Summer plans usually include relaxing days by the pool, late dinners on patios or new experiences, from music festivals to vacation spots. One thing our summer daydreams don’t include? Skin problems. From dehydration to acne to rash, the warmer months provide ample opportunities to irritate or dull the appearance of skin. The good news is that many common summer skin issues are treatable, if not avoidable, with some basic precautions and the addition of steam showering into your skincare routine.
Want glowing skin to accompany your summer plans? Try these tips:
Fight Acne Breakouts.
Hot weather and increased time spent outside are associated with more oil and sweat, environmental pollutant exposure and, often as a result, acne. Steam showering is a natural ally against acne breakouts year-round and can save you many headaches in the summer. Sweat is part of the body’s highly efficient filtering system, and even includes bacteria-fighting proteins that may help stave off breakouts. But when you sweat outside, it’s not just sweat on your skin: there may be sunscreen, makeup, oil or environmental pollutants to potentially clog pores, triggering an inflammatory reaction that results in visible red bumps, pustules and blackheads.
Sweating in a steam shower provides the benefits of sweat without worrying about additional substances mucking up the process. For the best results, do an initial cleanse to remove makeup and any surface-level dirt before you steam. Afterwards, shower normally to wash away any additional dead skin or bacterial debris loosened up from the steam session.
Summer heat and sun exposure increases the risk of dehydration, a condition that loves to make itself known through the skin. Distinct from dry skin, which refers to the amount of oil the body typically produces, dehydrated skin lacks water and is marked by a certain dullness and slack which can increase the visibility of wrinkles and imperfections whether you’re oily, dry or a combination of the two. Dehydrated skin appears dull because the body tends to hold on to extra layers of protective dead skin, reducing the ability for any moisturizing lotions or serums to really penetrate the skin. In addition to compromising your summer glow, dehydration carries other risks as well, including headaches and potential for health complications
Treat dehydration first by drinking plenty of water. After you rehydrate from the inside, tackle the outer layer with steam and exfoliation. This will remove the dull layer and make the skin more permeable so your brightening, moisturizing products can effectively do their jobs. The result? Bright, plump and healthy-looking skin.
When steam helps open up pores and loosen that top layer of skin, it also creates a perfect opportunity for exfoliation. Adding more frequent exfoliation sessions to your routine, whether mechanical or acid-based, is recommended during the summer for sloughing off all the sunscreen, bug spray, oil, dead skin and more, helping to keep it clean and smooth.
While summer months often call for more body hair trimming and shaving, the surrounding skin doesn’t always appreciate that extra attention. Help prevent irritated hair follicles by regularly exfoliating and shaving after you’ve been in the steam shower for several minutes. The wet heat causes the hair follicle to stand up, opens up the pores and softens the hair, allowing for an easier, less irritated shave.
Depuff After Indulgences
Longer days and summer vacations open up opportunities to overindulge in the good stuff: sugar, fat, salt and alcohol. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat, eating and drinking to excess can leave you feeling puffy and bloated in the days that follow. Steam sweating may help the body accelerate the expulsion of sodium, releasing water retention and may even improve overall circulation. The potential result? Less puff. If you use masks or serums for depuffing and reinvigorating skin, consider enhancing the benefits with steam by applying before, after or during.
Improve Rest To Rejuvenate Skin
Good sleep is a cornerstone of good skin, but whether you’re stressed from current events, work or other life events, sleep can be evasive. Steam may help you relax, and relaxation may lead to both a better hormonal balance and a better night of sleep. In addition to steaming, consider ways you can improve your evening routine to reduce stress and promote a greater sense of well-being.
There’s no one magic bullet for skin that always appears healthy and glowing, but a skincare routine that includes drinking plenty of water, sleeping well and steaming often may help you achieve more good days for your summer adventures.