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Skin-Saving Strategies for the Great Outdoors: Staying Hydrated and a Little Pampering Go a Long Way

Mar 22, 2022 11:12AM ● By TANIS RHINES

Water. It’s the molecule that comprises 65 percent of the human body. It’s this same molecule that determines how well, or not so well, your cells age—dictating everything from athletic performance to overall health to the look and feel of your skin. Many experts believe that dehydration is a key contributor to rapid aging. It is essential to understand the importance of this elixir of life and how water assumes an even greater role in the nourishment of your body when you embrace the many outdoor activities available in Southwest Florida. 

As the weather warms up, about 2.6 million sweat glands start doing their job helping to regulate the body’s temperature by releasing fluids through the pores. Water consumption needs to increase in order to replenish this lost fluid, especially for those participating in outdoor activities such as boating, golfing, or cycling in the heat, which can lead to an additional loss of as much as three liters of water per hour. Exposure to air conditioning, along with caffeine and alcohol consumption, can contribute to the dehydration dilemma, making it tricky to keep cells quenched and skin supple and smooth. 

Perhaps the best way to pamper parched skin is to address it both from the inside out and the outside in. In addition to upping your water game, here are some solutions for beating Florida heat: 

  • Eat water-rich foods such as cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, and melons to help stave 

         off the effects of dehydration, which can include dry, flaky skin. 

  • Avoid soap that contains waxes and perfumes, which can be drying to the skin; use gentle cleansers instead. 

  • Steer clear of skin-care products that contain high levels of drying alcohol. 

  • Avoid long, hot showers and apply a body cream after bathing to lock in moisture. 

To protect your skin while having fun in the sun, Pam Attuso, owner of Sanibel Day Spa, recommends Circadia Light Day Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 37. “This product is light enough for daily wear and effective enough for outdoor sports like tennis and golf. It contains award-winning photo stabilizer Solastay S1, which reduces sensitivity issues often associated with UV absorbers,” Attuso notes. “Many of our clients cocktail the Light Day Sunscreen with Hale Cosmeceuticals Complexion Perfection BB Cream. It is a tinted moisturizer, and the combination helps even out skin tone, leaving it with a hydrated glow while protecting it from UV rays.” 

Attuso also recommends using specialty products designed to lock water into tissue. “Look for the ingredient hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. The Dermist M3HA moisturizer by Hale Cosmeceuticals contains this miracle molecule, and its lightweight gel formula works for all skin types, including combination and blemish-prone skin,” she says. 

To keep you hydrated and protected from the sun, The Spa at Tween Waters offers a variety of products and services. “If your hair has prolonged exposure to the sun, UVA and UVB rays can damage the outside cover of the hair strand,” notes proprietor Georgie Pailes. “Sun damage can come in the forms of discoloration, dry and brittle strands, broken or split ends, and thinning, frizzy hair. That is why ’Tween Waters uses Davines hair products, founded in Parma, Italy. They are extremely rich in beta carotene, which has a restructuring effect on the hair, and roucou oil, which reduces cellular damage from UV rays.” Pailes also notes that “all products are both sulfate- and paraben-free, and they smell great too.”  

Skin experts like Pailes know that wearing flip-flops or going barefoot at the beach skyrockets the risk of dry and cracked heels. That is why she developed “The Ultimate Pedicure!” ensuring baby-soft feet even when they’re exposed to challenging outdoor conditions. The treatment begins with a sea-salt soak followed by a vitamin-rich clay mask to remineralize and replenish parched skin. Callus-busting products eliminate rough patches while warm paraffin envelops the tootsies for a luxurious spa treatment.  

This season in Southwest Florida, whether you are cycling, hitting the beach, or getting in a full 18 on your favorite course, prep yourself for spring by breaking out the sandals and sunscreen, and make sure you work in some skin-quenching concoctions and services that will keep you hydrated and in your healthiest state of glow. 


Tanis Rhines is a cellular and molecular scientist turned esthetician. She is the author of the irreverent esthetic exposé, Face It! Harsh Skincare Truths Every Esthetician Should Know... And So Should You