Most of us are aware of the damaging impacts that the sun can have on our body, but few of us know much about the effects of the warm summer temperatures on our skin. A number of studies have shown that excess heat exposure can cause all kinds of skin-related issues, from dehydration to hyperpigmentation and even premature ageing. To ensure that you’re not unnecessarily damaging your skin when out enjoying the warmer temperatures this summer, learn more about the effects that heat has on our skin and what you can do to combat it.
Hot, humid weather increases water loss from the body, especially our skin. This can leave us dehydrated which can have an impact on our skin’s water levels and texture. Dehydrated skin will feel dry and itchy, where the overall tone and complexion will appear dull and uneven. Fine lines and wrinkles might become more noticeable and dark circles can form under the eyes.
To combat dehydrated skin, first and foremost you should drink more water. Then wash with a gentle cleanser before applying a moisturizing cream to help protect against further moisture loss. Hyaluronic acid is also effective at replenishing dehydrated skin by helping your cells retain as much moisture as possible. Oxygen treatments and hydrating facial masks can also help hydrate the skin and make it look more supple.
Too much time spent in the hot sun can disrupt your skin’s moisture barrier and reduce its elasticity, contributing to the signs of ageing. Heat exposure can also lower antioxidant levels and raise proteins that destroy collagen and elastin fibers found in the dermis, causing fine lines and sagging. Fortunately, there are a number of skin rejuvenation treatments that can restore your skin to its youthful appearance. Chemical peels, laser resurfacing, Botox treatments, INFINI radiofrequency treatments can all help reduce the signs of ageing and improve sagging skin, wrinkles and texture issues.
Heat also can cause your skin to produce more oil. As your body starts to sweat to cool itself down, these active sweat glands can wake up your sebum glands to produce more oil. For those who already have oily skin, they’ll experience even more than usual. Excess oils can clog pores and lead to acne. To help reduce any symptoms associated with oily skin make sure to wash regularly and cleanse often. Toners and facial masks can also be beneficial for treating oily skin. For those suffering from clogged pores and acne, certain spa treatments like micro-needling and chemical grade facials can help to clear congestion and open up the pores.
Dry air can cause an increase in dead skin cells. As these accumulate on the surface, the follicles in our pores become blocked, which can further prevent your products from penetrating into your skin. This can leave your skin feeling dry, flaky, and desperate for moisture. To prevent the buildup from happening you need to keep the skin clear of dead cells and excess oils. There are a number of non-invasive treatments including physical and chemical exfoliation that can help to loosen and remove any dead cells and dry patches.
Hyperpigmentation can also be triggered by heat exposure. Scientists believe that heat can cause the blood vessels to dilate, which can trigger inflammation causing the melanocytes to produce more pigment. Topical creams can often help but for more severe cases, laser skin resurfacing, and skin rejuvenation treatments are even better. Resurfacing and rejuvenation treatments can help trigger the body’s natural healing processes to stimulate collagen and the growth of new skin tissue to improve the texture.
Irritation and Rashes
The warm summer temperatures can also compromise the skin’s barrier function, causing chronic irritation of the skin’s surface. If the sweat ducts get closed off, moisture gets trapped beneath the skin. This allows heat rash to kick in, producing small bumps at the entrances of the sweat glands. The rash can often be itchy and irritating but mostly unappealing. Most rashes will resolve on their own without treatment. Certain lotions can also relieve the symptoms. When itchiness is severe or the rash area swells up, you might want to see a skincare professional to ensure it is indeed heat rash and not another type of skin disorder.
If you are struggling with the effects of heat damage, contact us at the Ottawa Skin Clinic today. We offer a wide range of corrective and non-surgical treatments that can help restore your skin and keep it looking supple and healthy. From advanced facials to chemical peels, micro-needling to rejuvenation treatments and PhotoFacials – we offer everything you need to nourish and repair skin conditions brought on by the warmer summer temperatures.