Summer is finally here! Our calendars are filled with much-anticipated beach vacations, gardening, outdoor sports, picnics and other fair weather fun. I am a true sun worshipper, but we all know that too much sun exposure causes dryness, wrinkling, premature aging and even skin cancer. What is a sun lover to do?
Keep Skin Exfoliated and Hydratred: Exfoliation removes dead, dulling skin debris to prevent congestion and improve hydration from toners and moisturizers. Exfoliating the facial skin by means of a homemade scrub prepared using half a cup of yogurt, five tablespoons of ground oatmeal, a dash of turmeric and six drops of rose water can prove to be an effective option. Perform in the mornings prior to toner, moisturizer, SPF and make-up application. Tip: Make-up will last longer on an exfoliated skin. As an alternative to traditional moisturizers, juice extracted from cucumber or watermelon may be used for moisturizing facial skin. Toners are a refreshing moisturizer prep, working to even out skin porosity. Our Alcohol Free Facial Toner made with rosewater and witch hazel is gentle and effective Tip: Refresh with a revitalizing HydroSol spritz at your desk, in the car, at the gym, on the plane!
Keep Your Inside Hydrated: Higher temperatures and more time outdoors leads to internal dehydration, which can result in headaches and dizzy spells! Eight 8-ounce glasses of plain, filtered water every day help maintain critical moisture balance of the body and skin, and assist in detoxification. Tip: If you drink caffeinated beverages, you should triple the amount of water you drink!
Stay Dry Too: As the mercury climbs, we naturally sweat. Sweating is good. But no one wants to be stinky. So apply deodorant in the morning as usual, but keep some on hand if you know you’ll be swimming or participating in active sports. Avoid chemical antiperspirants that keep your body from sweating (sweating is a good thing). Our Deodorant Powder is the perfect solution. We’ve combined the natural deodorizing properties of baking soda with the superior absorbent properties of cornstarch and arrowroot. The result is a clean, soft, delicately-scented natural powder with the odor fighting capabilities of the toughest deodorants on the market.
Apply & Re-Apply: It’s not enough to just apply sunscreen; you must apply enough, and apply frequently. Studies indicate that most people do not apply nearly as much daylight protection as they should. Make sure that the sunscreen used is applied at least fifteen to thirty minutes before stepping out in the sun. There is always confusion over which SPF number to use. The truth is an SPF 30 only offers 4% more protection than an SPF 15. You would have thought it was double the protection, right? As you get up in the higher numbers (SPF 45, 50, 70+) that percentage comes down, but you’re also exposing your skin to more chemicals which might result in a negative reaction on the skin. The key to protecting your skin in the sun is to re-apply your sunscreen generously at least every two hours. Tip: Stay out of the midday sun from mid-morning to late afternoon whenever you can. HBG recommends natural nonchemical sunscreens with “physical” blockers like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, not chemical sunscreen formulations. The benefit of a physical sunscreen is that it acts like tiny mirrors deflecting all spectrums of the radiation away from the skin, including the dangerous ultraviolet [UV] rays. Wear sun-protective clothing and seek shade when you can. One blistering sunburn doubles your risk of melanoma. Remember to get a yearly skin exam by a doctor and perform a self-examination once a month to detect early warning signs of carcinomas and malignant melanoma. Look for a new growth or any skin change.
Take Care of That Sunburn: Hard as you try, sometimes you wind up with a sunburn. Apply cooling preparations generously over-exposed skin, preferably at the first sight of a pink glow. A common misconception about soothing a sunburn is that you should keep re-applying lotion (especially aloe vera-based lotion) to keep the skin moist. But layering lotion on sunburned skin traps heat, keeping the skin red longer. Skin must breathe to let out heat. Cold plain yogurt applied to the skin works as an anti-inflammatory and heat remover. Apply, let dry for 15 minutes, and rinse. Repeat every hour. If that’s too messy for you, you can use my favorite remedy – a cold, wet wash cloth. Unfortunately I have lots of experience with sunburns, and over the years I have found that soaking a wash cloth in COLD water and applying it to the burn does wonders to pull the heat out. Once the wash cloth gets warm (and it will) soak again in cold water and reapply. Do this until the burning sensation goes away. Looking for an internal remedy? Recent research reveals that consuming green tea and curcumin (an anti-inflammatory compound found in the curry spice turmeric) may help combat skin cancer. Packed with potent antioxidants, green tea may also reduce DNA damage to skin cells when applied topically, according to animal studies. In addition to choosing green-tea-infused sunblocks and lotions, drinking 3 cups of green tea daily and regularly including turmeric in your cooking may provide protection, says integrative physician David Rakel of the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health.
Get a Glow without the Wrinkles: The #1 cause of lines and wrinkles is sun exposure. If you want to look young, avoid the sun. It’s really that simple. But there are those of us who still think we look better with a summer glow. Fake it! There are lots of fake bake products on the market (self-tanners) that can give you the look of a suntan without having to lay out for hours. Or use a bronzer instead. A bronzer will darken the complexion subtly and “warms” your skin tone without making it look fake. Our Health Glow Mineral Bronzer gives you the flexibility to cast a hint of sun or give you that beach babe look.
Don’t Have a Hair Emergency: Exercising in the scorching heat or swimming laps in the pool can zap the radiance right out of your locks. Boost your shade with these DIY tips:
Blondes – Counteract brassiness and remove product buildup by mixing together a quarter cup of mild shampoo and one tablespoon of baking soda. Coat dry strands with the paste, leave it on for 10 minutes, and then rinse.
Brunettes – After shampooing and conditioning hair, combine a quarter cup each of white distilled vinegar and distilled water and two drops of peppermint oil (to offset the vinegar scent). Saturate damp hair with the leave-in mixture before blow-drying to add instant vibrancy.
Redheads – To reignite your hot hue, boil a quart of water and drop in three chamomile tea bags; steep for five minutes. Remove bags and cool the liquid in the fridge. Then spray the infusion on clean, damp hair and sit in the sun until hair is dry.
So get out there, have fun, but stay protected. ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!