Heatwave: How to protect your skin during a heatwave

The Met Office warned Brits about thunder and rain this week, but there has been a shift in the forecast. The UK is likely to see heatwave conditions this week, and from Wednesday some parts of southern and central England could see the mercury rise up to 34C. Worried about the impact on your skin? Express.co.uk and skincare brand Pretty Athletic talk you through how to keep your skin in tip top shape during a heatwave.

How to protect your skin during a heatwave

Facial spray

You might notice your skin becoming red, irritated and dry, and that’s because hot weather causes your body to lose more water.

Your body will battle to maintain and regulate its temperature and will send more blood flow to the skin surface, causing it to appear red.

Keep cool with a calming facial spray, like Pretty Athletic’s Workout Glow or the Mario Badescu Aloe Herbs and Rose Water Facial Spray.

Spraying anti-inflammatory ingredients on your face will soothe the skin, reduce inflammation, and take away redness.

Drink a lot of water to speed up the process. It’s a good idea to keep a water bottle on you at all times, especially if spending a lot of time outdoors.

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Remove your makeup

When your body is hot, it will sweat. This means more oil is produced, causing acne and breakouts.

Things like sweating, regular showering, and exercising will strip away key lipid components from the skin’s surface and cause common skincare concerns such as clogged pores, redness, irritation, dehydration & inflammation.

Remove your makeup before exercising or doing an activity that will make you sweat, because the mixture of makeup, sweat and oil will block your pores.

Cleanse after you sweat

After you sweat a lot, cleanse your skin immediately. The salt in sweat can dehydrate and irritate your skin, and it can settle in your pores and cause breakouts.

If you let sweat sit on your skin, it will change your skin’s pH and reduce sebum, and this negatively affects your skin’s barrier function.

Pretty Athletic’s resident dermatologist Charlie Mitchell said washing is important but don’t over wash. Dr Mitchell said: “Regular cleansing is always useful but too much washing can strip away too much of the natural sebum that our skin uses as a defence against the outside world.”

Use a pH balanced cleanser to target redness, dehydration and breakouts without compromising your skin’s barrier.

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SPF

SPF stands for sun protection factor, and it is a measure of the amount of ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) protection.

The number on the suncream bottle indicates the length of time it would take for UV to burn your skin compared to no sun cream at all.

Of course, this depends on the cream being applied exactly as the bottle instructs.

It would take 20 minutes to burn in midday sun without suncream on. If you apply factor 15 it will take four hours for you to turn red, which is 15 times as long.

Suncream should be worn whenever the daily Ultraviolet index (UV index) is above two, and it definitely is this week.

The UV index is an international standard measurement of the strength of sunburn-producing UV radiation at a particular place and time.

UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn and skin cancer, so it is important to protect yourself from them every day.

UVB rays vary in wavelength and intensity at different times of the day, and they also affect people differently.

They damage the skin’s epidermis, also known as the outer layer. This is where the most common skin cancers occur.

Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, may also be caused by a short but intense exposure to UVB.

Serum

If you have air conditioning or regularly sit in front of a fan, your skin is probably very dry.

The lack of humidity in air conditioned air can affect the water content of the outer layer of the skin, & reduce its elastic properties leading to dryer, rougher skin.

Use a serum or moisturiser rich in phytosterols and antioxidants to help restore the skin barrier and fight the signs of environmental damage.

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