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5 Things I Learned About My Skin After a Week at the Beach

5 Things I Learned About My Skin After a Week at the Beach

 

Spending a week at the beach is both one of the most trying and the most beneficial things that you can do for your skin. You expose yourself to the elements, get rid of the makeup, shed the city grime, and take things back to basics - for better or worse.

 

Here’s what I learned during that process.

 

1. Makeup Isn’t Always My Friend

 

A beach vacation is a messy business. There’s saltwater, sand, sweat, and dirt,  - even if you do it “fancy.” And if you’re in and out of the water, there's not way to maintain a full face of makeup.

 

That’s why, during my trip, I went makeup-free for the majority of the time (save a nice dinner or two). And my skin thanked me for it.

 

Wearing makeup every day is much more trying on the skin than even the most active of beach days. With constant wear, makeup can:

  • Clog pores and cause breakouts
  • Exacerbate fine lines and wrinkles
  • Expose your skin to toxic chemicals
  • Cause contact dermatitis
  • Prevent you from shedding dead skin cells and throw off the skin's renewal process

 

This is especially true if you keep your makeup on for long periods of time or occasionally sleep in your makeup.

 

After a few days makeup-free, I found improvements in:

  • Skin Texture: My face felt smoother, more even, and generally less bumpy - probably from a combination of going makeup-free and all the natural exfoliation I was getting.
  • Blemishes: I thought that a week of sand and sun would cause severe breakouts. Surprisingly, my skin actually cleared up and many of my pesky zits and blackheads went away.
  • Balance: With my combination skin, I normally notice a ton of shine halfway through the day - along with dry areas on my nose and in other small patches. That wasn’t the case on this trip - my skin felt more even and balanced overall.
  • Free Time: It was nice to take a break and spend less time getting ready.

 

2. The Importance of Exfoliation

 

Seeing your bare skin in the light of day can be a little intimidating - especially if you have dry spots, congestion, and other imperfections staring back at you.

 

Guess what? If you’re slathering on sunscreen and exposing your face to wind, sand, and sun, chances are you’re going to see those things.

 

That’s why I made an effort to up my exfoliation game, making sure to add an exfoliant to my routine at least three nights a week. Want to do the same but not sure where to start? There are two main categories:

  • Physical Exfoliants: These use small particles to remove the outermost level of dead skin cells and accelerate cell turnover. Our Zen Out of Ten Face Scrub accomplishes this with gentle natural ingredients - including ground olive seed, ground cranberry seed, and bamboo fiber.

 

Zen Out of Ten Face Scrub

 

  • Chemical exfoliants: These products use AHA's and BHA's for gentle, daily exfoliation. Our Soulmate Brightening Treatment leverages glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid to remove old cells and reveal brighter, more luminous skin without irritation.

 

Soulmate Brightening Treatment

 

Just remember to keep a gentle hand and be wary of over-doing it. Three applications a week will be more than enough for anyone.

 

3. How to Hydrate Effectively

 

Properly hydrating can be tough, and more often than not we tend to get it wrong -  which is why a full 75% of Americans are thought to be chronically dehydrated. Yikes! And the one day of my trip that I accidentally skipped water and moisturizer, I saw some major consequences:

  • My skin was tight, sensitive, and dull.
  • There were flaky, itchy patches on my skin.
  • I felt lethargic.

 

So where do you get started with fixing something so intense? Well, it was a multi-pronged strategy that included:

  • Drinking plenty of water: According to one interesting rule of thumb, you should drink half your weight in ounces of water. So someone that weighs 120 pounds should drink about 60 ounces of water a day. I followed this rule for the rest of the trip and saw some instant improvement in my skin’s tone and texture. (Your mileage may vary.)
  • Limiting alcohol: While I enjoyed those beachside beers, I realize that they weren’t really doing me any favors. That’s because alcohol turns off the body’s anti-diuretic hormone (the hormone that signals your body to urinate less once you start getting dehydrated). So if you’re already a little dehydrated and you start drinking, you'll pee out whatever water you still have left in your system - not great.
  • Incorporating a gentle cleanser: If your skin is dehydrated, the last thing that you want is a harsh cleanser that’s going to strip away the natural oils and barriers you have left. Instead, a cleansing oil like our High Society Face Oil absorbs quickly and offers intense hydration while smoothing lines.

 

High Society Face Oil

 

  • Protecting my skin’s natural barrier: You don’t want to strip this away, especially if you're already a bit dehydrated. Your natural barrier keeps your skin moisturized, prevents infection, guards against fine lines, and more. So protect it with our Daydreamer Natural Face Moisturizer with hyaluronic acid. It penetrates the skin for lasting hydration that keeps your skin looking and feeling its best.

 

Daydreamer Natural Face Moisturizer

 

Remember, we’re not talking about dry skin here. Dry skin is a permanent skin type - like combination or oily skin - while dehydrated skinis a temporary skin condition that anyone can suffer from (even those with oily skin) if they’re not properly hydrated.

 

Not sure where you’re at? Consider: is this a new problem or a condition that you’ve dealt with your whole life? If it’s the latter, you probably fall into the dry skin type.

 

Alternatively, do a pinch test: take a small amount of skin around your cheek area and squeeze it lightly. If it wrinkles or doesn’t fall back into place right when you release, you’re likely dealing with dehydrated skin.

 

4. How to Win the Sunburn Battle

 

Then there were the sunburns. I tried my best to use SPF, but admittedly missed a hard-to-reach spot or two (and probably didn’t reapply as often as I should). And while a part of me wanted that sun-kissed glow, I knew this was ultimately a bad idea. After all, any tan or redness is a sign that UV radiation has damaged the genetic material in your skin cells - and I would really rather have my DNA intact.

Here’s how I combatted the problem:

  • Protective clothing: It probably made me look like like a grandmother, but I was sure to wear a long-sleeved rash guard and a big hat throughout the trip. At the very least, this would protect my face and décolletage.
  • Sunglasses and lip balm with SPF: You might not usually think about your lips and your eyes when you consider sun protection, but they're important. After all, these are some of the most sensitive parts of your face.
  • The Right SPF: Even if you’re using sunscreen and reapplying it as you should, this will all be for naught if you’re not choosing an appropriate SPF. Our Chase the Sun SPF 30 Face Moisturizer is a lightweight formula that contains a blend of mineral and clean chemical sunscreen actives to provide invisible, complete protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays.

 

Chase the Sun SPF 30 Face Moisturizer

 

5. What’s My True Skin Type

This has been an ongoing internal debate for years - and mostly because it’s been hard for me to get an accurate baseline when it comes to my skin. Sometimes it feels tight, flaky, and dry. Other times, it’s shiny, broken out and oily. Still other times it's reactive and sensitive. What gives?

 

Overall, it feels like a bit of a mess that I don’t know what to do with.

 

But a week at the beach helped me get back to basics. I wasn’t wearing makeup, I was getting consistent vitamin D, I was cleansing properly, and I was restoring my skin’s natural barrier.

 

Under those circumstances, my skin revealed itself to be a combination skin type (learn more about skin types).

 

Here’s to many more beach adventures and beautiful skin days. Cheers!