Fashion For Real Women

Summer Skin Care

and Hair Care Guide

Hot, humid days. Warm, tropical nights. Evening barbeques. Piña coladas by the pool. Ah, yes, the joys of summer. But in the midst of vacationing and making memories this year, don't forget the toll these languid days can take on you physically. Just as you're getting your warm weather wardrobe together, so too, should you be changing your skin and hair care regimes for the season.

Heat, humidity, and the sun extract a heavy price. Not only are you more prone to heat stroke and sunburn during the summer months, you can also be doing long term damage by basking it in the sun's warm rays.

Remember the late 1970's trend of slathering your body with baby oil and lying on a reflective mat to bake in the sun? It was the "in" thing to do. Nowadays, those sun worshippers are paying the price. If they managed to escape a brush with skin cancer, they probably look older than they are. Such is the price for a "healthy" tan.

Yes, I know it feels good to lie in the sun. I know a tan looks hot. But unless you take the necessary precautions, you'll do irrevocable damage. Damage that can lead to skin cancer and make you look much older than you are.

So, regardless of your skin color (yes, even black skin can get sunburned), you need to protect your skin. Here are some tips for summer sun worship:

1. Always use a sunscreen. Apply 20 minutes before you go into the sun to allow your skin time to absorb it. Re-apply as needed throughout the day, particularly after a swim.

2. Wear broad-rimmed hats, light-colored coverups, and UV protective sunglasses when in the sun.

3. Whenever possible, stay out of the sun between 10am and 2pm to avoid exposure to the most intensive rays.

Skin care

4. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and heat stroke.

5. Apply cool compresses to sunburned skin to help reduce the area temperature. Never exfoliate or use a mask on sunburned skin until the area has healed, and be sure to go light on your favorite perfume until the burn is gone.

Sunburn products on the market that will help you heal and peel less include:

REMEMBER: If you are severely sunburned, consult a physician as soon as possible for treatment.

Did you know?

Until the 1920's, white women of stature stayed out of the sun. A tan was considered a sign of the working class, as those who had them labored in the sun. When machinery replaced manual labor in the fields, everyone stayed indoors.

So when did tans become popular? When Coco Chanel stepped off a yacht in the South of France in the mid-1920's, sporting the tan she'd picked up on board. By the 1930's, a tan stood for health, wealth, and style.


Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and author of "Beauty at Any Age," an ebook that shows women how to find the right hair, makeup, and skin care routines to look their best whatever their age. Visit her at  .  Beauty at Any Age - Skin Care

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