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Every season has its dangers for your skin. Here’s what should you do this summer:

High-Factor Sunscreen Isn’t Optional!

Everyone knows about the dangers of too much sun, but it’s a vital point that can’t be repeated often enough. Not only does sunburn cause short-term problems from pain to peeling, it also toughens and wrinkles your skin over time. And of course, frequent sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer.

Always splash on the sunscreen whenever you’re planning to go outside, even if it’s not particularly sunny. The strong summer sun can still burn through cloud cover, and you also never know when conditions can change and catch you out. If you’re planning on enjoying some beach or pool time, use waterproof sunscreen. And if you’ll be outside for more than half an hour or so, take your sunscreen with you so you can reapply it regularly.

Cover Up

You don’t have to be sunbathing to suffer from too much sun. The harmful rays can be reflected from buildings, cars, and other objects even when you’re in the shade. Protect your face and eyes by wearing a hat and sunglasses, and keep as much of your skin lightly covered as you feel comfortable with. Always wear clothes made from breathable material such as cotton, rather than synthetics which will trap sweat and cause itchiness and rashes.

Emergency Repair

If you do get too much sun, work quickly to remove the heat and limit the damage. Use a cooling moisturizing cream containing aloe vera to start treating any sunburn as soon as you can. Avoid extra sun exposure until the irritation has passed. The longer you leave even mild sunburn, the more chance you have of blistering and peeling.

Protect Your Lips

Your lips are probably the tenderest part of your skin that sees daylight, and summer offers several dangers for them. First, they can burn easily in the hot sun. Second, they can quickly dry out in a warm breeze. Avoid both these problems by using a lip balm with built-in sun protection during the day, and a moisturizing version during the night to prepare them for the next day’s heat.

Stay Hydrated

Summer warmth can leave you dehydrated quicker than you think, and by the time you notice a raging thirst, it’s already too late. Take regular sips of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated, and stop your skin becoming dry and flaky. Importantly, this advice isn’t only for when you’re in the sun. On a hot day, when the air conditioning is working overtime, the dry indoor air is just as much of a problem as the hot, arid outdoors.

Eat Healthy

Summer is a season for salads and other light meals, and luckily this kind of food is exactly what your skin needs to stay healthy. Not only does it provide plenty of vitamins and minerals, it avoids the heavy oils which can leave your complexion greasy and easily irritated by the sun.

Exfoliate Regularly

Hot weather makes it easy for your skin to pick up dust and grime, not to mention the sweat that healthy skin produces in warm conditions. If your pores become clogged, you risk acne outbreaks and pimples. Make sure you exfoliate regularly, using a natural antibacterial scrub containing an essential oil such as lavender.

Go into Moisturizer Overdrive

Lastly, whether your skin is naturally dry or oily, in the summertime you need to step up your use of moisturizer at night. In warmer weather, you probably sleep with lighter blankets and leave more skin exposed. This can dry it out overnight, especially your hands, feet, and face. Use plenty of moisturizer on all these places before sleeping to prevent waking up with dry, flaky skin.

Some people love hot and sunny weather, while others spend the warmer months longing for frosty mornings and roaring fires. But whichever way you feel, if you want to greet fall’s arrival with your skin in great condition, follow these tips to look after it properly throughout the long days of summer.

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How Journaling Can Help Your Emotions

People are emotional creatures. You can be happy, sad, angry, confused, scared, excited, and everything in between. Managing your negative feelings can be incredibly difficult. Your bad moods will hamper your productivity and even health as stress compromises your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to high blood pressure, obesity, migraines, heart problems, and more.

Talking to a friend, family, or psychiatrist can help, but you sometimes need to rely on yourself. A journal can work as a personal therapist. It will always be there to listen whenever you need it. Just taking a few minutes each day to jot down your feelings can significantly improve your mood and mental health.

One of the most extensive studies on journaling, conducted by University of Texas professor James Pennebaker, describes how he started to experience turmoil in his marriage and fell into depression. He began writing out his feelings on a typewriter. Soon enough, his mood improved, his relationship blossomed, and he was able to get a better understanding of his life goals.

Pennebaker conducted experiments where participants would spend 20 minutes a day writing about emotional experiences in their lives. These entries ranged from sexual abuse to guilt over accidental deaths. Months later, the journalists began to show signs of improvement. They had better mental and physical health, lower blood pressure, and fewer doctor visits.

Pennebaker’s method is to just write non-stop for 20 minutes. You could write about something that happened today or even something that occurred years ago. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling don’t matter; just get your thoughts out. Then, delete the document or throw away the paper. Rip it up and toss it in the fire if you wish. These ideas and feelings are no longer a part of you.

Another method is to use an emotional journaling technique divided into four steps:
• Write down an emotional experience you’ve had
• Say how you responded to the situation
• Write down your analysis of the situation, digging deep to determine the causes of your emotions and reactions
• Conclude with self-reflection. Ask yourself what you learned and what you would do if you reencountered the situation.

Journaling also helps when trying to make decisions. You might feel conflicted when deciding to start a new class, move to a different country, enter a relationship, or make a significant purchase. Writing down your multitude of thoughts can help organize them into coherent statements. You can quickly weigh pros and cons of each decision.

Writing is an incredibly therapeutic process. Taking a few minutes each day to jot down your thoughts help put them into words and distance yourself from your emotions. It helps you critically analyze yourself and your feelings. Once you start journaling, you’ll notice significant differences in your mood and health.

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