One of the great things about summer weather, and the often more leisurely schedule of summer, is the chance to enjoy the great outdoors.
As so many of us live in urban environments, the chance to enjoy nature while at the beach, taking long walks in one of many great national parks, or just wandering around rural areas becomes more challenging.
Nature is beautiful, but it’s also possible that by spending some time outdoors compared with normal you’ll leave some damage on your skin that will be less than beautiful. Skin care for outdoor activity doesn’t need to be complicated, but a few quick considerations will make sure that you come off the trail looking healthy and outdoorsy, not dehydrated and sun damaged!
1. Be careful of your insect repellent
We certainly don’t expect you to head outdoors without insect repellent. In some areas of Australia, it’s an absolute necessity. The point of being outdoors is to enjoy the outdoors, not to suffer through bug bites. However, do some research and be aware of what’s in the insect repellent that you choose. The more natural the product that you select, the better it will be for both your skin and your health. Your skin is exposed to chemicals, pollutants and toxins every day that increase the free radicals in your system and damage your skin. Minimise those toxins by selecting natural insect repellents.
If you do get a bug bite, try not to pick at it or over-scratch it. It may itch, but picking and scratching at it may result in a scar that’s similar to a post-acne mark and will need to be treated and faded away
2. Stay hydrated by eating your water
Even if you’re walking or involved in activity in the shade, your body will dehydrate from a combination of sunshine and activity.
Make sure that you’ve packed some fresh fruits and vegetables in your pack so that you can rehydrate your body and your skin. Remember that while drinking water is important, the best way to hydrate yourself is by ‘eating’ your water. The cellular structure of water in fruits and vegetables will hydrate you for longer periods of time. Your body needs hydration to be healthy, and your skin needs hydration to maintain its healthy glow.
3. Sun block, sun block, sun block (and hat!)
If you are spending time outdoors, then you need to be wearing sun block or sunscreen. If you’re going for an extended period that’s scheduled for the hottest part of the day, be sure to use a water-resistant sun protection skin care solution that will stay on your skin and maintain your sun protection for a longer period of time, even when you begin to sweat.
If you lose your sun protection, then harmful UV rays can break down collagen, create age and sun spots and even cause severe skin damage. Be sure that your sun protection product will hold up while you’re in the outdoors and be sure to reapply frequently. And, of course, remember that a hat can help protect your face from sun damage whenever you’re outside.
4. Wash your face when you return
When you finish your activity, you may feel clean and invigorated from nature, but your skin is likely to have several layers of residue on it. In addition to your sun block and bug repellent, you’ll also have dirt, sweat and possibly even some effects from air pollution. Be sure to cleanse any exposed skin shortly after you return from your hike. Use a gentle face wash to remove dirt and residue and then use a topical moisturiser to restore hydration. If you’re prone to body acne breakouts, use a back acne treatment solution when you shower to preserve clear skin all over.
5. Undo environmental damage
Finally, if you’re spending a great deal of your summer in the great outdoors, use skin care products that will combat environmental damage to your skin and environmental ageing.
Get out and enjoy the great outdoors this summer! Just make wise decisions about the products that you use to protect and improve your skin when you do.