Your ultimate summer skincare routine

Summer might be a wonderful time of the year, but if you fail to keep up with your skincare, the hot weather can really start to take its toll. The warmer sunny months can make your skin dry, and as well as sunburn, exposure to harmful UV rays can cause dark spots, wrinkles and even lead to skin cancer.

Here are some of my top tips to keep your skin in the best condition it can be when the temperature gets a little warmer.

Avoid using tanning beds

You might want to top up your tan before you go on holiday, but you should always aim to avoid tanning beds. Research has shown that tanning beds are no safer than the sun meaning that they are also linked to skin cancer. If you feel like you really need a summer glow, try a natural self-tanning lotion instead.  

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Don’t forget your SPF protection

Many people tend to underestimate how harmful the sun’s UV rays can really be to their skin. Even on days when it’s overcast, the sun’s rays can still burn, especially if you have fair skin. Look for a sunscreen that has SPF protection of at least 30 and don’t be tempted by products that have a super-high SPF number because their incremental protection tends to diminish after a certain point.

Stay hydrated and keep your skin moisturised

Even on hotter days where your skin is feeling dewy, it’s still important to stay hydrated and keep your skin moisturised. A good moisturiser will promote healthy skin over time, especially when you use it consistently. If you happen to be a victim of sunburn, you should make sure to act quickly so that you can combat any negative effects as much as possible. A moisturiser with natural ingredients such as aloe vera can help to soothe any discomfort.

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Exfoliate at least once a week

Dead skin cells will sit on the surface of your skin and over time can cause it to look dull and dry. Exfoliating at least once a week will remove these dead cells and allow cells to regenerate quicker, keeping the signs of ageing at bay. A gentle, natural exfoliator will be much healthier for your skin than something that contains chemicals that can irritate. For those with sensitive skin, natural skincare is always the best option.

Try mineral makeup

Mineral makeup is made from a light powder base meaning that it doesn’t tend to sweat off as easy as your regular foundation. Traditional makeup tends to use a particular set of preservatives including parabens and fragrances that can irritate skin and make problems such as acne, eczema and rosacea worse.  There are plenty of inexpensive brands out there that specialise in mineral makeup, containing only natural ingredients that will only work to benefit your skin.

Remember, your skin needs a different approach depending on the season. Pay attention to changes and choose your products and routine accordingly! 

Smile and The World Smiles With You

As they say, smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone. A welcoming smile and a flash of your pearly whites can make a big difference to the first impression you give to those you meet. There are many ways to emphasise your smile, to make the most of your pearly whites and to ensure that your teeth are healthy.

Brushing your teeth

A survey by “National Smile Month” (http://www.nationalsmilemonth.org/facts-figures/) confirms that only 25% of adults in the UK brush their teeth twice a day. Indeed one in 10 admit to forgetting to brush their teeth on a daily basis. Brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the more successful ways to fight tooth decay. It also ensures that your breath remains fresh, food particles are dislodged as soon as possible and those pearly whites remain gleaming for longer.

Experts recommend that you replace your toothbrush or brush attachment every three months and under no circumstances should you share a toothbrush – this can very quickly spread infections!

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Electric toothbrushes

For many people electric toothbrushes are like Marmite, you either love them or you hate them, but they do have an interesting role to play. The speed at which the brush head rotates can cause a flow of fluid which ensures that stubborn food particles are detached more often than when using a traditional toothbrush. Whether or not an electric toothbrush is “better” is debatable because if either one is used correctly then they will certainly have a positive impact on your dental health.

Flossing is not just cosmetic

Many people believe that flossing your teeth is simply for cosmetic purposes and has relative little to do with your overall dental health. The reality is that flossing is not just a means of dislodging that stubborn food particle but regular flossing has been shown to reduce gum disease and avoid bad breath. Flossing alone will be relatively ineffective compared to other options, but carried out in tandem with regular brushing it can make a huge difference.

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Is mouthwash effective?

There are alcohol and non-alcohol mouthwash products available because obviously those which include alcohol are not suitable for children. They can also create a dry mouth and cracked lips, which is why there has been a significant move towards non-alcoholic mouthwash in recent times. While many people tend to use mouthwash just before or just after brushing, it is advisable to use mouthwash between brushing your teeth. Not only does this help to dislodge food particles but it also helps to maintain high levels of dental hygiene throughout the day.

Avoiding bad breath

Whether we are talking about halitosis, morning breath or simply an unpleasant odour, bad breath is a problem for many people which can be fairly easily addressed. Research shows that bad breath is simply a build-up of bacteria which is not flushed from the mouth and is often hidden in broken or cracked teeth and just under the gum line. We also know that bacteria thrives in “dry mouths” which is why many people wake up with “morning breath”, especially if you sleep with your mouth open. If you have a gum guard there is every chance that this will also lead to a dry mouth and encourage the build-up of bacteria. Regular brushing, rehydration of the mouth and the use of additional products such as mouthwash will have a significant impact upon those living with bad breath.

Manage those pearly whites and they will last a lifetime

Regular brushing, flossing, use of mouthwash and avoidance of dry mouth where possible are just some of the ways in which you can avoid issues such as bad breath. There are a couple of simple ways in which to test for bad breath which include checking the back of the tongue for a white coating. This can often indicate the build-up of bacteria and the use of tongue cleaners is very useful in this situation. The simplest way to test for bad breath is to clean an area on the top of your hand, lick it and then wait for it to dry. Once the saliva has dried you will be able to smell an odour if you have bad breath, then you can take the appropriate action to address the issue.