Now that chilly mornings and pleasant days are gone, a long and daunting summer awaits us. With scorching sun beating down all day, not to mention the sweaty afternoons, summer seems to be searing with bad news. Add to this the many skin and hair problems and there is enough reason to sulk through the season. Here are five summer bummers to crack down on.
BREAKOUTS: Think summer and you instantly think of breakouts. Even those with the best skin suffer from oily skin and pimples this season due to follicular obstruction. Summer is the season when skin produces a little more oil and sweat. This leads to the obstruction of hair follicles in our skin which causes pimples.
The solution? Use salicylic acid. Derived from the willow bark, salicylic acid is effective in reducing oil production. It is also an anti-inflammatory, which reduces redness. Using a face wash containing salicylic acid works. Another tip to remember here is not to wash the face repeatedly. Wash it not more than twice a day. If done more than twice, it will have a paradoxical effect and the skin will produce more oil to compensate what is lost. Lastly, use a light moisturizer to keep the skin supple and fresh.
HEAT RASH: Heat rashes appear when the sweat pores are blocked. What makes it worse is the itching, which is why it is also called prickly heat. Usually these rashes go away on their own, but sometimes medication is required. The idea is to keep the body dry. It can be done by using prickly heat powders and a body wash with salicylic acid and triclosan in it. Since the cause is bacteria growing in the blocked pores, anti-bacterial creams are also effective. Wear loose-fitting clothes in fabrics that allow skin to breathe, stay in cool environs and let the sweat dry on its own.
SUN BURNS: We have heard these things numerous times – to not expose the skin to sun for too long, the importance of wearing sun-screen and the need to keep the body hydrated. The best thing would be to not get sun burns in the first place. However, when you do, you could apply cold calamine lotion over it. Drink plenty of fluids, eat an antioxidant-rich diet or take supplements. Reapply sunscreen two or three times a day and wear light, preferably linen, full-sleeved clothes.
BLISTERS: Blisters occur where there is friction, heat, dirt and moisture, things common during summer. Blisters can be caused by any sort of repeated friction or rubbing against the skin. Tight fitting clothes, ill-fitting shoes and tight jeans that cause undue friction are all common causes of painful blisters. If you already have a blister, it can be drained by a physician in a sterile way using alcohol swab or spirit. Apply an antiseptic or antibacterial cream to it and also cover it with a bandage. This will prevent any infection from occurring.
BAD HAIR: what can ruin your day more than oily and limp hair? Here are some tips to liven up your hair. If you wake up to dry, brittle, frizzy and sun damaged hair, wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and follow it up with a good conditioner. Also allow the hair to air-dry. Avoid using blow dryers, straightener or curling hair iron. If you don’t have the time to wash your hair, keep it tied up. To protect your hair from the harsh UV rays, carry an umbrella or cover it with a scarf or a hat.
-No matter how much you love being in the water, keep your head-wash session brief. Being in water for too long can cause your hair to get more frizzy.
-Use a leave-in conditioner after washing your hair. It coats the hair and tames the frizz while protecting it from heat damage.
-Deep-condition your hair once a week.
-Unless your scalp is extremely sweaty and greasy, avoid washing your hair daily. It strips the hair of natural oils.
-Trim the split-ends. A short hair-style is ideal for summer.
-Wet your hair before taking the swimming pool plunge. Wash your hair immediately after swimming to remove chlorine from it. Preferably, use a swimming cap.
-Constant sweating of the scalp can lead to itching, scratching and hair loss due to breakage. Maintain a clean scalp to keep these problems at bay.
-Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and hair lustrous.
-Have a balanced diet comprising plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep your locks nourished.