If you're anything like me you have been smiling ever since you noticed the first green buds emerge on the tops of your neighboring trees. While it's still technically spring here in the US, this weekend kicks off the unofficial start to summer with celebrations over a long Memorial Day holiday and an extra day to lounge. I am especially excited to take off to Los Angeles and spend time with special friends in the warm California sunshine. I have loved California ever since my third and fourth grade teacher, Ms. Kelly (my all time favorite teacher) a California native would tell our class about the beauty that was her home State. She would disappear over summer vacation and reappear in September with a tan, golden hair, and incredible stories of the sea. She once brought our class dried seashells that she had collected and it occurred to me that there was plenty of magic on that side of the world. Why I don't live in California is beyond me, but one day, I hope.
One of the things I'm very aware of is the climate in California, which varies from dry to downright bone dry. Changing climates can cause visible skin changes and issues even if you're a healthy eater and practice consuming liquids throughout the day. Moisturizing and protecting your skin is vital to keep your skin its healthiest as is an excellent sunscreen. Sunscreen is the ultimate wrinkle fighter as UV damage can make your smooth and radiant skin appear dry, damaged and rough in a matter of months. There is no joking with the sun and I can't advise enough to find the perfect sunscreen for you and stick to it. Invest in a natural sunscreen as recent studies have raised concerns over the many toxic ingredients in conventional sunscreens. If you hate thick sunscreens over your face I have a little trick I'll share in making your facial sunscreen a little more tolerable to apply and even tinting it a bit. Without further finger wagging here are some tips and guidance in keeping your skin in tip top shape all summer long. It requires effort, but you already know you're worth it.
Facial Skin Tips:
Exfoliating is an important step to your skincare during summer months when clogged pores, sweat, bacteria, and environmental pollution can increase your breakouts. Now, I am not a believer of rough exfoliators. Those with crushed apricot seeds or walnut shells are actually terrible for your skin. I believe in the power of enzymes found in raw honey and acidophilus found in yogurt. I also enjoy fruit based tiny seeds in my exfoliating action like vanilla seeds or powders like rice powder, sacha inchi powder, and even a little baking soda. These ingredients are much gentler for your skin and don't cause all of those tiny abrasions that can make you look like raw shark bait. If you don't have a Clarisonic investing in one can keep your skin from suffering summer skin congestion. I am also a huge fan of Japanese charcoal facial puffs. I keep them around as traveling with them is easier than logging your Clarisonic around throughout the hilly mountains of Peru. During the summer I tend to use raw honey with a little baking powder and apply a thin layer and allow to set before wetting my Binchotan facial puff and in soft circular motion exfoliating away dead skin cells. If you're acne prone add little coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar to your honey. I love this more than anything else I do for my skin as you notice results immediately and your skin is hydrated and refreshed.
2. Facial Steaming
I incorporate facial steams into my week, but especially for city living facial steams seem to help my skin detox and look better. Running around, public transportation, sweating while walking and then freezing in a cold air conditioned office will wreak havoc on your skin and a little at home detox therapy works wonders. I love our very own Purifying and Healing Facial Steam Teas, but you can also use hot water to gently remove buildup from your pores. Adding a tablespoon of coconut or apple cider vinegars to hot water before steaming is great for oily skin.
3. Hydration for the inside
It goes without saying, you need to stay hydrated on the inside and out even in the sweltering heat. Especially in the sweltering heat! Water alone isn't the only way or best way to stay hydrated. I'm going to confess something that will make fellow health and natural beauty advocates scratch their heads or go nuts. I HATE drinking water. There I confessed! Plain old water is boring and yet I know it is lucrative to keeping one alive and healthy. Years ago when I was constantly bombarded by supermodels in magazines advising us to drink 8-10 glasses of water I did my own little research and realized your hydration intake doesn't solely on water. Drinking healthy fluids contributes to staying hydrated and well balanced. Now that doesn't mean pop or soda counts as hydration nutrition. Those chemicals in a can of artificial cola and all that sugar is insane for your skin. Fresh juices, coconut water, coffee, tea, and even water dense fruit like watermelon and cantaloupe provide nutrients and hydration to your system on any regular day. If you work out or are outdoors engaged in physical activity under the sun water is indeed the fastest way to curb thirst and provide hydration to your body. I like drinking a 'Green Goddess' juice with coconut water after a hike to replenish lost electrolytes and nutrients to my system. I also began to infuse water with lemon and orange slices, raspberries, cherries, mint and fresh basil and this is what I'm often drinking while at work. (This little tip I stole from the W Hotel in Westwood where I'm practically glued to their fruit infused water station when I'm a guest.) Hydration for your insides helps cells appear "plump" and keep volume in your skin which radiates good health.
Hydration for the outside
You know those old movies where gentlemen would pull out a cotton handkerchief out of their lapels or pockets and wipe the sweat from their forehead and then replace the hankie back into their pockets? Gross! What a guarantee to chronic acne and breakouts. As is constantly wiping sweat from your forehead with your hands. Don't do this. If you find yourself melting and need a quick way to refresh, spritz natural flower water or a facial mist on your face, neck and decollete. This helps to soothe skin and keep your hands away from your face. Customers often ask why their acne seems to be worse during warmer weather and we believe chronic touching of the face mixed with sweat and pollution creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Using facial wipes is also helpful to keeping skin refreshed. I rarely travel without my favorite biodegradable facial wipes. They really come in handy on an airplane where recycled air sucks moisture out of the air rapidly and causes your skin to become dry rather quickly. I was recently on a flight and pulled out my travel kit and began my misting and oil applications when the woman next to me who was reading a book finally asked what I was doing. I gave her a few drops of Daily Elements Defense Face Oil and she oohed and ahhed and we continued to talk skincare for the remainder of the flight. I believe she is now a convert.
By the way, if you're a savvy DIY person this is one of the best recipes for making your own rosewater I've ever seen from our friends at Roost. (I could watch these dreamy videos all day.) You can keep this handy all season long and even gift these gorgeous bottles of fresh rosewater to friends.
3. Layer Your Skincare Products
This is a question we're asked often. How to layer skincare products for best and optimal results? Layering products can provide your skin with plenty of protection, hydration and active ingredients that solve problems and prevent new ones. In general, lightest to heaviest is the rule of thumb, but I believe that the most active product should be applied first. My vitamin C gel cream is the first product I use during the morning. It's a cross between a light cream and a gel and a thin layer across my face and neck area is all that's needed. I allow that product to set and tone my skin before applying my moisturizer. I'm currently using DED as a morning moisturizer and I use about two or three pumps for face, neck and decollete area. If I'm going to be indoors I apply a sunscreen balm directly over my face and blend in with a makeup brush. If I'm going out for the day I use a gentle natural sunscreen and thin it out with DED in the palm of my hand and apply it like a moisturizer. If you're going to wear foundation this is when you can add color to the sunscreen/antioxidant protection mix for a light tinted DIY moisturizer with sunscreen. It's fantastic! After all that is done I apply yet another drop of DED and I'm ready for a little cream blush, mascara or nothing at all. If you're one of those ladies that likes to wear makeup to the beach this self made tinted UV moisturizer is for you!
4. After Sun Treatment
If your weekend will be spent at the beach or poolside and you are a skincare fanatic you're probably wondering what after-sun treatment will help repair UV exposure. First, even wearing sunscreen and being diligent about applying it every 2-3 hours won't keep your skin from suffering from some sun trauma. Help repair skin with antioxidants and plenty of Vitamin E found in both our DED and pure Barbary Fig Seed Oil. I also like argan oil for after sun treatment and the incredible skin soothing formula in our Tesoro Mediterranean Blend is a favorite of our customers for after sun exposure. (Bonus: it also helps keep skin from breaking out, but you must make sure to use sunscreen with this product if you're outdoors as the citrus in this blend can cause photo sensitivity.) Personally, pure high grade barbary fig seed oil is a skin savior! Applying a little BFSO on sunburns also soothes and helps to repair damage quickly. I've never seen any other product or skincare ingredient work as quickly on sunburned skin, not even aloe vera! If I spend a good amount of time outdoors I will seek healing repair from our Bio Active Healing Mask, a heaven sent product for healing and hydration after a long day at the beach.
These are some of our best tips and advice for caring for summer skin. We've been way ahead of the game with our honey treatments for healing and exfoliation and lately it's all the buzz in celebrity circles and skincare enthusiasts, which is fun to see. Stay tuned for Part II in our Summer Beauty Tips And Guidance where we will share great ideas to implement for your body and haircare. We'd also like to invite you to take 15% off of Daily Elements Defense Face Oil starting today, Wednesday May 22 until Monday May 28th, 2013 with code: FunandSun at checkout only at our online shop. Remember to wear a hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen this weekend, but mostly importantly have a wonderful holiday weekend and enjoy your beautiful life!