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Summer Skin Guide

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July 29, 2016
summer skin, naturopath toronto, toronto naturopath

I love the summer – particularly the days where the sun is out and there is a cool breeze in the air. It’s the perfect time to get outside and hike some great trails, hit the beach, or spend time out on a patio. However, this weather also makes us extremely cautious about showing out skin – particularly when we don’t personally feel like it’s up to snuff. I’ve put together a summer skin guide of different tips and tricks to have your skin looking great until it’s time for us to put on that heavy jacket.

Hydration

Women’s bodies contain about 55% of water (about 60% in men), indicating the importance of drinking water everyday. We lose a fair amount of water each day through normal physiological processes, especially during the summer. Spending hours in the sun not only lead to sweating, but our bodies work hard to keep us cool. It’s important to keep drinking water to keep us cool and prevent dehydration, and to also prevent our skin from becoming dry and flaky.

Exfoliation

One of my favourite ways to exfoliate is to dry brush. Not only does it help the body get rid of dry and dead skin, it helps stimulate lymphatic flow. There is the possibility of over exfoliating, thereby causing damage to your skin. If you’re using a product to exfoliate, be sure it’s gentle enough on the chosen areas. For example, don’t choose something too coarse like sugar on sensitive areas like the face (save that for the body). Baking soda would be a great alternative on sensitive areas, but should not be done more than once per week.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is one of the most protective things you can put on your skin 365 days a year. However, it can often be difficult to choose what sunscreen is best for you. I used to be under the impression that the higher the SPF, the more protected my skin would be. While that is true to a certain point, a SPF of 50 has been shown to be just as effective as SPF 100. Over the years I’ve become conscious of what I’m putting on my body, so I’ve been on the look out for mineral-based lotions as they don’t penetrate the skin.

New research has also shown that redheads carry a particular gene, making them more susceptible to skin cancer (melanoma). Nevertheless, brunettes, blondes and the like can also carry this gene – and should practice sun safety on those unavoidable days in the heat.

Sunburns

Sometimes a burn is inevitable. There are three types of burns, first-degree burns being the most common. First degree burns affect the outer layer of skin and often leave it red and painful. Common treatments are aloe vera as it can help heal wounds and soothe red hot skin. Calendula (marigold flower), also has skin healing properties, although doesn’t leave a ‘cooling’ feeling.

Food Sensitivities

Ice cream is one of my weaknesses. Especially during this time of year with the high temperatures and drool-worthy instagram posts. However after eating a small cup, I know that the next morning I’ll wake up to a pimple. If you know that certain foods may be causing you discomfort – eliminate them for a week and see how you look and feel! Studies have shown that our favourite summer treat has a direct influence on acne as it also contains hormones that increase sebum production (resulting in clogged pores and inflammation).

Stress

Picture yourself laying on the beach, sun kissing your skin and relaxing to the sounds of waves. While not all summer days will be as perfect and stress-free as this – it’s important to moderate your daily stress. Stress can affect our skin as it can thicken sebum (plus having skin problems can stress us out further). Therefore, it’s important to manage our stress through journalling, yoga, or adaptogenic botanicals.

Final Thoughts

If you’re experiencing skin trouble and are looking for holistic ways to treat it, contact me for more information. Purchasing different creams, masks and supplements can be expensive, and I’m here to work with you and create the optimal plan that will give you the clear and glowing skin that you’re looking for!

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