Beautiful Summer Skin

It is important to take good care of your skin during our long summer in Australia, particularly if your skin has received far more sun exposure than usual.

Tips to maintain beautiful skin during summer:

1. Drink lots of purified or spring water as the sun has a very drying effect and the skin (and body) becomes dehydrated.  If you have been exercising or sweating heavily, make sure you replace the minerals lost during these times.

Electrolytes are minerals made up of potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium and can be depleted after exercise or during hot weather. They create electrical charges throughout the body that help the muscles and heart work properly. Our bodies may not be able to create electrolytes as fast as we are losing them in sweat, and we may need to find ways to replace them. Coconut water contains electrolytes and is refreshing, hydrating and a great way to replace these lost minerals. It is available at most health foods stores. Watermelon juice is also a good way to replace lost minerals and to rehydrate the body on a hot day.

2. Exfoliate once or twice a week to prolong your tan and remove the build-up of dead skin. See recipe for honey exfoliant or milk and honey scrub below. Do not expose your skin to the sun after you have exfoliated without first applying an all-natural sunscreen.

3. Cleanse the skin with a natural product such as aloe vera gel. Soak a cotton pad with the gel and gently wipe your face, neck and chest area to remove dirt and grime (you will also be feeding your skin with essential nutrients at the same time). Cucumber is also a natural cleanser – juice a small organic lebanese cucumber, apply to a cotton pad and gently remove make-up or grime from your face, neck and chest area. For tired, puffy eyes, soak cotton pads in cucumber juice, squeeze out the excess and put over the eyes for 10 minutes. Cucumber is great for the skin as it contains silicon.

4. Moisturise at least twice a day with a chemical/paraben free cream or light organic oil such as camellia, olive, hemp seed, sweet almond or avocado. Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturiser and provides the skin with many essential nutrients. Remember that everything we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies, so it is advisable to choose skin or hair products with as many ‘natural’ ingredients as possible.

5. Only spend short periods of time to prevent the skin from burning – 10 minutes is enough (we need sunlight to absorb vitamin D – click here). If you go out in the hottest part of the day, always wear a hat and apply a good-quality natural suntan cream (always read the label to avoid artificial chemicals) and reapply after swimming. Too much exposure to the sun without suntan cream can cause the skin to burn or become dehydrated and begin to age prematurely. Sunburn damages the cells of the skin and may lead to skin cancers.

6. Avoid refined, heavy foods, tea, coffee sugary soft drinks or too much alcohol (this is very dehydrating). Instead eat plenty of summer fruit, salads, and drink juices (click here to read ‘Juicing for Health and Vitality’).

Natural after-sun face care:

Organic, virgin coconut oil/butter is easily absorbed through the skin. It is ideal to soften dry, rough or wrinkled skin and for the damag caused by over-exposure to the sun.

Aloe vera gel contains amino acids, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and proteins to help rehydrate, and soothe the skin, particularly if you have sunburn. Its polysaccarides contain hydrogen and ormus (click here to read about ormus) which increase hydration of the skin cells.

Researchers have found that aloe vera applied externally has the ability to reach the deepest body tissues, penetrating some seven layers. Research at the University of Texas showed that aloe penetrates human skin almost four times faster than water. Click here to read more about Aloe Vera.

Rosehip Oil is great for the skin, particularly as it contains 80% essential fatty acids and is rich in vitamin C – the vitamin essential for the production of collagen.  It is beneficial for sunburn and rehydrates dry or aging skin.

Vitamin E, because of its antioxidant activity, is vital in protecting skin cells from ultra violet light, pollution and other elements that produce cell damaging free radicals. The oil may be applied to the skin before applying suntan cream. As vitamin E oil is generally thick, it can be mixed with other oils such as rosehip, sweet almond, hemp seed etc.

Raw, organic honey has natural anti-oxidant properties and protects the skin from premature aging and may help with the damage caused by ultraviolet light. Try adding half a cup of honey to your bath water to moisturise and smooth skin after spending time in the sun.

Hemp seed oil used in cosmetics and skin care products, contains a high amount of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acids), which makes it an important ingredient in anti-inflammatory skin care formulations. It helps balance dry skin and fight skin inflammation, it is a non-greasy and moisturizing compound with excellent anti-aging and moisture balancing properties.

Honey face mask:

Peel, core and chop an apple, add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1/2 teaspoon of pure vitamin E oil. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Apply to face for 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry. Ideal for all skin types, particularly dry or aging skin.

Honey exfoliant:

Combine 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of finely ground almonds, 2 tablespoons finely ground oatmeal with lemon juice (for oily skin) or yoghurt (for dry skin) until completely mixed.
Apply to face, gently massage with circular movements for one minute. Rinse with tepid water, pat dry and apply moisturiser as needed.

Milk and honey facial scrub:

Milk and honey are both soothing and nourishing to the skin as both have natural properties that help with irritated skin and redness from too much exposure to the sun. Milk contains lactic acid which is a gentle exfoliant and a good source of vitamin A and D to nourish the complexion. Whole milk is also a powerful soother for dry or itchy skin.

Mix whole (raw if possible) milk – use skim milk for oily skin – and organic honey in equal amounts to make a paste.
Apply to face and gently massage with the fingertips for one minute. Rinse and pat dry.

Honey and clay exfoliating mask for oily or combination skin:

1tbsp. honey
1tbsp. calcium bentonite clay
2 tbsp. water (more or less as required)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
You may also add 1 or 2 drops of either lemon, orange or lime essential oils

How to prepare:

Mix the honey with water, add the clay and the lemon juice or essential oils until completely mixed.
Apply to your face and neck and massage with small circular movements. Avoid eye area.
Leave the mask to dry (about 10 minutes) and then rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water. Apply moisturiser.

This mask is ideal for oily or combination skin but not for very dry or dehydrated skin. The clay will deeply cleanse your skin, absorb excess oil and shrink large pores.

Sea Salt Soak Bath recipe:

The minerals and salts in this combination make the bath water feel silky and leave your skin feeling deeply cleansed and soft.

1 cup pure sea salt
2 cups baking soda
1 cup Epsom salts
1 to 2 tablespoons glycerin or raw honey

Combine the sea salts, baking soda, and Epsom salts in a bowl.
Stir to blend.
Pour 1/4 cup or so into the bath while the tub is filling.
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons glycerin or honey to keep your skin from drying out (more for dry skin, less for oily skin)
10 drops essential oils of your choice – e.g. Rose Geranium, Lavender, sandalwood etc.

Facial Exfoliant:

In the palm of your hand, mix 1/2 teaspoon of bi-carbonate soda (baking soda) with your facial cleanser for an excellent and gentle exfoliant.
Use circular motions to apply, then rinse, pat dry and apply your normal moisturiser.
For rough skin on elbows and feet, make a thick paste with baking soda and water (about 3 parts baking soda to one part water) and scrub to remove dead skin.

Zinc for skin repair:

Zinc is a natural insect repellent and a natural sunscreen (zinc oxide effectively blocks the suns ultraviolet rays – choose a sunscreen containing zinc oxide).
Zinc also plays a role in stimulating the transport of vitamin A from the liver to the skin and helps repair damaged tissues and heal wounds.
Make sure you eat foods that contains zinc for without adequate zinc levels, the process of skin rejuvenation, particularly if sunburned, is slow.

Beta-carotene, lycopene (forms of vitamin A) Vitamin E and skin repair:

Beta-carotene, lycopene, and the other carotenoids (all forms of vitamin A) are especially helpful in preventing damage from sunburn. One of the benefits of vitamin E  is to provide a chemical known as alpha-tocopherol to recharge lycopene and the other carotenoids so they can continue doing their job in keeping your skin healthy. Add a few drops of pure vitamin A and E oil to your favourite moisturiser, particuarly during summer to help protect the skin from sun-damage.

Finally …

The benefits of bathing in a beautiful unpolluted sea have long been recognised around the globe. If you cannot have a holiday by the seaside, take a bath with one or two cups of pure, unprocessed sea salt. The minerals contained in this salt will revitalise the body and beautify the skin of the entire body. If you have water restrictions in your area, there is no need to fill the entire bath. All you need is enough water to just cover the body. Don’t forget to leave this precious water in after you have bathed – simply add a bit more hot water and reuse – after all, the sea does not need to be drained every time we have a swim!

The health of our skin is generally reflected by our inner health. Summer is a great time to juice and to eat raw fruit and vegetables to both nourish and cleanse the body, and to promote beautiful skin!

Take care of your skin and don’t forget to ‘slip, slop and slap’ – spending too much time in the sun without adequate sunscreen or wearing a hat or clothing to cover your skin is both dangerous and damaging to the skin. The effects of which may not be seen for many years.

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