As the desert summer quickly approaches, I wanted to share my top tips for protecting your skin. I haven’t always been focused on protecting and nourishing my skin. But as I move closer to thirty, and the lack of sleep from two young kids wears on me, I am ready to start taking baby steps towards repairing, protecting and nourishing my skin. I mean it is my largest organ so why the heck not! I have managed my psoriasis and chronic dry skin since high school and it has helped me become more creative and to research simple and effective ways to improve and support overall skin health. In addition to using quality, non-toxic ingredients in your skin care products I have listed my favorite simple steps to promote skin health.
Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
Your skin is made up of cells, and cells are made up of water. It is almost a no brainer but I know if your anything like me sometimes drinking water can be a struggle. When you provide your body with the proper hydration, you are not only aiding in digestion, absorption and excretion, you are aiding in circulation. Drinking adequate amounts of water will help improve blood flow, giving your skin a radiant more youthful glow. When you are dehydrated your skin can appear dry, flaky and dull. I recommend at least 2 liters of water a day, but in the summer months and if your exercising regularly (which you should do) I stick closer to 3 liters.
I am notoriously bad at remembering sunscreen! Like to the point that I regularly tell my husband what a bad mom I am because I constantly forget to put it on the kids and myself when we go to the park or for runs. But my goal this year has been to wear some kind of sunscreen on my face every day, and to keep some in my car so it’s ready to go and accessible for the kids. So far this year I have been doing a decent job at sticking to my goal! Woohoo! When it comes to sunscreens though, they are often filled with many chemicals and ingredients that are allergens and hormone disruptors. My go to resource for purchasing sunscreen is the EWG, their 2017 guide hasn’t been released yet, but their 2016 guide is a great start on safe products as we await the new guide!
Switching to a whole food diet helps improve mental clarity, gut health and most importantly aids in nourishing your skin. Some of my favorite foods for supporting the skin are eggs, avocados, spinach and pumpkin seeds. Eggs are a great source of protein, which is needed for collagen production. Avocados are rich in omega fatty acids and vitamin E; which help contribute to moisturizing the skin and increasing the skin’s luminosity. Spinach is full of antioxidants that help clear and repair skin; it is also packed with water preventing dry flaky skin. Pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc and it helps protect cell membranes and maintain collagen production.
Exfoliating the skin helps promote circulation, removes dead and dry skin cells, helps moisturize your skin more effectively and helps unclog pores and keep them clean. Simply dry brushing the skin before a shower is a quick and effective way to exfoliate. Or you can use a sugar/salt scrub in the shower to exfoliate.
I know these four steps seem simple, but they are very effective in promoting your skin health. Since it’s my latest obsession, and I wanted to help jump start your changes to healthier skin, I have included a sugar scrub recipe below!
Lavender Sugar Scrub
- 1cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2cup oil (coconut, sunflower, almond, olive oil, or avocado)*
- 20 drops of Lavender Essential oil
- ½ teaspoon dried lavender (optional)
Combine all ingredients and stir. Store in an airtight jar. The oil and sugar may separate between uses simply stir before use!
*Use any kind of oil you prefer. In this recipe I used ¼cup sunflower and ¼ cup coconut oil.