I went to Dubai last year, and I remember my skin sizzling every time I ventured outdoors. Out of all the preparations I did and made for the trip, I of course forgot (and did not prioritise) one important thing: how to up my sunscreen use and add other essential products and steps to my skincare routine.
There’s a good chance I’ll be going back again next year to visit family. If it’s going to be between July and August, I’m pretty sure I won’t make the same mistake because I now have these tips from Dr Fady G Haddad, a dermatologist from Shamma Clinic.
If you’re planning to go to a “hot” spot, it’s never too early to think about skincare. I hope his advice will help you too. :)
Landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab and Palm Jumeirah – not to mention all the resorts, shopping malls and heritage districts – make Dubai a hot destination to explore.
And we also mean that literally: According to Shamma Clinic’s Dr Fady G Haddad, temperatures can reach over 40 degrees Celsius, especially during July and August.
Two things to keep in mind?
Protect your skin from water or moisture loss and avoid prolonged sun exposure, says the dermatologist. “Heat can cause dryness, and dehydrated skin wrinkles easily. Aside from being a major culprit for skin cancer, UV rays also damage collagen and elastin, thus promoting faster skin ageing.”
Hydration is key. “Apply plenty of moisturising and sun protection creams of at least SPF 30 over all exposed skin – like your ears and feet if you will be wearing open shoes – at least 15 minutes before going out,” he advises. “After-sun lotions should also be applied all over the body after being at the poolside or beach.”
Try to avoid perfumes and products with fragrances as they may irritate your sun-exposed skin as well, he adds. And don’t forget your eyes too; sunglasses are a must.
When it comes to your regular skincare routine...
Consider your usual steps and product ingredients. “Be careful with your day and night creams, as your skin may be more sensitive to the effects of the sun. This applies mostly to those who are treating their skin pigmentation,” suggests Dr Haddad.
“If you have products containing vitamin A derivatives, such as retinol and retinoic acid, or fruit acids also known as AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) – even when they’re only applied at night – minimise or even stop using them if you’ll be exposed to the sun.”
Lastly, always have a bottle of water handy. “Increase your water intake. Drink at least three litres of water or more if you’re sweating. Soft drinks and other drinks are not good substitutes, as they do not offer the proper hydration.”
Going to Dubai? Here are Dr Haddad’s skincare tips for your flight
Inside the plane, you’ll be exposed to lower humidity levels than what you’re used to, notes the dermatologist.
“This can cause dryness and discomfort – even the eyes and nose can get dehydrated,” he relates. “Use a moisturising cream and avoid wearing contact lenses. Use hydrating eye drops too.”