Summer is a romantic season, complete with sun-flushed cheeks, rejuvenating vacations, and an explosion of fruit.
But it has a dark side.
Dehydration, sun damage, stinky armpits. This is REAL summer.
Jokes aside, we’re here to talk about staying healthy this summer. We’re bringing you some of our best tips and DIY recipes to keep your skin clean, safe, and looking amazing this summer.
1. stay hydrated. Really hydrated.
No better way to stay hydrated than by keeping a water bottle on you! I don’t know about you, but I have a better success rate with some water bottles than with others. The wrong sized mouth can leave me with more water on my shirt than in my body. Others open and spill in my bag, resulting in an unhappily soggy cell phone situation. Staying hydrated is the key to summer beauty (and beauty in general), so a less-than-ideal water bottle just won’t cut it. Find a water bottle that works for you, and don't get caught without it!
Brew some infused water to motivate yourself to stay hydrated. It’s hard to do it wrong; you can use this recipe as inspiration:
Cucumber Lemon Basil Water
• 10 slices of lemon
• 10 slices of cucumber
• 10 leaves of basil, muddled
• 4 cups of water
Place lemon, cucumber, and basil leaves in a pitcher, and then pour the water into it. Let the ingredients mingle in the refrigerator for at least an hour before enjoying.
2. Smell amazing… naturally!
It’s summer; you’re at your sexiest! Your skin is dewy, your hair is sun kissed, and you are WEARING that summer dress. Except, oh wait, you smell terrible. Or you smell okay, but it’s because you're using unnatural, unhealthy deodorant.
We recently blogged about common ingredients found in skin care that should be avoided. Second on the list was aluminum, an ingredient in most deodorants you find on the shelf. If you haven’t already, it’s time to make the switch to something free of toxic chemicals.
Our first tip: eat fenugreek! This plant has the amazing ability to make your sweat smell like syrup. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. A popular way to reap these benefits is by eating the sprouted seeds. To sprout, soak seeds in water overnight, or for about eight hours. Drain out the water, then rinse and drain seeds once or twice a day, for three days. Sprouts can be thrown in a salad, added to a sandwich, or even eaten alone. (I like them with honey mustard.) You will soon notice that your sweat is sweeter!
One of our go-to guides for natural beauty is Brigitte Mars’ book Beauty by Nature. She shares many tips on naturally smelling good, and includes several recipes for homemade deodorant. Here is one to try:
• 3 tablespoons witch hazel
• 3 tablespoons distilled water
• 2 drops safe essential oil
• 2 drops lemon essential oil
• 2 drops tea tree essential oil
• 2 drops lavender essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a fine-spray mist bottle, or store in a glass jar and apply with a cotton ball.
3. Protect your skin from environmental stressors.
Of course, protecting your skin from the sun is mandatory. So use a good natural sunscreen. Try our Sun Love Natural Sunscreen formula if you're looking to protect while staying away from scary synthetics and chemicals.
If you’re looking for a natural way to lighten the appearance of your skin, here’s a delicious face mask recipe from Beauty Banter. Lemon and honey both help lighten, while banana nourishes and creates the perfect mask consistency.
Banana Face Mask
• 1 ripe banana (or substitute ½ cup of ripe papaya)
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• ¼ cup of oats (optional)
Mash up banana in a bowl, and then add honey and lemon juice. If you are using oats as well, add them in and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes before you apply. Use this mask on clean skin, and let it soak in for 15-20 minutes before washing it off.
4. Know your oils
Different oils have different properties and thus, different effects on your skin. If you don’t know which oil works the best for you, it’s time to find out! If you have a favorite oil, consider switching it up during the summer months. Sun can dry out the skin, causing some people to produce extra oil, and causing others to show signs of aging.
If you’re feeling drier than normal, coconut oil is your best friend. Known to soothe, it's also a good oil to use after you've been outside.
If you are oilier than normal this time of year, hazelnut oil will moisturize without making you greasy. It also has properties to keep any oily skin patches you may be experiencing in check and can minimize the appearance of large pores.
This one can work well for a broad spectrum of skin types. What makes this oil perfect for summer is that it reduces water loss without completely blocking the transportation of vapor and gases. This helps your skin look firm and taut.
Make your own facial oil
• 1 ounce of a carrier oil of your choice, such as coconut, hazelnut or jojoba
• 15 drops of essential oil of your choice
Wondering which essential oil to choose? Here are a few favorites:
Neroli essential oil
Not only does it smell amazing, but it promotes wellbeing! It is a good choice for those with oily skin, but it also works well for dry skin types.
Carrot seed essential oil
This earthy smelling oil is stimulating and helps with dry skin (which is why we put it in our Anti-Aging Facial Oil).
Passion fruit seed essential oil
The high vitamin C and antioxidant content of this oil make it a great anti-aging oil. We raved all about it in a post last year.
5. Juice it up
Your summer beauty regimen is not complete without fresh juices. We love drinking juice throughout the year, but summer’s certainly the best time for juicing. Why?
1. Antioxidants in fresh squeezed juice help protect from environmental stressors. You need more antioxidants when you spend time in the sun.
2. Tis the season of fresh produce! Summer brings an abundance of fruits and veggies, so take advantage and buy what’s fresh.
3. Many people find that they are less hungry during warm months due to lower metabolic needs (your body normally spends a lot of energy warming itself up). Experiment with replacing a meal a day with a juice, and see how you feel.
Kris Carr is our juice muse. She not only transformed her life by incorporating green juices and other healthy foods into her life, but she has helped thousands of others do the same! And she does it all with humor.
Her site and books have dozens of delicious juice recipes, including this one we love:
The Pretty Juice (makes 10 ounces)
• 3 to 4 leaves of romaine lettuce
• 3 to 4 leaves of kale
• 3 to 4 leaves of endive
• 1 handful of spinach
• 2 broccoli stems
• 1 cucumber
• 5 to 6 strawberries
• 2 to 3 basil leaves
• a couple pinch of wheatgrass (optional)
Wash all produce and send it through your juicer. Sprinkle the wheatgrass on top.
When it comes to summer beauty, keep it healthy! Sun protection is not optional and hydration is your job. A big thanks to the Home Shopping Network for inviting us to write this post. Here’s to a safe and stylish summer!