Being smacked dab in the middle of summer is both a great thing and a hard thing. The bounty of summer fruit and vegetables is always my favorite part. I am always in awe over simple foods providing my palate such thrills. Throwing zucchini, eggplant or asparagus on the grill transforms a meal and a splash of fresh lemon or balsamic vinegar adds a coveted and rich kiss to veggies just pulled out of the garden. There are picnics to plan, beach dates, trips to the pool with my crew of nieces and nephews and the long warm days turn into blissful summer evenings filled with watching fireflies and indulging with ice cream on the front steps as we revel in life like no other time of the year. Summer is just filled with simple joyous moments! From a beauty standpoint however, summer is tough on us. Hot sticky days make me look like Medusa melting away and my skin becomes congested no matter how much water, Green Goddess juices or coconut water I drink. (Funny how vacations make the skin glow!) What is a beauty obsessed girl to do? Time to go back to basics we say and kind of chill out. No pun intended.
Skin in big cities seem to suffer the most. And some of the biggest sins are committed during this time as well. Too many beauty gals end up using harsh soap on their face and over-wash their hair to feel squeaky clean. Getting skueaky clean means losing natural skin oils that protect and balance important hormones. When you’re living in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or even Toronto (hot as heck when I visited just last week) summer can be a killer for your skin if you don’t take precaution and we are all about skin smarts at La Bella Figura. We wrote a great blog post last year with excellent tips on how to care for your skin, but we wanted to write a little about what to avoid to preserve your good habits and keep your skin from whacking out completely.
After nearly two days in Toronto where it was hotter than it
was in Chicago and quite humid I looked in the mirror and saw my skin congested
with a few dry patches. Yes, it happens your skin can quickly dry out in
humidity! There wasn’t much I could do while I was traveling, but I knew as
soon as I got back home I was going to give my skin a long Bio Active Healing
Mask treatment and a gentle face bath with our new Jardin de Fleurs Skin
Revitalizer, my skin felt great and the dry patches were exfoliated away with
the vanilla seeds and rich minerals from the healing mask. Glad to report my
skin looks great this week, but I had to remember to pamper myself a bit during
extreme temperatures. I really should have done the mask before the trip as it maintains a good PH balance and is very moisturizing and helps exfoliate dead skin cells. This would have avoided the dry patches from forming. Thinking ahead is important for summer skin.
If you are trying to keep your skin in consistently good
condition while living fast in the city a few DIY treatments with a committed
skin care regimen can make all the difference in the world. One of my new
favorite DIY is a PH balancing and bacteria clearing toner. We like this
because our skin suffers a lot of exhaust absorption and some of the particles
in a poof of city bus exhaust will remain topically on your skin as well. If
you’ve ever wondered what all the yucky dark stuff rinsing off your face at the end of the day is you can
blame it on that! In any case, after cleansing your face when you walk in the
door from urban outings, try this toner before applying serums or moisturizers
and you’ll begin to see a consistent reaction and good PH balance. We also
recommend, very strongly recommend you boost up your acidophilus and good
bacteria intake. This will help with all the contributors that also increases
acne outbreaks. We receive many alarmed emails about acne during summer and a
great deal of people believe it’s the hot weather when it’s really is a few
contributing factors one can easily eliminate. Stressed skin causes overactive sebum production, skin congestion, and chronic
touching of the face with unclean hands (when your pores are swelled with
moisture thus allowing your skin to absorb bacteria faster) will lead to more
breakouts. When I see someone touch their face on the subway after they were
holding on to the train strap I want to scream out, "NOOOOO!" It’s such a big no-no and
we aren’t even conscious of this thread of infection that will undoubtedly show
up on our face by the end of the day.
Nicole Ritchie always maintains a lovely bohemian summer vibe!
Hair is another cause of skin congestion and breakouts because some people use too many products and then allow hair to touch skin by being loose and free. If you can’t cut back on your hair products try one of the sweet summer hairstyles from Pinterest. I am of those people that never really learned how to fix her hair so I mostly wear my hair loose and bohemian, but I’m learning from Karen (the other half of LBF) because she always wears her hair so chic with darling side brains, or French twists. (Oh, how I wish Karen could fix my hair up for me everyday, but one day I’m going to learn all her secrets. She’s great at applying makeup too!) I do not like using a lot of hair products, as a matter of fact I hardly ever use anything besides a few drops of Bohemia Verde Aromatic Hair Elixir. I’m a wash, air dry and go type and on days I curl (often th rest of the year) and blowdry (hardly ever) I add a drop or two of BV to smooth out frizz, style and go. I dislike crunchy hair so I will NEVER use hairspray or mousse or any hair product that won’t allow my tresses to move about freely. I also find these products contain a lot of alcohol which fries your hair with overuse. I do love a clean beach wave product and there are a few that are lovely, but generally I make a DIY beach wave spray that’s easy, adds texture and detoxes from tons of hair product use with the secret ingredient of...baking soda. Keeping hair clean will keep skin clear so when you can use headbands to keep bangs off your face. Top knots are so very, very chic and comfortable and I was able to master this style quite easily.
It's all about conscious maintenance and you can have beautiful skin all summer long! Enjoy summer while it lasts and have fun with your weekly masks, DIY recipes and daily serums and moisturizers.
In beauty and good health,
DIY Skin Clearing Summer Toner
1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
A few organic lemon peels
a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
At a low temperature heat lemon peels and thyme leaves in water for about 10 minutes. You want this to simmer and not to boil. Take off heat after 10 minutes and allow to cool. Strain lemon and thyme leaves and add the healing mixture into a clean bottle then add the apple cider vinegar, shake and you're ready to use! Keep the toner in the fridge for about a week and use on a cotton pad after cleansing daily.
DIY Volumizing Sea Salt Bohemian Spray
1/2 cup coconut water
1 1/2 cups rose water
1 teaspoon sea salt (I use Spanish sea salt, very fine)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
At low temperature heat the rose water in a pan and add salt, baking soda and coconut oil to combine. Take of heat when coconut oil melts (this is a rather quick process) and allow to cool then add pure coconut water, mix gently and add to a spray bottle, shake and spritz on slightly damp hair. You can also use on dry hair to add texture and volume. I like to twist my hair into four separate knots allow to dry, then let loose for truly lovely soft waves. Add a few drops of Bohemia Verde Aromatic Hair Elixir to ends to keep well conditioned. Ta-da, you're now a gorgeous carefree summer beach nymph!