Summer Skin Care Routine
I survived my first Nova Scotia winter, and while it wasn’t anything like I had expected, winter in general always feels extraordinarily long in Canada. Then suddenly - it’s summertime again! You may have already felt the sweet kiss of sunshine this season; as your hair naturally lightens, little nose freckles pop up, and interesting tan lines appear.
As we transition through seasons, our skin-care routine should also change. it’s time to pack away the facial balms and heavy creams. Since we benefit from both internal and external wellness practices when it comes to skin-care, so here’s a few things you should try for your skin this summer:
While there are other summer beverages that come to mind when we think of the sunshine, always focus on water. Your level of hydration is essential for protecting your skin. You should focus on drinking at least half your weight in pounds, in ounces of water. If there was a time to take part in a water challenge - right now would be that time. If you’re not a huge water fan, try infusing with fresh fruits and herbs, you should also increase your intake of local and seasonal berries, melon, cucumber, celery and dark leafy greens for their natural water content. Hydration should be a no-brainer, but sometimes we still need reminding!
While we greatly benefit from the sunshine vitamin, too much exposure can be harmful. It's all about balance and moderation when it comes to sunshine. Always protect your skin, and don't forget your face!
Your skin naturally produces melanin, a pigment which works as a defense to absorb UV radiation, this is where our killer glowing tan comes from (thanks, melanin!). Sunshine puts out both UVA and UVB, both of which penetrate the skins top layer (epidermis) and deeper layer (dermis). That's all great, but when your exposure to UVB exceeds your skins protective abilities, we get burnt.
When UVA rays penetrate the deep dermis layer - we've got issues, this is where your skins collagen and elasticity resides. When this layer gets attacked, free radicals are released and they cause some serious harm. A result is extrinsic aging of the skin, including sagging, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation (dark spots and melasma) and a risk of melanoma.
Keep your skin safe and happy with non-toxic facial and body sunscreens, you can reference EWG’s Guide to find your match. Also, try to avoid too much exposure during peak hours (between 11am and 2pm) and if you will be in the sunshine, ensure you have a wide brimmed summer hat, sunglasses, a cotton tee, and an umbrella.
Any dry and rough patches on your skin are likely blocking radiant skin underneath. It’s best to take part in a gentle exfoliation for your face and body, and dry brushing is one of the most effective and enjoyable practices. The action of dry brushing encourages circulation, get the lymphatic system moving, and supports cell renewal and healing. Facial dry brushing also helps to eliminate any lingering dead skin cells, clear clogged pores, and it allows your skin to properly breathe.
You’ll need a body dry brush and a facial dry brush (they’re different) and then you can follow my simple dry brushing tutorial here.
Who doesn’t love a good cleanse, even the word sounds refreshing. It should be in our nature to cleanse our skin in the morning, and then again before bed. In the summer-time however, after catching some rays, remember to practice post-sun care as well. This is an essential time to support natural regeneration.
When it comes to cleansing the skin, the use of oils has become increasingly popular, and for good reason. While we may think an oil or serum would create oily skin, it actually works to balance. Oil cleansing gently unclogs pores and clear impurities without stripping the skin of its natural barrier.
Choose a light/watery oil for this action such as pure sunflower, jojoba, olive or flax oil. You can also benefit from the effects of aromatherapy with an essential oil infused cleanser.
Use a Toner
This super lightweight and refreshing form of moisture is delightful to spritz on during the day. Explore these two lovely toners infused with Bergamot Rose and Geranium Orange Blossom. Both provide calming, hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s quite nice if you pop a bottle in the fridge, for an extra-cool spritz on a hot summer day.
When we think of facial moisturizers, we often think about face creams that we can layer on to lock moisture in. While face creams are indeed moisturizers, you may find that your skin enjoys facial creams more in winter time. If you like to keep it light in summer, you should know about natural facial oils, serums, and their moisturizing potential. There’s more than one reason why they’re perfect for summer (and all other seasons too!).
Lightweight facial serums typically go on light, and absorb quickly (even for oil). They’re favourited because of their ability to penetrate the dermal layer of your skin (your deeper, second layer). This where the magic happens! In the dermal layer you’ll find oil glands, hair follicles, collagen, and elastin fibres. Nerve endings in this layer also help us feel things, such as blind pimples - you know, the ones you can feel before you can see. Lots of important activity happens on this deeper layer, and that’s why facial oils and serums are so valuable to us, since creams aren’t typically designed to penetrate this far.
Oil serums are effective at addressing skin specific issues, such as acne, hyper-pigmentation, dryness, dehydration, anti-aging and more! After cleansing and toning, apply a Regenerating Face Serum on damp skin for complete hydration without the heavy feeling (you’ll love it).
They see my rollin’, they hatin’.
After I fell in love with dry brushing, I started wondering what this jade rolling thing was about too. This skin care practice would be your final step after applying a serum. I reach for my jade roller specifically on the days that my skin feels a little puffy, and when my jaw and neck need some stretching (note to self, I also need to try Gua Sha)
A jade roller is a paint roller–type tool that’s made from solid jade stone. Since jade is naturally cooling, this tool provides some instant soothing for your skin, it’s the quickest relief for puffiness! My jade roller is dual action, meaning one side is slightly studded, this side helps to further knead the skin on a deeper level, and energize the dermal layers. Jade rollers are especially good at supporting healthy collagen and elastin fibres, which provide you with that glowing and youthful skin.
This would be a lovely daily practice, but I reserve this action for mornings or evenings when i’m down to spend a few extra minutes on self-care.
These are just a few ways you can support your skin and prepare for the summer heat. If you haven’t already adjusted to the summer lifestyle, implementing a sun-inspired skin-care routine will prepare you for the warm days and nights ahead.