January is the traditional time of year when many of us make New Year’s resolutions…
Everyone knows to keep a First Aid Kit handy during the summer months when Americans engage in summer fun outdoor activities. But did you know that there are eight essential things you should keep in your ‘Summer Skincare Survival Kit’ to protect your skin and the skin of your loved ones? .
It’s summertime and as the old song says, ‘the livin’ is easy’.
But it won’t be easy if you’re not prepared to protect your skin from dangers lurking in the great outdoors.
The most popular vacation season of the year, Americans spend more time outdoors in the summer months than any other time of year. Which means we put ourselves at risk for damaging our skin while at the beach, on the hiking trail or at a theme park.
“Summer is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the great outdoors but you can’t let your guard down,” says Richard Price, M.D. of Price Skincare Clinic in Ridgeland, Mississippi. “Sunburns, heat rash, insect bites and other skin-damaging maladies can take the fun out of summer quickly.”
To make sure you have what you need to protect your skin and the skin of your loved ones, we’ve assembled a list of eight things you need to pack for your ‘Summer Skin Survival Kit’.
Sunscreen is your skin’s best friend. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out in the sun to give the skin time to absorb its protective properties. Use a 15 SPF for daily wear and a 30 SPF if you plan to be in the sun for several hours.
#2: Protective clothing and accessories
In addition to sunscreen, you’ll want extra help protecting your skin from the likes of the sun’s harmful rays, insects and poisonous plants like poison ivy and poison oak. You might be tempted to wear short sleeves and short pants while camping or hiking but ‘going long’ when it comes to shirts and sleeves equals more protection. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses provide protection for your head, face and eyes.
#3: Insect repellent
You may have been nonchalant about using insect repellent in the past but with the current risk of contracting tick-borne Lyme disease and mosquito-borne Zika disease, it’s now something you should have on hand and use when hiking, camping or when visiting high-risk areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends products that contain DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.
#4: Lip Balm
Don’t forget to protect your lips. For obvious reasons, you can’t use sunscreen on these sensitive facial features and they are just as likely to get damaged as any other area of skin. So be sure to pack a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 in your summer skin survival kit to prevent sunburned smackers and to keep them from chapping.
The heat in the great outdoors can also dry out your skin so be sure to pack moisturizer with you to keep your skin hydrated. If you choose a moisturizing product with an SPF of 15 or more, it can serve double duty as both moisturizer and sunscreen.
Drinking plenty of H2O will also help prevent dry skin as well as dehydration – for which you can run higher risk of in hot weather. The general rule of water is to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day for anyone over the age of nine.
#7: Your Skin Medicines
Summer’s heat and humidity can induce flare-ups in certain skin conditions so make sure and pack your prescription medications in your summer skin survival kit.
In the same vein, if you’re allergic to bee stings or other life-threatening allergies such as nuts, pack your epinephrine injector close at hand.
#8: A First-Aid Kit
Finally, just in case you’re not in the habit of keeping a first aid kit handy, make sure you have one in your car, recreational vehicle or backpack. You never know when you’ll need it. You can purchase a ready-to-go First Aid kit online or in your favorite superstore or pharmacy.
Or you can put one together yourself with your choice of:
• Acetaminophen or aspirin
• Band aids and gauze pads, roller bandages,
• Antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments
• Antiseptic gel or wipes
• Hot/cold compresses
• Tweezers (to remove splinters or ticks)
So there you have it. Summmer can be fun and the livin’ can be easy … but make sure you keep these eight essential items in your ‘Summer Skincare Survival Kit’ to protect your skin – and your fun!