Treat Your Skin to a Super Summer
Sunlight is amazing! When it touches our skin, it makes vitamin D, which can play a role in the reduction of acne, rosacea, and psoriasis, and also in protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Unfortunately, those rays have an adverse affect on our skin that can cause irreversible damage and even, in serious cases, illness. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean having to hole-up inside all summer, trembling behind closed curtains. Get out! Enjoy the sun! And bring on those days of carefree, barefoot frolicking by the water. Here's how to do it safely and beautifully!
Avoid sunshine woe and keep your evanescent glow
We open our arms to a long-awaited, extraterrestrial caress that has travelled 149,600,000 kilometres to bring warmth to our cheeks. And while catching some summer rays is important for our health, mood, sleep patterns, and skin elasticity, we still have to approach the sun with care and moderation.
You can still enjoy summer’s radiance but do it with the right kit and caboodle! It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to buy, what not to buy, and what to run the other way from! We’ve got you covered (literally!) with our tips on how to save your skin and simplify your makeup routine. It’s really that easy!
Protect and moisturize in one nourishing step
Sunscreen, and some sun blocks, can contain nasty ingredients that disrupt hormones, create cell damage, and cause skin sensitization. When looking for sun protection this summer, stay away from ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, octocrylene and paraben preservatives. General rule of thumb: if you can’t read it, don’t use it (at least until you Google it)! Look for an all-natural formula that has broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with a zinc oxide that goes on clear; bonus points if it features ingredients like shea butter, red raspberry seed oil, and carrot seed oil for added moisturizing and photoprotective properties.
Cover up, don’t soak it up
Consider covering up with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rated clothing and beach attire. Why is this so important? Covering up properly cuts down on the chemicals sinking into your skin from sun-protection products. And while any old hat and tee might seem like a reasonable alternative, they’re probably not giving you the UV protection you think (even less so when the fabric is wet and stretched!) UPF clothing tells you how much UV radiation penetrates the fabric and can mean a lot less time spent slathering on sloppy sunblock! Thankfully, UPF clothing has come a long way, and there are lots of cute styles out there at very reasonable prices.
Succulent sunburn support
No one wants a sunburn. But, they happen. And instead of turning to one of those fragrance- and chemical-laden after-sun products, why not use simple succulents? Aloe vera is high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is an age-old staple that actually works! Some users find it to be just as effective as a hydrocortisone cream on inflamed skin areas. Keeping an aloe vera plant in your home is a great way to ensure that you have 100% pure aloe at the ready for burns and injuries. If you need commercial aloe on the go, make sure to read labels carefully, and choose a gel with as few added ingredients as possible.
Face-time – with yourself!
Make sure to take time to give your face some apres sun TLC, with a gentle, nourishing mask made from summer-friendly foods you probably already have in your kitchen!
Gentle Zucchini Skin Soother
Zucchini, summer’s sweetheart squash, is high in magnesium, which is extra-super for after-sun care as it can help with lightening pigmentation, blemishes, and marks.
- ¼ avocado, peeled
- ¼ zucchini, grated
- 1 Tbsp honey (omit for a vegan mask)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Puree avocado with honey and lemon juice. Add in grated zucchini and mix until well-combined.
- Slather on skin and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse well.
It’s OK to fake it!
Who doesn’t want that summer glow? The problem is that unprotected or excessive exposure comes at a pretty high cost. In an effort to minimize that risk, using cosmetics to create the same wonderful effect is a great option, but your cosmetic products, including the waterproof ones, may create even more damage, especially in heat when pores are open.
Watch out for aluminum powder, a commonly used colourant, and which has a known link to interference with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system. Silicone and propylene glycol create texture (that helps makeup stay put) and help to retain moisture but increasingly are associated with breakouts and skin sensitivities. Bismuth oxychloride is a naturally occurring mineral and has been used since the days of Cleopatra to achieve glowy skin. Although it is naturally occurring, the majority of bismuth on the market today is obtained through the processing of lead and copper. It is further refined and altered to remove impurities, like lead and tellurium. And while this refined version is believed to be not toxic to humans when used in cosmetics, it has been linked to serious skin irritation and cystic acne.Use this instead!
Look for these hardworking, naturally derived stand-ins to replace those nasties in conventional makeup.
- Oryza sativa (rice starch)
- Camellia sinensis (organic micronized black tea)* leaf extract
- Vegetable glycerin
- Xanthan gum
- Sclerocarya birrea (marula) seed oil
- Copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax
- Glyceryl caprylate
- Theobroma cacao (organic cocoa) seed butter
- Vitellaria paradoxa or Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)
- Silica (as long as not used in an aerosol product)
When trying to find clean cosmetics, it means looking at what a product doesn’t contain, such as big no-no’s like heavy metals and phthalates. Invest in a few high quality, easy-to-apply, and made-with-good-ingredients products, perfect for that beach vacation or even to just perk up your work-day/city-staycation, and keep your skin looking fresh, glowing, and totally summer-ready in minutes! Try the tips that follow and, as always, do your homework, read those labels, and protect that glorious, beautiful skin you’re in!
Embrace the bronzer!
Use a thin, fan-shaped brush to get light, subtle coverage. Dust the bronzer on your eyelids, just above your cheekbones, and on the apples of your cheeks. You can also put a little on your forehead, temples, chin, and décolletage (basically anywhere the sun would hit your body naturally).
Add a shimmery eye shadow
Think soft, muted colours like nude and pink. Humidity and heat can cause colours to melt on the eyelids, so natural shades close to your own skin tone will show less creasing.
Swipe on some mascara
A few light strokes on the top lashes will do the job without ending your evening in a runny, raccoon-eyed mess!
Grab a go-to gloss
Think neutral, lightly tinted, or clear! No mirror needed for this application. A quick dash across your lips, toss into your purse or pocket, and you’re out the door!
Voilà! A summer glow to go!