Every new season comes with atmospheric and environmental changes so adapting with seasonal skin care, lifestyle and diet routines will allow our body to be in sync with the natural world around us. This is when the magic happens. Also, I recommend asking yourself if you are or have been intuitively feeling a change for different products, foods or lifestyle habits and if so I would start including some of them into your summer routine.
Below are ten easy steps for transitioning into your summer skin care routine:
SUMMER SKIN CARE – Ten Essential Tips
- Build your skin up now with plant oils. These will beautify, protect and fight free radicals from UV like NOTHING else, allowing you to withstand the long summer days with healthy, radiant, and lustrous skin! We understand though that it is tempting to ignore your moisturizer when the temperature rises, especially when your skin is oily, and you feel sweaty quickly. But think of applying your moisturizer as a time to feed your skin the antioxidants it needs to bounce back and thrive after a day exposed to the sun. For example, rosehip oil works on hyperpigmentation and fine lines and even though it is a nourishing oil, it does leave a soft, dry skin feel. Green Tea / Camelia Seed oil is also super lightweight and perfect for post sun as are grapeseed, hibiscus, amla, raspberry and olive oils that all work well in hot weather and offer amazing summer skin benefits with little oiliness on the surface.
- Exfoliating is always important if you want a healthy glow-y skin looking back at you in the mirror and in the summer, this is a definite game changer! But know that how you exfoliate this season is key. Avoid textured (scrub) exfoliants and use honey, rum, wine, a bamboo facial brush or if you are a staunch minimalist, even a warm washcloth will do. The skin is more sensitive after exposure to the elements and the last thing it wants on its sun-kissed surface is anything abrasive.
- Trade in your foaming cleanser and use a hydrosol, cleansing oil or cream cleanser instead. Look for ingredients like jojoba, shea, borage, st. john’s wort, calendula, rose, chamomile, cucumber and peppermint and make sure the water is cool when rinsing.
- Don’t forget to apply SPF on the lips, around the eyes and on the neck, décolleté and hands. These areas are neglected year after year hence why they are the first ones to show premature signs of aging.
- Use a ridiculous amount of hydrosols on the skin tis summer. Spritz, spritz and spritz some more and layer them with those beneficial oils we spoke about. Hydrosols will protect the integrity of the skin and keep it super-duper hydrated during the summer.
- Mask with fresh foods this season and cool, revitalize and hydrate the skin while also saving some money. Some summer diy mask favorites are whole fat yogurt or sour cream mixed with turmeric and fresh mint, pineapple and papaya juice mixed with rice flower, hibiscus, rose and green tea…
- Use your nutrient-rich (antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals…) creams and oils in the evening to restore the skin and strengthen it for the morning ahead. During the day, focus more on your SPF and/or moisturizer with SPF, both of which are more about protecting in real time.
- This is NOT the season for peels, micro-needling, retinoids or other medi-spa treatments. Save those for the fall-early spring.
- Avoid drying face and body with a towel after washing/bathing. Press and massage the water into the skin with your oils for maximum protection and hydration. *****IF YOU HAVE INFLAMED SKIN do not rub your face with a towel after washing. Avid towels. Use your clean hands to press waters into skin instead. *****
- Save your thorough facial routine for the evening, NOT the morning when you are about to expose your skin to a long day out and about. The a.m. is for gentle compressing and a light hydrosol cleanse to maintain your skin’s protective barrier. And if you surf or plan on being outdoors, DEFINITELY AVOID removing natural oils prior (unless you have acne/dermatitis of course).
SUMMER LIFESTYLE & DIET ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA – Summer is Pitta’s vulnerable season so that means it is necessary that you maintain a healthy Agni i.e. transformative fire in the gut and throughout the body. Also, do not over-exert yourself which will destabilize Pitta and can result in too much fire i.e. inflamed skin, burning tummy, diarrhea, anger, irritability and frustration.
Below are ten easy steps to keep Pitta happy this season and maintain a gorgeous skin from the inside out:
- Keep the cool / raw / cold foods and drinks to a minimum. Of course, it is summer and you want ice cream, ice tea, fruit salads, cold-pressed juices etc etc BUT be mindful, enjoying them only when you feel the need. And when having a salad or cold meal, sip warm water with it to keep that inner fire kindled. Because cold foods extinguish your inner fire that means undigested foods and thoughts are burdening the body which leads to a buildup of AMA (toxicity) and your doshas running amuck and creating inflammation and disease.
- Save your intense aerobic exercise for either early morning or early evening when the temperature cools. ***** this is really important if you are looking to soothe and heal inflamed skin conditions***** Pitta time of day is between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and this so happens to be when the sun s the strongest. Not a time to push yourself.
- Eat bigger lunches and smaller dinners. This is always key in Ayurveda but definitely during Pitta season which is when most of us are eating and living in ways that hamper our digestive fire. The last thing then that our body needs is a huge meal late at night.
- Avoid hot chilis, lemons (try lime instead), onion (green leeks and scallions better) and limit your salt this season.
- If you do drink alcohol tend toward bourbons and dark rums that have a higher sugar content to balance the sour rasa of alcohol. Try sweeter wines like port, Riesling, Beaujolais, Gamay and Moscato or if you drink beer try Belgian whites.
- Eat sweet and cooling red foods like watermelon, hibiscus, beets, cherries and sweet plums that support the blood and satisfy pitta. Make sure all other fruits are sweet not sour.
- Make sure you are not burning yourself out with constant pitta focus/ambition/workload/intensity. Pay attention and take breaks.
- In Ayurveda naps are discouraged during the day unless you fall under a few categories but in the summer, Ayurveda believes if you need to nap mid-day, do it. Just make sure it is not after eating.
- Include cilantro, dill cardamom, cumin and fennel in the diet to cool pitta. Spinach and mung beans support the eyes which is a pitta region and astringent and bitter foods are beneficial this season too.
- Do your best to be in bed by 10 p.m. so your pitta is tended to and your body can reset in a healthy and natural way.
I hope these tips help and if you have some of your own summer go-to’s please share in the comments. Until next time…