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If you just moved to the Middle East from a much cooler climate zone, your skin may be in for a bit of a rough period. If you have been living here for a while, you understand just how hot it can become and how damaging it can be to the skin.

Temperatures in the UAE have been known to soar close to 50 degrees celcius during the summer. In fact, it usually doesn’t ‘cool down’ until late October-early November.

Extensive exposure to this kind of heat can lead to an increase in acne breakouts and/or parched, dehydrated skin.

Protecting, hydrating and nourishing the skin should not only become a priority when a breakout happens. What can you do to protect your skin?

Below are a few tips that you should consider in order to keep your skin healthy and glowing.

Cleanse: This is perhaps the most obvious point to consider. However, are you doing it correctly? If your face is hot, wash first with cold water to cool the skin and then cleanse. Consider using a foam cleanser to cleanse the face gently during hot days. Avoid alcohol base cleaners as they tend to dry the skin.

Exfoliate: Heat and sweat go hand in hand. Sweat and newly opened pores can lead to both whiteheads and blackheads. It may seem practical to use a peeling gel or scrub, but don’t. It may help to consult with a dermatologist to see which types of cleansers; exfoliation and moisturising products work best with your skin type.

Hydrate: Practice drinking a glass of water before sleeping. Also, drink a glass of water before having breakfast. This has a number of benefits inclusive of glowing skin, cell renewal, and purifying the colon among others. Consider using an oil free moisturiser daily to combat dehydrated skin.

UV Protection: There are a myriad of UV protection products on the market today. UV radiation can lead to breakouts and darkening of the skin. Again, your skin type plays a key role in the kind of UV protection that works best for you. Check the amount of SPF and PA. Ensure that it contains UVA and UVB protection.

Use a humidifier: A humidifier can help to stop the dry air from drying out your skin. It’s a good option if you sleep in air conditioning. If you don’t have one, fill a bowl with water and put it in your bedroom overnight. The air conditioning will dry up the water from the bowl rather than your skin.

Go easy on the caffeine: A single cup of coffee can lead to significant dehydration. Ensure that you drink the required amount of water. Some dermatologists recommend that you drink half your body weight daily. If you aren’t fond of drinking water, add a bit of flavour with lemons, lime or mint. Another option is to steep herbal teas in a pitcher of cold water. Avoid sugary beverages.

Opt for fruit: Many fruits are high in fluids. They also have additional benefits such as antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Go easy on sodium rich foods: Foods that are high in sodium can draw water from your body. This could contribute to dehydration depending on intake. Reduce the consumption of processed meats, fast food, canned soups and canned vegetables to a minimum. Keep in mind that some sauces are also rich in sodium (soy sauce, teriyaki and some brands of ketchup).

There are many more points to keep in mind when it comes to skin care. Diet, exercise and sleep all play an important role. A good starting point is to know your skin type and understanding what products (ingredients) work for you.

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