Summer Skin- It’s not all it’s CRACKED up to be… crack being metaphorical…
Turns out that UV rays aren’t the only thing that affects our skin. Heat is not your skin’s friend and regular exposure to high temperatures induce oxidative damage and boosts melanin production like hyper pigmentation.
According to Neil Schultz, MD, a Dermatologist in NYC, has researched heat as a damaging factor of skin. Heat causes blood vessels to dialate, which ups inflammation and creates more pigment.
Laser treatments can cause hyper pigmentation! Usually people with more pigment, such as Asians, Hispanics, Indian and Middle Easterners can be particularly vulnerable to dark spots.
Researchers at Seoul National University College of Medicine also says heat can inhibit the skin’s ability to repair itself!
Heat lowers antioxidant levels and raises proteins that break down the skin’s spongy collagen supply, causing lines and sagging skin!
Heat also leads to a compromised barrier function, which can cause chronic irritation of the skin, Says Carl Thornfeldt, MD, a Dermatologist. Several doctors described the condition erythema ab igne, referred to as hot bottle rash, and toasted skin (yuck) as an extreme result of long-term or frequent exposure to infrared radiation, characterized by mottled, lacy looking skin, and this develops after weeks of direct heat exposure! Kiss those infrared saunas goodbye girls! Bad for your skin!!
If your skin gets really heated up, from a heating pad or a laptop placed on your thighs for hours are common causes! I always enjoyed falling asleep with a heating pad on my abdomen, if it was bloated from food reactions!
You can block your skin from UV rays with sunblock, but underneath it, you need to use a protective serum, such as Fixer Elixir because you build up barrier function (it is protective) and contains much needed lipids, and oils. By first patting on some Elixir you will minimize heat’s ability to disrupt it and cause inflammation.
If you are in a hot environment, don’t compound the effect with caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods because all increase blood flow to the skin and will magnify inflammation! Spritz yourself with cool water, try to be in a more shady area, drink cool liquids to bring down your body temperature!
Skip the steam room, the sauna, after work outs, and reduce your beach time from six hours to say, 2! The effect of heat is cumulative, so cutting down on exposure will decrease damage too!!
Bad News as we are coming up on Summer, but if you want glowing, beautiful, soft skin, you must care for it with everything you’ve got! When you are in control take advantage of it. DO NOT OVER HEAT yourself, you are destroying all of that lovely collagen!
Main points of piece taken from Shape Magazine article