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Seven top skincare tips for healthier skin this summer

As temperatures soar and we spend more time outdoors, it’s important not to neglect our summer skin care regime and adapt it if necessary to suit the warmer weather.
As we ditch our winter coats and jumpers in favour of more skin-exposing gear, we must remain mindful and ensure our skin health doesn’t take a back seat.
And it’s not just sun damage that we need to watch out for. Our skin can become dry through things like swimming, air conditioning and dehydration and we’re also more susceptible to insect bites and stings.
SPF is your friend
It is an obvious one but wearing a sun cream with a high sun protection factor (SPF) is so important in keeping your skin healthy and helping to protect from the sun's harmful rays. Not only is sunburn extremely painful but exposure to UV rays increases the risk of developing skin cancer1. Make sure to apply a high factor sun cream frequently while you're in the sun, or immediately after swimming2
You can keep your hat on
If you're not able to keep in the shade when the sun is at its strongest (between 10am and 3pm) - wear a hat. A wide brimmed hat is best for adding an extra layer of protection in sheltering your face from the sun. 
Up your intake of H20
We all know it's important to stay hydrated throughout the day - but it's even more vital during the summer as your chances of suffering from dehydration are higher in the heat3.
Resist the urge to scratch
With more of our body exposed it means there is a larger area for insects to feast on. But no matter how tempting it may be to scratch any bites - don't do it! Scratching only makes bug bites worse by letting in germs and bacteria - and it can even cause scarring. Instead invest in insect bite cream on or try gently patting the area with a cool, damp flannel to soothe the urge to itch4
Slicken up
As skin can become drier in the heat - it's important to moisturise. Try using products which includes ceramides to top up your natural levels and keep skin hydrated. Ceramides are naturally found in the outer layer of the skin and create a barrier to help keep moisture locked in5
Feed your face
If you look after yourself from the inside, it is going to show on the outside. Foods high in good fats like avocado, oily fish, olive oil and walnuts will help, as will upping your intake of fruit and veg to get the vitamins and minerals you need6. But if you feel you're struggling to achieve a healthy diet, you could top up your resources with an omega-3 or multivitamin supplement?
Rinse off
Nothing feels better than taking a dip in a pool during a hot summer's day. But while swimming is great for your body, it's not so good for your skin. Chlorine not only affects sensitive skin but it can also cause already dry skin to tip on the side of the eczema7, so always make sure you rinse your body afterwards. And remember, reaply your sun cream if you're heading back out! 
 
References:
1. https://www.nhs.uk/news/cancer/just-five-sunburns-increase-your-cancer-risk/
2. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/
3. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heat-exhaustion-heatstroke/
4. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insect-bites-and-stings/treatment/
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8950457
6. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/natural-skin-care-skinny-fats
 
 

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