With summer just around the corner many of us are dreading the thought of more skin exposure. While we all want to wear the latest fashions and keep cool in shorts and tank tops and adorn ourselves in a bikini or bathing suit at the beach, we want our skin to look its best! Whether we are concerned about eczema, psoriasis, acne and dryness or simply skin that’s been weathered by winter, it’s now time to treat and prepare our skin for the summer. Here are some tips to follow for specific skin types and common concerns.
Calendula creams and ointments are great for relieving painful fissures, redness, and itchiness, scaling, oozing and burning. They are also great for sunburns, bug bites and scratches.
Coconut oil is an awesome body and hair moisturizer. Please do eat it too! Coconut oil has been given a bad rap for being a saturated fat but people must know that there is a different between good and bad saturated fats. Coconut oil is one of the “good guys” because it’s a medium-chain fatty acid, which is easier to digest. We do need some good sources of saturated fats for many bodily processes like cholesterol control, hormone and blood sugar regulation and immune function. It promotes lean body mass by improving the thermogenic effect and it can help to prevent and treat dementia and Alzheimer’s. One to two tablespoons a day is all you need! To apply it on your skin, simply scoop a small amount out and warm it up in your hands or go right ahead and apply because it melts with the slightest amount of heat.
GLA (gamm linolenic acid) found in borage oil is wonderful to take internally as a supplement. It reduces inflammation and nourishes the skin from the inside out. The contents of the softgel can also be applied topically. Simply pierce the softgel, squeeze and apply. This can even be done on babies too! Since babies cannot take pills nursing Mom’s can take this supplement and babies can reap the benefits too.
Omega 3 found in fish oils, flax, chia and hemp seed are also great for all skin types, including acne. Like GLA, it reduces inflammation and nourishes the skin. These oils do so much more for the body too. They can help improve brain function, circulation, immune function, as well as reduce heart disease, reduce pain and much more.
Probiotics are good bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. Bad bacteria can wreak havoc in and on our body and probiotics can counter their effect. These bad bacteria promote inflammation inside and out, cause bloating, gas and cramping, disrupt bowel regulation, reduce immune function and promote skin problems. The reality is that we will never be without the bad. About 1-2% of body mass is bacteria, equaling about 3-5 pounds of body weight and the foreign bacteria in and on our body out numbers our human cells 10:1. Isn’t that reason enough to take a probiotic supplement?!
Diet is key for all skin types. Reduce or avoid gluten, dairy and refined foods. Focus on whole grains such as rice, amaranth, quinoa and millet. Include good fats like nuts, seeds and their oils, fish, avocado, eggs, and wheat germ (not gluten free). Even with acne, good fats and oils taken internally can help. Eat a whole food diet and try to refrain from manmade and processed foods.
For all skin types, a good regimen will help to keep our skin healthy and beautiful for years to come.
Exfoliate on a weekly basis. Exfoliating removes dead skin that can make us look older, dryer and duller. Body exfoliation should be done when skin is dry before bathing or showering. The face is usually exfoliated wet. Do not over exfoliate! Doing so can deplete the skin of its natural oils and probiotics which we need for protection.
Do not forget the sunscreen! Our number one enemy is the sun when it comes to aging. Wearing sunscreen year round can help us fight the signs of aging dramatically. Apply sunscreen before moisturizing. It needs to be able to penetrate the skin to work effectively and if applied after the moisturizer it has less potential to protect us properly.
Moisturize well after exfoliating and sunscreen application. This might take some trial and error to find the right product. For acne prone skin, avoid moisturizers containing oils and look for some with glycolic acid. For dry skin and eczema, look for some with natural oils like emu, almond and jojoba. Shea butter is great for all skin types including acne prone and products containing vegetable glycerin are also good for acne prone and most other skin types. Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it pulls moisture from the atmosphere to balance skin. Make sure that the glycerin is from a true and natural vegetable source as other sources can irritate the skin.
Makeup is last to apply. Look for makeup that is free of any chemicals. There are plenty out there. Look for brands like Couleurs Caramel, Zuii, Earth Lab, Dr. Hauschka and Primitive.
Please don’t suntan or use a tanning bed! Too much sun and UV exposure ages us and can cause cancer. If looking for a sunless glow there are many natural products available at your local health food store like Sukin Sunless Bronzing Gel and Pacifica Bronzing Butter.
Remember that the skin is a permeable organ so anything applied topically can and will be absorbed into the body. Therefore, look for products that are free from parabens and chemicals. The number one rule is if you can’t eat it don’t put it on your skin!
Cellulite is unfortunately very difficult to get rid of as it consists of fat cells that are trapped between layers of skin. However, there is a way to make it look less unsightly. Step 1: Exfoliate in a circular motion daily. Step 2: In a bath, pour in 1 cup of Flora FlorEssence and soak for 30 minutes. Step 3: Drink 2 ounces of Salus celery juice daily. Doing this for three months can improve the look of cellulite prone areas but be mindful that this process needs to be revisited throughout the year as its effects do wear off over time.
With all the great products on the market for healthy skin this article could go on and on! Hopefully this will give most of us a good start to getting our skin glowing for the summer so you can throw on that beautiful summer dress and show off healthy beautiful skin all summer long!