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Summer Skincare Tips

Written by Simone Froley

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Posted on May 14 2014

Summer is here! With it brings a different skincare regimen than chillier times. You can go to a lighter moisturizer for one, however please ensure it is just as nutritious. Rule of thumb is the botanicals in the moisturizer are suppose to feed and nurture your skin, while the water content hydrates. It is that simple.

If you are a purist and prefer using just the botanicals (bypassing emulsifying agents and preservatives) be sure to splash your face with body- temperature water, tap dry, then apply to seal in the moisture provided by the water.

Protecting your skin from the sun is critically important in the summer for two main reasons: the sunlight is more direct and intense (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is) and we tend to spend more time outside on warm days.

So how do we go about protecting our skin from the woes of sun damage?

One option is to apply Sunscreen: a solution of chemicals designed to scatter and block UV rays from interacting with the skin. Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure.

Now, sunscreen use can be problematic for many reasons. The FDA recently found that only TWO ingredients, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, could be classified as safe and effective. But what about ALL those other ingredients families religiously apply to both theirs and their children's skin every year? What about the homosalate, the avobenzone and oxybenzone? The answer: these ingredients disrupt the endocrine system and may be involved in developmental issues, reproductive disorders and the proliferation of cancerous cells.

Sunblocks physically create a barrier to protect the skin from sunlight, eliminating the need for chemical interference. The active ingredients are natural minerals of either Zinc Oxide or Titanium.

And what about SPF? Broad spectrum coverage is the most important (protects from UVA & UVB). SPF (sun protection factor) can be altered by amounts applied regardless of concentration. This is why so many fail at testing labs. 

I chose natural Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient in Gaia Essentials Mineral Sunscreen as it has been proven by far to be the #1 protection against UV, with a higher rating then Titanium. This is placed in a base rich with Sea Buckthorn & Shea, both botanicals possess an innate UV protection as well. They are offered in either a cream base (12.5% Zinc) or a lotion base (7% Zinc). The Calming Skin Balm acts as a Sea Buckthorn enriched base.

The number-one complaint of my product is... you guessed it, the whiteness from the Zinc Oxide. Know that this layer is NECESSARY to protect your skin from the sun, as Zinc Oxide creates a physical barrier of protection. However, there are ways to create a translucent matte finish with proper application.

Apply your sunblock over a layer of moisturizer with a "tap on then smooth" method. I prefer the Calming Balm that also contains Sea Buckthorn & Shea when I know I am going to be outside for extended periods. The Herbal Facial Lotion works best for shorter times. This approach works perfectly well for all skin types.

 

Zinc Oxide does not penetrate the skin: it stays on top. You will notice after some time a fine powder left on the surface after the moisturizing content has been absorbed. This is why it is essential that you wash off when you get back inside. And then apply your after sun skincare, I again use the Calming Skin Balm to sooth, calm and reduce occasional inflammation & redness from the UV exposure.

So get out there, in the fresh summer air, and enjoy your sunshine in the best way.