Summer is on the way, so dust off your sun visor, locate your sunscreen, and fill your water bottle. It is time to “summer proof” your skin and hair with these simple tips!
Heat and humidity combined with greater activity cause us to perspire more in the summer. When sweat reaches the surface of our skin, bacteria will immediately begin to break it down. This can cause the pH of our skin to become out of balance. When the pH becomes too low (acidic) or too high (alkaline) this can lead to body odor as well as conditions on the skin such as dry skin, break outs, eczema, and other challenges.
To balance your pH and keep body odor to a minimum, it is best to avoid deodorants that are laden with chemicals and pore-blocking ingredients. Opt for solutions that neutralize odors by using natural ingredients and essential oils. Even something as simple as dabbing a cotton ball in vinegar and rubbing it over your skin, and under your arms, can help eliminate odor.
While proper cleansing and toning of the skin is always important for maintaining balance (pH), exfoliating on a routine basis in summer can also have a positive effect when done in a gentle manner. Daily exfoliation of the face and body can help remove the build up of excess oil, dirt and debris that can block pores. Clogged pores lead to conditions like enlarged pores, oily skin, blemishes, and even chronic dryness. It is best to avoid products that are too abrasive or that contain ingredients that make you more sun sensitive. Exfoliating your face, neck, and décolleté will leave your skin looking rejuvenated and can even help the adhesion and protection of your sunscreen.
For body exfoliation the dry brushing method has been popular for decades because of its effect on minimizing the appearance of cellulite. Because during face and body exfoliation you are increasing circulation, breaking down toxins, and encouraging new cells to surface, it is important to keep hydrated from the inside and the outside. After exfoliating and rinsing, while skin is still slightly damp, apply a good moisturizing oil to skin and stay well hydrated with purified water.
Just like our skin, our hair can experience the damages of the scorching sun. Do you ever wonder why your hair lightens in the sun but your skin darkens? It is because your hair is dead and cannot produce more melanin (pigment) once the sun destroys it. To protect your hair in the sun and from the damaging effects of chlorine, prior to taking a dip you can wet your hair and apply pure coconut oil to all of the strands. Coconut oil as opposed to other oils, is a straight molecule and has an affinity to hair proteins. This allows the fatty acids to enter the hair shaft and will help repel the water and chemicals from a pool. Coconut oil also has a natural SPF 10 so you will get some sun protection as well.