Summer Fresh Skin

by Purple Herbal

Summer is a great time to get your skin looking its best. The hot and humid weather helps to open pores, and the longer days give more opportunities to take time for yourself, in order to pamper your skin and make it fresh for summer.

Usually people get a lot more sun exposure this time of year, so it is important to make sure your skin is protected from potential damage. While I don’t advocate using sunscreen all the time, as sunscreen has been shown to accelerate cancer growth, and sun exposure is needed for vitamin D production (which is necessary for healthy immune functioning), it is important to take precautions to ensure your skin improves during the hot summer months.

Some tips for getting summer fresh skin:

1. Drink plenty of water. This is extremely important. Your skin is a reflection of your state of health on the inside. Drinking lots of water flushes out toxins and keeps your skin moist. The heat of summer makes us sweat more, so replenishing those lost fluids is important. Make sure you’re drinking purified water. Tap/city water usually contains lots of added elements like chlorine and fluoride, plus heavy metals like lead or iron. The point is to get rid of toxins, not introduce more into your system.

2. Gently Cleanse. Using a high quality cleanser to clear your skin of sweat and dirt is of utmost importance. I use Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap. It is gentle, yet effective at cleaning my skin. There are many different varieties/scents of castile soap to choose from, depending on your skin type. Lavender/rose/unscented for sensitive. Citrus/peppermint/tea tree for oily/acne prone. Almond/lavender/rose for dry. Make sure whatever cleanser you choose doesn’t contain any lauryl or laureth sulfates, as well as petroleum based ingredients. These are very damaging to the skin and should be avoided.

Exfoliate. Using a salt or sugar scrub helps to remove dead skin cells, which brings new fresh skin cells to the surface, keeping your skin looking it’s best. Though I recommend using salt or sugar to exfoliate, I personally do a dry skin rub with a skin brush every day. It’s a much less messy way to shed the dead skin and bring new skin to the surface. My skin always feels so invigorated after I exfoliate. Dry skin brushing is known to keep skin looking young and healthy. Check out my post on dry skin brushing for more information.

3. Astringent/Toner. These help to close your pores and remove any excess cleanser and dirt. If your skin is oily, you’ll want to use an astringent, which usually contains some alcohol. A toner does not contain any alcohol. I recommend rose water for dry skin. Witch hazel for oily/acne prone. I love the way my skin feels after using an astringent. It’s an important step to do before moisturizing, as it helps get the skin ready for it.

4. Moisturize. Making sure the skin on your face and body is well moisturized is key during the summer. Air conditioning zaps moisture from your skin. I like to use a simple oil like rose hip seed oil, which is considered a dry oil. It’s very light and great for dry and oily skin alike. I don’t like feeling as though I am wearing a mask when I put a face cream on in the summer, hence my using just a simple oil. I do use an organic body lotion on the rest of my body to make sure I look fresh and glowing in my summer dresses and skirts.

5. Fresh face masks. There’s so much fresh produce this time of year that it is a great time to take advantage of all that mother nature has to offer for our skin. Putting fresh fruits and vegetables (or farm fresh egg whites and yolks) helps to revitalize it with vitamins and minerals. It’s so quick and easy. If your skin is oily, grab a lemon or strawberry and apply some of the juice on your face and let it dry for a quick skin peel. For dry skin, mash a banana or avocado and let sit on your face for about 30 minutes. Sliced cucumber is great for any skin type and also for red/puffy eyes. See my post Face Masks For All Skin Types for more information.

6. Sun protection. I have, some would say bad, habit of  not using sunscreen all the time. I enjoy getting a nice sun kissed glow when I am out, so I usually don’t wear it unless I am going to spend all day at the beach. When I do use sunscreen, I like to use a natural sunscreen like coconut oil or avocado oil. Alba makes a really nice dry oil sunscreen that I use in order to keep my skin moisturized yet protected when I in the sun.  Avocado oil as well as olive oil contains natural SPF.

On a sidenote, if you do get a sunburn, aloe very gel is a great way to treat the burn and heal the skin.