While you were out and about having tons of fun this summer, you probably didn’t realize what the heat and sun was doing to your body and hair. Unless you were applying sunscreen every two hours or wearing a swim cap while swimming in a chlorinated pool, then odds are you’re going to notice some damage now. Don’t worry though, there are ways to reverse and correct the summer’s negative side effects on your body and hair.
While the sun is a good source of vitamin D, overexposure to UVA and UVB rays are dangerous. Not only are you at risk for melanoma, but constant sun exposure with little or no protection speeds up the signs of aging. Ninety percent of wrinkles are caused by the sun. Here are some skin tips to keep yourself protected:
- Dress to protect by wearing lightweight cover-ups and a hat
- Apply sunscreen every two hours
- Use SPF 15 or higher sunscreen
- Use eye creams and lip protection (these areas have the thinnest skin and will need it the most)
- Wear light SPF moisturizer during the day and a heavy cream at night
- Use skincare products with antioxidants to help reverse the damage (vitamin C, E and green tea)
- Drink lots of water (your body is made up of 60% of water- replenish it often)
If you frequented the pool a lot this summer then your hair has to be dry and damaged from the chlorine. If you have blonde hair, you may notice a green tinge to it. If you’re going to continue swimming throughout the year try these tips to keep your hair healthy:
- Coat your hair (especially the ends) with a leave-in conditioner or coconut oil to shield it from the pool water
- Rinse your hair off after you swim
- Use a shampoo with EDTA or chelating ingredients that break down and remove metals in your hair (stop use when the green hue disappears) because it can be harsh for your hair)
- Use sulfate-free shampoo (sulfates are stripping)
- Use vinegar or lemon juice to remove the copper oxides from your hair (leave in for 10 minutes and rinse)
- Apply a leave-in conditioner and an occasional hot oil treatment
The pool isn’t the only thing that dried out your hair this summer, the sun did its own damage as well. Since the sun has already dried out your hair, you may want to take it easy on the hair coloring and use of cosmetics that will dry it out even more. You’ll also want to avoid using heat from blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons. A frequent trim is also helpful.
While you wouldn’t think your nails would be that susceptible to sun damage since there are made of keratin, you still need to protect them from drying out. You’ll notice the most damage on your cuticles. If your cuticles are too dry than it can affect the growth of your nails. Just be sure that you’re applying SPF and a cuticle moisturizer. If you’ve already noticed damage to your nails, take a few weeks off from getting your nails done. And consider using a clear coat of nail-strengthening polish, look for one that has green tea extract.
Now that summer is over it’s time to recover from all that fun in the sun.
– By Samantha B. Rivers, Editor