What’s good for the mind is not necessarily good for the scalpSummer is boiling down and holiday-goers are coming home. Many, no doubt, will go to the bathroom, do their business, wash their hands, look into the mirror and ― horror! ― find their face covered with freckles and their hair the texture of steel wool.
Summertime is the enemy of the skin. The high temperatures mean skin gets dirty, covered in sweat and sebum, a kind of fat released by glands in the skin. The humidity causes skin pores to swell. Moreover, frequent washing to remove sweat, as well as the wind from fans and air-conditioners, makes the skin dry.
“I was shocked to find big freckles on my face the day after I came back from vacation,” said Lee Myeong-sun, 41. She said that on the last day of her vacation, she took a long nap outside by the sea; the freckles were the result of over-exposure to the sun.
“The strong ultraviolet rays can thicken the corneous tissue of the skin and damage its inner layer,” said Son Ho-chan, a dermatologist of Anacli Center. “It’s very important to let the skin rest enough after a vacation.” He advised massaging the skin with a cold pack after long periods out in the sun.
Sunburned skin not only itches, it’s also unattractive. Slices of potatoes or cucumbers, as well as green tea and aloe, are good at soothing skin. Potatoes are particularly good at helping the skin quickly recover from sunburns, replenishing it with vitamin C.
If blisters form, however, one should see a doctor; to avoid infection, don’t pop the blisters.
Once relatively healed, skin still needs to be kept moist. Put some lotion on a cotton ball and rub your skin with it. For very dry skin, rub it with a cotton ball soaked in what Koreans call “essence,” a type of expensive, nourishing skin lotion, for five to 10 minutes.
It is crucial not to irritate the skin. Don’t go to a sauna for at least a week and don’t scrub your skin for at least two weeks. Try to avoid very spicy or salty food, which is bad for the skin.
Reducing the freckles on one’s face requires a constant effort. Use a skin beautifier that includes vitamin C, arbutin, retinoic acid or other whitening element. If your skin is seriously darkened, however, it’s better to see a doctor.
IPL Quantum, a type of laser treatment, is effective at not only reducing freckles, but also curing other skin problems, such as fine wrinkles. “Cosmelan Treatment” is recommended for those who have serious freckles, as this treatment prevents the outbreak of new freckles and fades those that are dark.
Overexposure to the sun and seawater can also damage hair and cause inflammation of the scalp. Since the salt in the seawater and ultraviolet rays damage the hair, strands can develop split ends or even be broken. The scalp can become inflamed if dead skin and too much salt remain in the skin. If these remain on the scalp and the pores on the scalp become enlarged, bacteria can easily spread, which ultimately causes one’s hair to fall out. The chlorine in swimming pools can also threaten one’s scalp and hair.
“It is necessary to avoid dyeing your hair or getting a perm for a while after a vacation because the chemicals used for dyes or perms can damage the protective layer of the hair,” said Chun Seong-hyeon, a dermatologist of Medistar Clinic. “Wait until this layer is fully recovered.”
How people wash their hair is also important, Dr. Chun said. It’s better to wash your hair in the evening rather than in the morning, using warm water to wash away any gunk in the hair. While washing, thoroughly drench your hair, including the scalp, and softly massage your scalp with your fingers. Letting your hair dry slowly and naturally is best.
by Cho Han-pil