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Hydration and protection: the keys to keeping your skin healthy in the summer

Summer climate and lifestyle mean that looking after your skin is even more important than usual.
Summer climate and lifestyle mean that looking after your skin is even more important than usual. / PEXELS
  • Exposure to the sun and to external agents can lead to the development of serious dermatological illnesses

Despite the climate of Malaga allowing us to enjoy open-air activities practically all year round, there is no doubt that summer sees an increase in those pastimes which expose the skin to external agents and the sun's rays, both potential enemies of the skin. It is estimated that 80 per cent of skin ageing is triggered by damage caused by the sun, alongside water loss, which increases during the summer months.

It is important to highlight that healthy outer skin is not only necessary from an aesthetic perspective. On the contrary, preventing the harmful effects of the sun, protecting the skin, and ensuring good hydration are key steps towards avoiding various dermatological diseases. It is essential to remember that the skin acts as a shield, protecting the body from microbes and external chemicals, in addition to functioning as a purifying system, through which the body gets rid of toxins.

With regards to the sun, the modern-day obsession with showing off a tan, often not taking into account the skin type of the person, can have negative consequences if the necessary precautions are not taken. The face, neck and hands are the areas most exposed to the sun's rays, and therefore often suffer the most.

It is also critical to remember that the skin has memory, and that any damage caused now can have negative consequences in the future. It is therefore crucial not to let down your guard and to establish a daily skincare routine.

In addition to UV rays, during the summer the skin suffers from increased exposure to changes in temperature, wind, use of aggressive and irritant chemical products, perspiration, and prolonged contact with sea water and chlorine. These factors can all result in the body's largest organ losing its elasticity, becoming rough, tight and fragile, and even developing skin diseases, as mentioned above.

Within your daily skincare routine, it is important to incorporate cleaning and exfoliation, since the heat and sweat can obstruct your skin's pores, triggering acne. Using oil-free products is also recommended, from your suncream to your moisturiser. Despite the tendency towards oily skin in the summer, you should not ignore hydration. For this, you can apply balms, creams and serums, adapted for use on every type of skin, especially after exposure to the sun. It is essential to adapt this daily routine depending on your skin type. Brands are increasingly offering personalised products, incorporating different active ingredients to suit your specific type of skin.

Sun cream should be applied in addition to these products, paying attention to not only the factor of protection, but also to the frequency of application.

Nutrition

Alongside good hygiene and cosmetic habits, a healthy diet is crucial for hydrated and looked-after skin in the summer. It is important to incorporate antioxidants into your nutrition, substances which have the capacity to protect your body from free radicals which provoke cellular oxidation.

With regards to fruit and vegetables, in order to ensure a higher level of vegetal antioxidants, experts advise us to opt for seasonal products which will have been matured whilst still on the plant, rather than in refrigerated storage, thus increasing their nutritional value.

Moreover, numerous studies have confirmed the direct relationship between the renovation of the skin structure and the intake of low-glucose foodstuffs, such as pulses, wholegrain cereals and fresh fruit and vegetables.