4 Common Summer Skin Problems Over 40 & How to Prevent Them

Summer sun is here. With the advent of the season, your skin becomes the lucky beneficiary of a whole host of summer skin problems. From humidity-induced acne to those annoying rashes and sunburns to insect bites and more. Of course, by now most of us know how to roll with the proverbial summer skin problem punches. Wear sunscreen, cleanse well and often, stay hydrated and exfoliate regularly. And that’s usually enough to keep us glowing. Unfortunately, once you’re over 40, there’s only so much an SPF and bottle of Evian can do when you’re dealing with these annoying summer skin problems.

dark eyed woman with milia, summer skin problems

Problem #1) Milia

Milia are small, yellow or white cysts that appear in clusters, usually around the cheeks or eyes. They form when skin flakes or keratin, a protein, become trapped under the skin.  While you need to keep your skin hydrated with a good skincare routine, using the wrong products especially around the eyes can trigger milia. Keep in mind that unlike the rest of your skin, the eye has limited circulation and no oil glands. So heavy creams won’t absorb properly and could clog pores in this area. Stress too can also play a role since it causes an increase in the hormone cortisol. That, in turn, triggers your skin to produce more sebum — a natural oil that can increase the risk of acne, clogged pores and milia.

Action Plan

Avoid excessive exposure to the sun.
Avoid thick creams or oil-based products around the eyes.
Exfoliate 2-3 times a week.
Visit your dermatologist and consider a chemical peel (after summer is best).

arm with keratosis, summer skin problems

Problem #2) Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris, commonly known as “chicken skin,” is the most common cause of bumps (small red or brown) on the back of your arms. They may also occur on the back of your thighs and the buttocks. It’s a build-up of keratin — a hair protein — in the pores that clogs up and blocks the opening of growing hair follicles. Most keratosis pilaris are small and flat, though some have pimple-like heads.  If the bumps are itchy, it’s likely due to another cause. They are notoriously stubborn to get rid of since products and treatments are more or less effective on different people.

Action Plan

 Low humidity dries out the skin so consider adding a humidifier.  A portable home humidifier or one attached to your furnace will add moisture to the air inside your home.
Avoid friction from tight clothes which can irritate the skin.
Try products with lactic, salicylic, or glycolic acid to help smooth skin.
Exfoliate regularly (2-3 times per week). 

woman's face in the sun facial hair, summer skin problems

Problem #3) Unwanted Facial Hair

We lose hair on our heads, lashes and brows. And later, they magically reappear on our jawlines and chins. Welcome to 40. Blame hormones, genetics or the weather. No matter who or what gets the blame, getting rid of unwanted hair is an easy fix. Depending on the chosen method, you can get rid of hair for days, weeks or months.

Action Plan

Tweeze using a clean, smooth set of tweezers.
Waxing is an excellent option.
Laser and IPL are the gold standards for a more permanent solution. See your dermatologist or med spa pro.

woman's face rosacea on cheeks, summer skin problems

Problem #4) Mild Rosacea

Mild rosacea typically begins after age 30 and appears as flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. The redness may come and go and although it appears mostly on the face, it can also show up on the neck, ears and chest. More developed types can involve bumps or pimples on the cheeks. The causes of rosacea are unknown, but several theories abound, including sun damage, blood vessels too near the skin’s surface, and ethnicity. Certain things such as exercise, alcohol, spicy food or overheating are common triggers.

Action Plan

Avoid products overloaded with tretinoin, salicylic acid, glycolic acid and hydroquinone during a flare.
Choose products designed for sensitive skin; those with lavender, oatmeal, chamomile and licorice are known to have calming properties.
Test any new products on a small section of the neck or forearm before applying to face.
Try drinking aloe vera water too!

Let me know if any of these tips help or if you have products that work for you.
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