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  5. Dry Skin In Summer? 10 Ways You Can Battle It

Does skin dryness in summer leave you baffled? We understand your confusion, since the hotter months are popular for sweaty and greasy skin. However, a surprisingly large number of people complain about dry skin in the summers.

Wondering why? Well, several factors can suck the moisture out of your skin in the scorching heat. In this article, we tell you why this happens and how you can keep your skin moist and prevent it from drying in summer.

What Causes Dry Skin In Summer?

Even if you have normal or combination skin, it can go dry in summer. Here are some of its main reasons:

  • Excessive heat and sun exposure [1] without enough SPF protection can damage your skin barrier function, causing transepidermal water loss. This leads to dry skin in the summer months.
  • Besides solar skin damage, your skin also loses excessive water through sweat, eventually drying it out. It can further worsen if you don’t drink enough water.
  • Being seated in air conditioned rooms can also prevent your skin from locking moisture, causing skin dryness.
  • Your skin can also feel very dry if you’re spending a lot of time in the swimming pool to beat the heat. Chlorinated water is known to steal your skin’s natural pH, leading to dryness.

How To Deal With Dry Skin In Summer?

1. Face Wash

Certain soaps and cleansers contain chemicals that strip your skin of its natural moisture, making it dry. Opt for mild face washes which have moisturising properties and are hypoallergenic [2]. Look for fruit enzymes like papaya, and ensure that they are free of harmful chemicals like parabens.

2. Night/Day Cream Based On Skin Type

For dry skin, your best friend is a moisturiser. Choose one with ceramides, which can hydrate your skin and seal in the moisture.

  • For the day, look for a high SPF in your moisturizer so that it can protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, pollution and also help it fight free radicals [3].
  • A good moisturiser ideally should contain active ingredients like niacinamide and phytosphingosine, lanolin, glycerin, hyaluronic acid and if possible, Vitamin C. Glycerin is gentler on the skin than lanolin which reduces the risk of an allergic reaction for sensitive skin.
  • Always choose a moisturiser based on your skin type. In summer, lighter, gel-based moisturisers work best.
  • Combination skin needs a light, water-based moisturiser for the oily areas. Use a heavier, cream-based one for the drier parts of your face and neck.
  • If you have dry skin, you can opt for a cream based one that has extra hydration properties.
  • Sensitive skin needs one that is hypoallergenic so that it doesn't break out due to irritants.
  • Oily skin needs non-comedogenic moisturisers that are oil-free so that they don’t block pores.
  • For a night moisturiser, look for one that contains retinol (Vitamin A), which your skin needs to rejuvenate its cells as you sleep. Sometimes, these are prescription based. So check with your doctor, as not all retinol-based creams are good for dry skin.
  • Use an overnight hydrating mask once in a week for an extra moisture kick.

3. Avoid Hot Water

Hot water tends to dry the skin out further. In summer, it is best to shower with cold water to cool the body and to prevent the skin from drying out. Keeping the body’s temperature down in summer prevents the skin from dehydration, dryness and itching.

4. Make-up For Dry Skin In Summer

Your skin needs to be well-moisturized for make-up to stay on well. Use a light moisturiser before you apply any make-up. If possible, skip the foundation to give your skin space to breathe and to prevent clogging of pores.

  • Start with applying a primer that will help you apply foundation or other cosmetics in a smooth manner. They are available based on skin types. You can choose a gel-based moisturising one that will not dry out your skin when you apply the rest of your make-up.
  • Use a BB cream rather than foundation to give your skin an even tone. Opt for one that is sheer and doesn’t have a tint. You can then use a concealer to hide dark spots, under eye circles and other blemishes if need be.
  • Give a finishing touch with loose powder to seal in the make-up and prevent shine. Avoid using compacts as they give you a cakey appearance.

5. Have A Healthy Skin Care Routine

It is important to maintain a healthy skin care regimen during summer. Use the Korean double cleansing method to clean the sweat, dirt and grime off your skin. Then apply a water-based toner, followed by sunscreen and a moisturiser.

At night, use cleansing oil and a foaming cleanser to remove dirt and other impurities from your skin and finish with a nourishing moisturiser. Look for ingredients like Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid [4] which add moisture to the skin’s layers.

You can even carry a hydrating spritzer or mist with you and spray it on your face a few times during the day. It can freshen you up and give your skin some extra, much-needed moisture.

6. Cover Skin

Besides wearing sunscreen, cover parts of your body and face exposed to the sun. Wear a hat with a wide brim, large sunglasses and clothes that cover your body completely. Also, opt for thick fabrics to block the sun’s rays and bright colours to deflect sunlight.

7. Use Humidifiers

Air-conditioners can make your skin dry in summer as they tend to absorb the humidity and moisture from the air. You can use humidifiers in your home to regulate the humidity in the air if you live in places with very dry hot weather. This will prevent your skin from getting drier.

8. Drink More Water

The best way to prevent your skin from going dry in summer is by staying hydrated. Drinking lots of water hydrates the skin from within, and prevents it from getting dry. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day to make sure your skin gets the moisture it needs.

dehydrated woman feeling thirsty holding glass

9. Diet

There are certain foods that help the skin stay hydrated from within. Include these in your diet to prevent dry skin in summer:

  • Sweet potatoes, due to their high anthocyanin [5], vitamin A and beta carotene content, helps repair the skin. They strengthen the skin's top layer while protecting and moisturizing it.
  • Cucumbers are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which reduce skin inflammation. The peel contains silica which can help hydrate, firm and nourish your skin.
  • Avocados are an excellent food for dry skin in summer. They are rich in omega 6 fats and vitamin E, which prevents premature ageing and keeps the skin moist from the dermis upwards.
  • Tangerines and other citrus fruits have vitamins A, C and beta carotene, which increase collagen production in the skin. They prevent wrinkles and lines from appearing. They also hydrate the skin and undo sun damage.
  • Coconut oil can be applied on to the skin due to its high moisturizing qualities. It also has antioxidants and soothes skin conditions like atopic dermatitis.
  • Dry fruits, nuts and seeds are known reservoirs of fatty acids like omega 3 and vitamin E. Walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds can prevent sun damage, reduce inflammation and are an excellent natural way to prevent dry skin.
  • Fatty fish like salmon, also rich in omega 3, can undo the damage caused by sun's UV rays. They may also be beneficial in reducing inflammation in skin conditions like dermatitis [6] and psoriasis [7].

10. Topical Home Remedies For Dry Skin In Summer

  • Massage olive oil into your skin and dampen a towel in warm water. Place over the face and remove it when it is no longer warm. Wipe off the excess oil to cleanse your skin gently, without stripping away the moisture.
  • Make an exfoliating scrub by mixing 2 tablespoons of olive oil with half a cup of sugar. You can even add an essential oil for fragrance. Use it as a scrub all over your body and wash off to hydrate the skin. Apply moisturiser on slightly damp skin immediately.
  • Mix a cup of oatmeal in your bucket of water to rehydrate dry skin in summer in a natural manner. It soothes your skin and helps it seal in the moisture.
  • Use coconut oil instead of a moisturising lotion before you go to bed. Apply it on your dry areas. You can also use other natural oils like argan, jojoba and avocado oils and add a few spoons of these to your bath water.
  • If your skin is dry and itchy, apply cold milk. It is an excellent moisturizer and contains lactic acid, which acts as an exfoliator. Milk can also remove signs of a tan and restore your skin’s natural colour.
  • If you don’t like the sticky feeling of oil, you can use aloe vera gel all over your dry skin to soothe it and prevent further dryness. It can also soothe irritated skin.

What To Avoid To Prevent Dry Skin?

There are certain foods and beverages that can dehydrate you from within, which can dry out your skin further. In the summer months, while you up your intake of water and fresh fruits, here is a list of what you should avoid:

1. Alcohol

Alcohol drains your body of liquid as it is diuretic in nature. This can dehydrate your body and deplete moisture from the skin, making it drier. It can also make your wrinkles and fine lines more prominently visible.

2. Salt

Eating salty and processed foods can also dehydrate you as extra salt in the body takes fluid from the cells to nullify the salt and expel it out of the body. This makes the skin drier. If you are eating a lot of chips and fries, ensure you drink enough water to replenish the fluid levels.

3. Sugar

Sugar, at any time of the year is bad for you, especially if you consume too much. Sugar can negatively affect collagen and make it weaker, which dries out the skin. The damage leads to collagen breakdown, which means the skin loses its natural elasticity.

4. Carbohydrates

In summer, avoid the intake of too much high glycemic carbs -- white bread, pasta and white rice. They have a similar negative impact on the skin like sugar, since the metabolism to process these foods is the same. They lead to wrinkles and fine lines if consumed in excess.

5. Coffee

Avoid too many cups of coffee. It can, just like alcohol, lead to dehydration of the skin because it narrows your blood vessels. This reduces the flow of fluid in your skin, which means the skin doesn’t get enough hydration. It is especially harmful for the under-eye area of the face.

Wrapping Up

Dry skin during the summer is a common issue, owing to the excessive heat and water loss. But if you take the right steps towards moisturizing and hydrating your skin and eat the right foods, you can prevent your skin from going dry in the heat.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin