Summer Sweat: How It’s Really Affecting Your Skin
For many of us, summer is a favorite season. The warmer weather provides us with the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities, trips to the beach and the pool, backyard barbecues, longer days and much, much more. Of all the things that we love about summer, the fact that the warmer weather tends to make us sweat more often and in greater volume is not one of them. In fact, we may even attribute our summer skin issues to the over-abundance of sweating that occurs during this season. However, it’s quite possible that summer sweat doesn’t affect your skin in the exact way you think it does and that what you need to do to keep your skin healthy is much simpler.
How Sweat Affects Your Skin
The relationship between sweating and skin is a bit more complex than most individuals realize. Advertisements for skin care and cosmetic products may try to convince you that sweat is an enemy of your skin, but the truth is that it’s an essential part of your body’s ability to regulate temperature and rid the epidermis layer of harmful substances. However, it is also true that sweat does have the potential to cause skin issues in certain situations. The solution to maintaining healthy skin all summer long is to understand exactly how sweat affects your skin, and what you can do in order to prevent it from causing harm.
Following are some basic facts about sweat:
- Sweat is normally a signal that your body has passed a “warm-up” phase and is now regulating its temperature so as to better continue working.
- Sweat is very good for the skin because the water in sweat hydrates the skin, the minerals and salt in sweat are natural exfoliants, and the urea and uric acid in sweat help to fight against dry skin and dermatitis.
- Sweat helps to rid the skin of bacteria, dirt, oils and other impurities that seek to harm the skin.
- The ideal skin pH factor is actually the same pH factor as sweat.
- Sweat and the impurities it seeks to flush out can be re-absorbed by the skin if it is left on the skin for too long.
- When the skin re-absorbs sweat and impurities, it loses its healthy pH factor and can become irritated and rashed.
- Sweat that is pushed out through the apocrine glands of the skin often carries an odor, which is one of the main parts of sweating we really don’t care for.
In order to prevent summer sweat from adversely affecting your skin, consider the following tips:
- Stay well-hydrated. If you are well-hydrated, your sweat will have a higher water content. This can help to prevent against possible skin irritation and rashes, and it will also ensure that your sweat has the proper amount of minerals, acids, and proteins to help balance your skin’s pH factor.
- Wash your face before going out into hot summer weather. Washing your face before you sweat will help to ensure that there are no impurities on your skin that may be absorbed into your skin. You should also wear sunscreen with SPF 45 or higher.
- Take a shower and wash your face as soon as you can after sweating. This will help to eliminate the impurities that sweating has brought out onto the surface of your skin so that they won’t be reabsorbed.
- Use pH-balanced lotions or moisturizers after you shower and wash your face. When you wash your body and your face you tend to strip away the natural moisture and oils that help to balance your skin’s pH factor. Lotions and moisturizers can help to rebalance it so it doesn’t dry out or become unnaturally oily.
In addition to the above, receiving professional facials periodically throughout the summer months can help to ensure that your skin is deeply cleaned and moisturized on a regular basis, and therefore less likely to break-out due to sweating or any other reason.