Our days of longest light – what a delight! Summertime is a time of celebration and a time to feel the sun and fresh air on our skin. Our largest organ synthesizes vitamin D1, is a barrier to pathogens and can release as much acidic waste as one kidney! It is also vulnerable to damage by ultraviolet light, which is more intense on the planet at this time, so remember a little exposure of the skin can go a long way. Here are a few ways to honor your skin during the summer months . .
- Dry Brushing – all those dead skin cells that are still clinging to the top layer (epidermis) of skin can be helped off with vigorous short strokes using a natural bristle dry brush. This accelerates detoxification and stimulates collagen production in the lower layer (dermis). Try this before stepping into a bath or shower.
- Salt or Sugar Scrub – you can buy a ready-made product or make your own (see below). Massage the salt or sugar-plus-oil mix onto your skin (have a friend do your back) and leave on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off. Do not use soap afterwards, so the remaining oil nourishes. On a hot day, refresh yourself by doing this procedure outside and hosing off!
- Cover-up – protect your skin from UV exposure by using a natural sun block (uses zinc oxide or titanium oxide particles that reflect light back) or clothing that covers. Avoid cancer-causing chemical sunscreen and watch out for the intensified rays when light mirrors off water (swimming, skiing and yes, foggy weather).
- Nourish inside and out – eat anti-oxidant-rich foods that naturally protect skin and help with repair from sun-damage (all those summer berries, cherries and greens from the garden!). Feed your skin topically with pure aloe, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, comfrey salve, rosehip oil, sea buckthorn oil, rose or lavender hydrosol and essential oils that restore (rose geranium, sweet range, blood orange, lavender and carrot seed).
Recipe for salt or sugar scrub:
Chose sea/pink/dead sea salt (more detoxifying and drawing) or brown sugar (more soothing and softening) and use 1/2-3/4 cup. Add 1/4-1/2 cup jojoba or almond oil or the amount it takes to make a slop (about consistency of very wet oatmeal), add essential oils of your choice – some examples: lemon, grapefruit and lavender for stimulating, or rose geranium, ylang ylang and carrot seed for repair and mix well.