Weather playing in the sun

2009-11-06 13:35

HOT summer days are here so get into the spirit of fun by cleaning out your beauty cabinet and stocking up on skin-care essentials that will protect you from the heat while ensuring you look great.

Because of exposure to the sun, wind and water in summer, your skin needs special attention and pampering during this time of the year.

Depending on the region you are in, your skin will be the first to show the signs of seasonal change, says Tammy Lloyd, who heads The Beauty Therapy Institute in Randburg, Johannesburg.

“In Gauteng we experience a rainy season which is better for the skin as opposed to the dry winter, whereas Cape Town is drier with no rain during summer,” she points out.

During this time, we come out of our winter cocoons and summer is about spending more time participating in out-door activities. So beautiful skin is the best accessory for your swimsuit at the pool party.

Booster products containing anti-oxidants and vitamin C are an excellent choice for maintaining glowing skin. One should also use a hydrating mask frequently and, of course, regular exfoliation is recommended by beauty experts.

“But you should seek professional advice on which products are suitable for your skin-type before starting any kind of beauty regimen,” says Lloyd, adding that this should be follwed by regular salon treatments.

The sun exposes the skin to dangerous rays that can leave you sun-burnt. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in South Africa with at least 20 000 cases reported every year. South Africa also has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world after Australia.

“People who have fair skin are more at risk of developing skin cancer, but darker skinned people should also be cautious of the sun with eyelids, nailbeds, the inside of hands and under the feet the most affected areas. Skin cancer can be prevented,” says Lucy Baloma, the head of communications at the Cancer Association of South Africa.

Sunscreen is king

Applying a broad spectrum sunscreen and lip balm (minimum SPF 20+) should be a standard procedure of your daily skin-care routine throughout the year.

“Black people tend to think that they do not need sunscreen but they do,” says Iman Cosmetics ambassador and celebrity make-up artists Nthato Mashishi.

Sunscreen should be applied on top of your moisturizer and re-applied hourly, especially after swimming or sweating, suggests Lloyd.

Accesorise and protect with hats and sunglasses

Over-sized sunglasses and hats have become trendy items for updating last summer outfits, but they can also be useful sun protection gear.

Invest in sunglasses which block UV and UVB rays, and if possible keep an extra pair in your car, especially if you work in the sun, says Mashishi.

Men should wear a hat with a brim, especially those who are thinning on top or sport the bald look.

Moisturise

Now that winter is gone, its time you packed away your thick body lotion concoction which has seen you through the harsh winter season.

Because of the humid summer weather, a lighter body lotion which absorbs faster is what your skin needs.

Exfoliate your skin

Exfoliating will help remove dry flaking skin all over your body which is the result of the cold winter weather.

Bath salts and body scrubs can be used at least once a week to remove dry flaking skin. Make your own exfoliator by mixing bath salts with a milk cleanser or plain aqueous cream, advises Anna Matloua, a beautician at Dreamnails & Beauty in Cresta, Joburg.

Feet First

Now that your winter boots have been packed away, it’s sandal season time. Both men and women should either get a professional pedicure, or give themselves one at home. Few things are as unsightly as dry, cracked heels and dull nails inside cute sandals.

Matloua advises going for paraffin pedicures every two weeks. To maintain the treatment, apply a heel balm before bedtime and wear socks every night.

“Petroleum jelly is also a good alternative. I know it’s hot to wear socks, but you will notice the difference in the softness of your feet,” says Matlou.

Feet masks available at supermarkets are also recommended treatments for at-home maintenance.

“When using the masks, you could cover your feet with plastic bags for a nourishing treatment,” says Lloyd.

Hair today, gone tomorrow
 
Skipping shaving your legs, arms and armpits was okay during winter because chances were, areas such as your legs did not see the light of day. But summer clothing reveals more skin.

A hydrating shaving lotion is recommended as it help ward off nicks and cuts. Your hair conditioner could also double as a moisturizing shaving cream.

But most professional products have a range which includes shaving emulsions that are far more hydrating and gentle on the skin, advises Lloyd.
 

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