Skin & Sun Care Information for the Summertime
We all know that protecting our skin during the summertime is extremely important, but what else can we do to keep our skin healthy and balanced during this sunshine-filled season? Since this season is filled with spending time outdoors in the sunshine, whether it be gardening, swimming, hiking, camping, or simply relaxing in the backyard, all the sunshine and activities can really affect our skin. So, we've created this guide to help you keep your skin nourished, supported, fresh, and clean, and balanced this summer.
Below are some of the best ways that you can help maintain your skin's health and vitality throughout the summer months (and beyond!):
1. Sunscreen. Since we don't offer sunscreen in our shop, customers regularly ask us for suggestions on which sunscreens to buy. My absolute FAVORITE place to gather information is the Environmental Working Group (EWG) which offers a very thorough list of the best sunscreens available. They've analyzed thousands (yes, thousands!) of sunscreens, and have rated them for health and environmental concerns, plus they've analyzed every ingredient in the sunscreens and list any potential side effects and precautions. Here is a link where you can access their sunscreen guide (and so much more!)
When you access the link above, you'll immediately see a search field where you can search for your sunscreen to see how safe it is, and if it has any safety or health concerns. Then, you'll see several articles about the top rated sunscreens (including sunscreens for babies and children), read articles about the best sunscreens (updated annually), learn which ingredients and types of ingredients to avoid, and there's so much more!
For our family, we opt for reef and eco friendly options without harmful chemicals and fragrances. Some brands that we have personally used and enjoyed include: Alba Botanica, Badger, All Good, and Coola. There are many other options, these are simply some of the brands that we've tried and would recommend. It can be overwhelming when shopping for products like sunscreen, so I'll often shop for products like these in a health food store where the selection has already been limited (thus less labels to read), then will look through the ingredient lists to find the cleanest options. And again, the EWG's guide is super helpful and I highly recommend using it!
2. Exfoliation. It's important to exfoliate year round, but especially so during the summer months in order to slough off dead and dull skin cells, remove excess oils, dirt, and impurities, improve circulation, and to minimize breakouts and maintain healthy skin.
For facial care, a good goal is to exfoliate 1-2 times per week with a facial cleansing scrub, plus exfoliate daily with a silk sea sponge (or very gentle facial washcloth). The frequency of exfoliation ultimately depends on your skin type, your activities, and your skin's needs. Our Lavender + Calendula Facial Exfoliating Cleansing Grains are very gentle, and can be used once or twice per week by all skin types, and our silk facial sea sponges can be used daily.
For the body, we offer ayate washcloths made from botanical fibers and sustainably harvested bath sea sponges. These are perfect for exfoliating daily as well as weekly. If you'd like a body exfoliating scrub as well, we have an easy DIY Vanilla + Mint Exfoliating Body Scrub recipe available on our blog that you can easily make at home with just a few common ingredients.
3. Hydration. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water! Externally, especially in dry climates, it's helpful to keep a bottle filled with water or an aloe vera + water mixture available, and mist it on the face and body if your skin feels dry throughout the day. Keep the bottle stored in a refrigerator if you'd like a cooling as well as hydrating treatment.
4. Stay moisturized. Continue to moisturize as needed during the summertime, especially at night and if you have dry and mature skin. Many of us may need to switch to a lighter weight moisturizer during the summer months, one that soaks in easily and doesn't clog pores. Yet, you may still need a thicker and more concentrated product at night to deeply nourish and moisturize your skin while you sleep. It really all depends on the climate that you live in, your skin type, and your lifestyle, so watch your skin and listen to it's clues to see what your skin is needing during this season.
Our Serum of the Month subscription plan is a great way to make sure that you have serums specifically designed for each season on hand! You can check them out here, plus we sometimes will have seasonal limited edition serums available in our shop. If you need assistance picking out the right serum for your skin type, feel free to reach out to us or see our guide here for finding your skin type and our suggestions for your skin type.
5. Cleansing. During the summer months, we often spend more time outdoors and we sweat more, which often results in the need to cleanse more often. When washing the face and body, it's important to use gentle and natural cleansers to remove excess oils, dirt, and debris without stripping away the beneficial natural oils that your skin needs to stay balanced. We have two botanical facial washes in our shop which are perfect for year round use, as well as three botanical body washes. All of our soap-based products are designed to gently cleanse and balance the skin, without stripping away beneficial oils, irritating, drying out the skin, and causing skin to become imbalanced.
Applying a clay mask once per week is a great way to do a deeper cleanse than soap alone can provide. Since we often spend much more time outdoors in the summer, our skin is exposed to more dirt, sweat, pollutants, and other things that can clog pores. Clay masks deeply cleanse, increase and improve circulation, naturally remove oils, impurities, tone and tighten skin, and bring a fresh and healthy glow. We especially recommend our Lavender & Comfrey Botanical Clay Mask and Cacao, Maca & Reishi Clay Mask - both can be used by all skin types and are completely natural.
6. Toning. Facial toners are an important, yet often overlooked, part of daily skin care routines. They improve the skin’s tone and texture by naturally cleansing and toning pores, help adjust pH levels, remove impurities, excess oils, and residues left behind after washing, balance, and prep skin for applying a moisturizer. Our line of facial toners are made from organic witch hazel extract which has been infused with botanicals, flower waters, pure essential oils, and plant extracts. They are extremely gentle, uplifting, mild, refreshing, balancing, and suitable for all skin types. We offer two toners in our shop (both can be used by all skin types): Lavender + Calendula and Sage, Mint + Yarrow.
We also have two certified organic and preservative-free hydrosols available, Neroli and Rose, which are very gentle, soothing, and can be used by all skin types (bonus: they also help calm and cool sunburned skin). Note: we also have a limited-edition Chamomile hydrosol available which is wonderful for all skin types, ages, and beneficial for after-sun care and skin irritations. You can view all of our hydrosols here.
7. Sunburn Treatments. If your skin gets sunburned, or feels hot and flushed after being in the sun, then make sure to calm, cool, and soothe your skin. A simple and well-known natural treatment is aloe vera gel, which is safe and can be used as needed. During the summer months, it's helpful to keep a bottle of aloe vera gel in the refrigerator to have on hand as needed (keeping it cold increases the cooling and calming effects). You can also add a couple drops of peppermint essential oil to the aloe vera gel to make it more refreshing, or lavender essential oil to help heal and calm. Another simple and safe treatment involves creating a compress with cold tea which can be applied directly to sunburned and irritated skin. Some of my favorite teas to use in compresses for sunburns include green tea which contains tannins that help heal the skin, chamomile tea to soothe and calm, and mint tea to cool and refresh, but you there are many other teas that you can use as well. Hydrosols are also soothing and cooling, and can be misted onto the affected area as needed. Rose and Chamomile hydrosols are especially good for sunburns (you can find certified organic rose and chamomile hydrosol in our shop here), keep a bottle stored in the refrigerator and apply as needed.