When healthy skin guru Tata Harper stopped by mbg last week, she looked just as effortlessly fresh and dewy as always. If it weren't for her chic silver pants, we would have thought she had just stepped off her organic farm in Vermont, where she lives and runs her namesake skin care line. She practically had, of course, since she was in town only a few days for work—and, naturally, to take her kids to see Beyoncé.
Before she left, she spilled her summer skin care secrets and shared DIY skin care tricks so simple we've already tested them. (Yes, they work!) Consider this your guide to glowy, clear summer skin, straight from the farm:
1. Exfoliate, every single day.
There’s more humidity in the air in the summer, and people are covered in sunscreen, sweat, and oil, so I suggest exfoliating daily. I use our Regenerating Cleanser, which is a really mild, gentle exfoliator. If you don’t have that, try diluting 2 tablespoons of honey with 5 drops of water and mixing it with a really fine sugar and a drop of an essential oil like lavender to help repair skin. Use both on dry skin, then rinse with water.
2. Up your skin care game with an essence.
Summer is a great time to swap out your regular moisturizer and experiment with an essence. These new liquid moisturizers are like treatments to hydrate the skin. First cleanse, then apply your essence, and when your skin is saturated put a serum on top, or you can even mix them together. Unlike toners, which are astringents to remove buildup from the skin and can be drying, essences are like liquid serums, but less concentrated, and help serums to penetrate deeper and last longer.
3. Wear SPF. Make it physical if you can.
People don’t realize that when your skin gets attacked by a sun ray, it's exposed to a lot of energy, which is why it’s so bad. When you reach your threshold, your cells even explode. Sometimes it’s unrecoverable if you’ve been badly burned, but that’s why sunscreen is so important. I like mineral sunscreens, which last longer. Chemical sunscreens are UV absorbers rather than reflectors. When you apply one, you’re essentially putting on an empty cell, which gathers all that energy that you're receiving from the sun. When they're filled and you can’t power them anymore, it’s like your cellphone when the battery is full, they don’t work anymore.
With mineral sunscreens, there are huge particles that reflect light so that you don’t absorb the light damage. Zinc helps protect against UVA (aging) rays, and even though UVB (burning) rays are stronger and more potent, UVA rays penetrate deeper. Zinc helps to cover both kinds of rays, while titanium only protects again UVB rays. Zinc is less whitening, too. I love the brand Suntegrity; it makes the best natural sunscreens.
4. Get misty.
It’s good to have a mist in your bag to apply on your hair, your face, or your body. If you’re oily and put powder on, you can spray it afterward so you don't look too matte. You can even make one at home using rose, lavender, and orange blossom hydrosol by mixing them together in equal amounts. Our Hydrating Floral Essence is also amazing because it has hyaluronic acid.
5. Use an oil to heal damaged skin.
You need a lot of healing throughout the summer months. We have an oil that’s called the Replenishing Nutrient Complex that’s a great healer. It does an amazing job of curing sunburns in less than 24 hours and taking care of rashes. You can also buy rosehip oil; it’s incredible for the skin. Try mixing it with rose geranium and helichrysum; those are the two other best healing oils to have around in the summer months.
6. Take a 10-minute bath.
Taking a 10-minute bath at night helps to soothe the skin. Use a lavender bath sachet if you have a bad sunburn, I like the ones from Aura Cacia. You can also put honey all over your body before you get into the bath so it has time to soak in without making you a sticky mess.
7. Drink lots of water. Really guzzle it.
It sounds really cliché, but the body needs between 3 and 5 liters of water every day for all of your functions to work. So, if you’re not even drinking that, your skin is not getting enough. And aside from the sunburn and the heat, your skin is really dehydrated. I love to put celery and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup in a glass of water to help my skin get re-mineralized with antioxidants. This is the first thing I drink in the morning. You can also add a little bit of lemon to cut it. Or watermelon juice with cucumber juice mixed in. And cold peppermint tea! You can mix all three together to make a delicious beauty infusion that keeps you cool—and your skin and body hydrated.