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11 Things You Do In The Summer That Can Damage Your Skin

After being bundled up in hats and coats during the winter months, most people are eager to trade in all of those bulky layers for a colorful pair of shorts and sandals at the first sign of summer. But before you take it all off, it's important to know that there are things you do in the summer that can damage your skin. Sunburn, rashes, and skin cancer can be just as dangerous and painful as they are annoying, and can really put a damper on all of your fun summer plans. But you can take precautions before heading to the beach or pool to protect your skin from the harm.

Wearing protective clothing, covering your skin with sunscreen, and drinking plenty of water are just a few of the simple things you can do to keep your skin healthy and looking great all summer long. Wherever you plan to hang out this summer, make sure you take a look at this list before you head outdoors.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body and the first thing people see when they look at you, so why not make sure you've got it covered. Here are just some of the summertime skin habits that may do year-long damage.

1. You Spend Too Much Time In Chlorine

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Taking a dip can be a great way to cool off on a hot summer day, but according to Health magazine, too much chlorine can cling to the skin and strip away the surface layer of oil on the skin, leaving you dry and itchy. After your swim, be sure to rinse your skin thoroughly with soap and water to remove any residual chlorine.

2. You Take Long, Hot Showers

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You may want to take a hot shower at the end of the day but as Good Housekeeping writes, the hot water can cause dry, itchy skin. Limit your time in the shower, and use cool water instead. After all, it's summer.

3. You Wear Dirty Sunglasses

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If you've never cleaned your sunglasses, now would be a good time to start. According to Good Housekeeping, bacteria can build up on your frames and cause annoying breakouts.

4. You Crank The AC

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Too much air conditioning will leave you with an exorbitant electric bill and dry skin. An article in Good Housekeeping notes that too much air conditioning strips the air of the humidity and moisture that your skin needs.

5. You Don't Drink Enough Water

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Between beers and margaritas, make sure you are drinking water as well. Skin care expert Mario Badescu advised on his site to carry bottled water and eat plenty of fresh fruit during the summer months to avoid dehydration.

6. You Forget Your Lips

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When you're applying your sunscreen, don't forget your lips. An article in InStyle reminds readers to use a lip balm with SPF in the summer months to avoid damage to the skin on our lips.  

7. You Scratch Bug Bites

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Yes, they're itchy and annoying, but try not to scratch those bug bites, as doing so will leave you with some scars. Instead, InStyle advises applying hydrocortisone cream to bug bites to soothe your skin.

8. You Soak Up The Sun

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It can be tempting to hang out in the sun all day, but it can be dangerous. On its website, L'Oreal recommended using self-tanner sprays to give your skin that sun-kissed glow.

9. You Don't Cover Your Head

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When you're planning your summer outfits, don't forget the hat. WebMD advises keeping your face, neck and ears covered to avoid damage from the suns rays.

10. You Wear Flip Flops

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They are fun and cute, but flip-flops can cause some pretty serious damage to your skin. An article in Cosmopolitan noted that some of the plastic sandals can be made of the harmful toxin BPA. Not to mention, they leave your feet exposed to all kinds of gross bacteria.

11. You Forget Sunscreen

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No matter what color your skin is, wearing sunscreen is a must. Without it, you are exposing your skin to harmful UV rays which the Cleveland Clinic notes can cause sunburn and skin cancer.