clothing, and UV blocking sunglasses especially when enjoying the mountains!
Say buh-bye to hot showers and baths in dry summer months. Overly hot water sucks moisture from your skin and hair, exacerbating problems like eczema and brittle hair. Keep your shower or bath at a lukewarm level (under 105 degrees Fahrenheit), and if you can, end your shower with a cooler blast to help close pores and hair cuticles. This will help you retain the moisture your body so desperately needs in dry climates.
Don’t wash too often. Overuse of shampoo or sudsy body washes can quickly dry out your skin and hair, so be sure to only shampoo three times a week max and when you do use soaps, use something rich in emollients and moisturizing agents like a Chunk Bar.
I hope you and your glowing skin enjoy your summer!
Until next time,
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