Summer is a time when we crave cool foods like juices and ice creams and we'd rather have something hydrating than heavy during these months.
However, while we get cues for hydration from our bodies, we sometimes miss out the SOS calls our skin is giving out for the same!
With summer, we naturally lose a lot of water from our bodies, which affects our skin as well.
Summer also causes the oil glands to act up, and you might notice more oiliness and breakouts. Other common summer skin problems include sunburn, itchiness, pigmentation and dry patches.
That's why it's so important to take extra care to keep your skin hydrated in summer.
Dried out skin is also prone to early ageing, and tends to show wrinkles and fine lines more prominently.
You don't need elaborate or expensive treatments to combat this—these simple tips will help keep your skin hydrated and happy all summer!
10 Tips To Keep Your Skin Hydrated This Summer
Eat or Drink Your Water
If you're looking for the easiest way to hydrate your skin without spending a single penny, this is it - drink up! During summer, our bodies get dehydrated faster than we think, so it's best to get in about 10-15 glasses of water a day.
You can also make it more refreshing by adding some mint leaves or lemon slices.
Besides drinking your water, you can 'eat' it too.
Feast on hydration boosting fruits and vegetables like melons, cucumbers, citrus fruits and berries.
Don’t forget seasonal produce like mango, lychees, pumpkins and gourds. All these also help hydrate your body and consequently your skin, keeping it fresh from within.
Change your cleanser
As the weather changes, it's important to rethink our skin care products, especially our cleansers since these can be really drying.
During summer, our skin produces more sebum to beat the humidity, leading to more greasiness.
To combat this, choose a sulfate-free water-based cleanser or gel-based cleanser. Use this twice a day to keep your skin clean and fresh, without drying out.
Choose the right moisturizer
To get moisturized skin you need - a moisturizer! Sitting in air-conditioned rooms can be very drying on skin.
However, the choice of moisturizer matters since your thick, creamy winter moisturizers are completely inappropriate for summer.
Skip the heavy formulations and opt for a light lotion that has hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Water based moisturizers are your best bet, and you can choose a matte finish if your skin tends to look oily.
Apply the moisturizer on damp skin, and cover your neck and décolletage as well. Get a moisturizer with in-built SPF of at least 30.
Add on a serum
If you really want to go all out with skin hydration, get yourself a face serum.
Serums contain more active ingredients per ml, making it a much more potent weapon against dehydration. Serums with hyaluronic acid not just offer lasting hydration, they also have anti-ageing benefits.
Antioxidants like Vitamin C protect against free radical damage and boosts the production of collagen for a more youthful appearance.
Cleansing and moisturizing is all very good, but to make sure that you truly get the benefits of your moisturizing products, it's best to exfoliate once or twice a week.
Exfoliation helps get rid of deep-seated dirt and impurities and also gets rid of dead skin cells. The result is skin that is more recipient to your moisturizer or serum, allowing them to get fully absorbed and work their magic.
Exfoliation also helps your skin glow and look younger. You can try a DIY scrub made with sugar or gram flour.
- Carry a face mist
If sunglasses and a scarf are must haves in your handbag during summer, add another one to that list - a face mist!
A face mist is an excellent way to ensure hydration on the go, and it also keeps you feeling cool and refreshed on days when it's really hot and humid.
You can buy a natural face mist or make one yourself.
Grate a cucumber, strain the juice and mix it with some rosewater and lemon juice. Pour in a spray bottle and spritz on during the day.
- Try a DIY face mask
Sometimes your skin needs some intense TLC and that's where a face mask can help.
There are many homemade face masks you can make that ensure intense hydration since keeping it on for a longer period ensures the ingredients are properly absorbed into the skin.
Here are a few DIY masks to try:
- Oats Cucumber Face Mask - 3 teaspoons of oats + 1 teaspoon cucumber juice + 1 teaspoon yogurt
- Aloe vera Honey Face Mask - 1/4 cup aloe vera gel + 1 tablespoon honey
- Avocado Face Mask - Flesh of 1 avocado + 2 tablespoons yogurt + 1 tablespoon honey
Apply the mask and leave it on for 10-20 minutes and wash off with cool water.
All these ingredients are inherently hydrating and some of them are also emollient and humectant, which means they lock the moisture in for a longer period.
- Use an eye cream
Many of us tend to ignore the under-eye area, but it's also part of our face!
This is an area that is more delicate than the rest of the face and more likely to dry up and show signs of ageing.
Choose a rich, moisturizing eye cream containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. You can make your own eye mask by blending mint leaves with grated cucumber and adding some rose water.
Strain the liquid, soak cotton pads in this and chill for 15-30 minutes. Place the cool pads on your eyes and leave them for as long as you like.
- Try a chilled jade roller
Jade rollers are currently enjoying the spotlight in skin care, and with good reason.
While they have many benefits like lymphatic drainage, using them smartly during summer can increase your skin's hydration by giving it an extra boost.
Chill the jade roller in the fridge so it gets completely cold.
Once you’ve applied your serum and moisturizer, use the jade roller over your face to help the moisturizer get in all the nooks and crannies of your face, so you can be confident that your skin has absorbed every last bit of it.
- Skip hot showers
Hot showers may feel really good, but they're terrible news for your skin!
Cold showers are your best bet in summer, as it doesn't dry out your skin like hot showers do.
Besides, cold showers have other benefits like unclogging pores, preventing breakouts, maintaining the natural oil balance of the skin and tightening it.
Cold showers also help improve immunity and speed up metabolism, according to several studies done recently. Once your shower is done, be sure to pat dry as rubbing can be too harsh on your skin.
Don't forget that your hands, feet and lips need special care during summers too! Apply moisturizing cream on your hands and feet before bed.
Keep a lip balm handy at all times and apply whenever your lips feel dry, especially if you're sitting in an air-conditioned environment.
Choose a lip balm with SPF to protect the delicate skin on your lips.
If the air where you live is too dry, getting a humidifier can also help prevent excessive drying out of the skin.
(Pratibha Pal spent her childhood in idyllic places only fauji kids would have heard of. She grew up reading a variety of books that let her imagination wander and still hopes to come across the Magic Faraway Tree.You can view her blog at www.pratsmusings.com or reach to her on Twitter at @myepica.)