These hot, humid summers down here in Houston bring with them trips to the beach in Galveston, Strawberry festivals, and lots and lots of sweat. Just walking outside can feel like you've stepped into a wild South American jungle, complete with prehistoric sized mosquitos to eat you alive. While some people find the climate of a hot yoga room stimulating and rejuvenating, living daily with sweat consistently on your skin can cause some people's faces to rebel.
Even since beyond the days of Roman bath houses, sweating out toxins has been touted as a healthy thing to do. Its refreshing to sit in a cedar lined salt house, pouring mineral water over hot rocks, letting the sizzle purge you of all the bad indulgences you've guiltily partaken of. So why does your skin break out in the summer heat?
There's some very significant differences between a cultivated, exquisitely designed, sanitary bath house vs the sticky Houston air. First off, one is very expensive to visit and the other is completely free. But more importantly, one's humidity is made from clean water evaporating into the air, the other's humidity includes drafts from the local chemical plants, the mold and mildew that has grown from stagnation, and exhaust from all the traffic (because Houston is quite literally two hours away from Houston). So there's a huge difference in the make up of the water that coats your skin.
Another difference is in the way that you act when sweating in a bath house vs your daily trip to the mailbox. In your dreamy bath house, you'
re dressed only in your freshly washed organic cotton robe, and you daintily blot the excess sweat from your skin with your organic, cushy, naturally absorbent bamboo towel. When you traverse the mosquito ridden swamp grass to get your mail, you wipe your forehead with the hand that was just curled around your steering wheel for 20 minutes as you navigated the treacherous terrain that is I-45. The same steering wheel you haven't sanitized in 3 years and have touched after countless fast food meals. All of the bacteria collected onto that steering wheel you just transferred straight to your forehead, which is currently moist and warm, the absolute perfect breeding ground.
So what can you do to save your skin during the summer months? Here are some of my favorite skin defending weapons:
Clay masks. There are many different types of clay that help detoxify. Not all clays are drying either. Some are, so you need to choose what type of clay would be most beneficial to your skin conditions. Try Moroccan clay for drier types, Pascalite for acne prone, and French Green clay for oily types. You can find pre-made masks for use in my store here or if you're a DIY type, you can do some mixing in your own home by adding hydrosols and oils to your clays.
Toners. From Rose Waters to strong astringents, toners help to rebalance the pH level of your skin. Human skin should be acidic, around a 5.5 pH. This is necessary for the health of your skin, as well as your immune system. The acidic pH keeps out pathogens. Leaving sweat and excess oil on your skin can mess up the level of your pH. Using a toner a couple of times a day can help to restore it. Toners are relatively cheap, you can find a couple in my store, or you can use Rose Water or Witch Hazel.
Anti-bacterials, anti-fungals. Your skin has its own little world to it. We are constantly covered by bacteria, mites, fungus, and other teeny-tiny things that make up our skin's microbiome. This is perfectly natural and normal and necessary. However, sweat can throw off the balance of this world, because it creates an environment that can cause some of these little beasts to overpopulate. When this happens, you will tend to see small papules, or closed breakouts. They may even be a little itchy. The trick is to rebalance your microbiome. This can take a little time. I like to use gentle things, such as colloidal silver, clove, and zinc. It's important to understand that you NEED mites, bacteria, and fungus on your skin, you just don't want an overgrowth of them. A scorched earth approach is a very, very bad idea. Treatments like oxygen infusion facials work well. Try my Silver & Clove Mask for a start at home.
Stay hydrated with actual water. Stay away from sugary drinks like regular gatorade, sweet teas, and lemonades. The added sugar in your sweat can cause fungal overgrowths, plus sugar is dehydrating to your whole body.
Keep it clean. Use clean towels, hats, sweatbands ect. Change out anything that collects sweat on your face daily. You wouldn't put your sweaty underwear from yesterday back on would you? Give your face the same respect you give your rear end.
These are my best tips for dealing with skin that is sensitive to heat and humidity. If you've tried these and are still having your skin struggle, come in for a consult so we can get a plan together for you!