Feeling a little dehydrated from your summer fun? Whether your hair is feeling like straw or the skin on your body is peeling because it's burned or dry, it's ready to transition into a skin-healing time before fall officially arrives. There are plenty of amazing natural options that can get your skin glowing, boost your locks, and have you feeling like the hydrated goddess you are with just a few days of simple tweaks. Here are my five favorite tips for restoring both your outer and inner beauty while nature takes its best shot:
1. DIY your all-over body moisturizer.
You should, in theory, be able to actually eat your moisturizer! Natural ingredients for moisturizers are on the rise, but be careful what you buy. Labels glorify the benefits of added "shea butter" or "coconut oil"; however, when you flip the bottle over, you find the same old parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, and colors that disrupt the endocrine system and can be carcinogenic. Though many countries have banned these harmful chemicals, they still sneak into products under the guise of trade secrets or an umbrella heading like "fragrances." Be in the know about harmful ingredients by checking out the Environmental Working Group: They often provide scores for ingredients based on their toxicity.
When you read the ingredients, ask yourself if you could eat it. Better yet, make your own so that you know exactly what is being absorbed into your body. If you’re looking to take your personal care to a more natural level, ask yourself if you'd eat the products going onto your face or body. My favorite DIY that leaves my skin feeling like silk is this recipe for this luxurious body lotion, a light balm that rehydrates, seals in moisture, and gives you a healthy glow!
Makes 8 ounces
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- ¼ cup sweet almond oil
- ¼ cup jojoba oil
- ¼ cup organic coconut oil
- ¼ cup beeswax pastilles
- 2 tablespoons shea butter or cocoa butter
- 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (optional)
- Essential oils for fragrance (if you so choose)
In a glass container, add everything but the essential oils and gently place in a hot-water bath. Gently stir until melted. Remove container and let cool for 3 minutes. Add essential oils for fragrance and stir to combine. Pour into containers and let cool until solidified. Keep tightly sealed. Use only a little at a time—it will go a long way! Shelf life is 6 months.
2. Add key essential oils to your current products.
High-quality essential oils can both boost your outside with their amazing restorative properties while providing therapeutic benefits aromatically and internally once absorbed. They are my not-so-secret weapon for giving my beauty routine added benefits. And it’s as simple as adding a few drops to the products that you already use! Just be careful to avoid the use of citrus oils in the summer as they are phototoxic and will pigment your skin—aside from obvious citrus blends, this includes bergamot and petitgrain, which are oils that many don’t realize are citrus.
Here are some of my favorite quick-boost essential oil tricks:
- Geranium: When added to shampoo or conditioner, geranium protects and adds shine to hair. Add it to skin care products for rejuvenating properties and anti-aging benefits.
- Peppermint: Cools and tingles skin when added to a spray bottle of water. Simply shake and spritz to cool down in the sun or to relieve sunburn sting.
- Melaleuca or tea tree: Works as a spot treatment for blemishes, reduces bruising, erases razor burn, cleanses when added to facial cleanser or moisturizer, and protects facial skin when used as a toner with a carrier oil.
- Roman chamomile and lavender: Calm and soothe irritated skin while easing your mood. Add a few drops to your facial cleanser, toner, or lotions to keep yourself at ease.
3. Be proactive with sun protection.
While sun protection is necessary, sunscreens have become a source of confusion as many contain chemical compounds that can be toxic and counteract SPF agents. When it comes to going natural, it's best to utilize mineral sunscreens with non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to shield skin from the damages of UVA and/or UVB rays without worrying about damages from hidden chemicals. Test out some ahead of time to find your perfect match. Many mineral sunscreens leave a white tint on your skin at first—while this can help to see where you’ve applied, some don’t fade away leaving you looking ghostly. Finding the best version that works with your skin will ease any aesthetic displeasure. The truth is that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with one in five people developing some form in their lifetime, we need to realign our ideals of beauty to include natural, healthy untanned skin.
Don’t forget to protect your lips and your exposed scalp as well! While you can make your own sunscreen, I find it easier to purchase all-natural products from trusted brands. Check out the EWG for their approved sunscreen list—with over 250 on their list, you’re sure to find one that works for you!
And protect your hair as well, especially if you heat-style it before exposing it to sunlight. This heat protectant spray keeps my hair shiny and restored during the summer months, especially when I straighten my hair to avoid the dreaded curly humidity poof!
Heat-Protectant Hair-Treatment Spray
- 1 teaspoon fractionated coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
- 2 teaspoons natural conditioner
- 1 cup distilled water
- 5 drops geranium essential oil
- 2 drops rosemary essential oil
- 1 drops peppermint essential oil
In an 8-ounce glass spray bottle, combine all ingredients. Shake and spritz on damp or dry hair to protect and give added shine from heat.
4. Exfoliate for a healthy glow.
Open up your baking cabinet and pull out the sugar and coconut oil! Add 1 cup of sugar to ½ cup of coconut oil, spike it with your favorite essential oils, and combine! For example, peppermint essential oil will add a cooling tingle, and lavender essential oil will add a soothing calm.
Follow with a great moisturizer like the one in Step 1, or plain coconut oil will work just fine. Other liquid oils that are great for your skin are sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and jojoba oil; the latter is especially good for your face.
5. Eat your water.
The best, most organic way to get glowing skin and hair is to start from the inside. A healthy diet of seasonal antioxidant-rich berries, melons, and leafy greens is a great way to get your skin in top condition. Be sure to add fat-rich protein sources, as they will help to nourish your skin and repair any cellular damage from the inside out—try salmon, nuts, and chicken as go-to's for your late summer salads.
But most importantly, stay hydrated! Utilize those summer berries and fruits with a kick of herbs to create your own infused waters. Remember that the environment and weather affect the amount of water you need, so be sure to adjust for added heat, elevation, or environmental differences. My rule-of-thumb is to keep yourself from feeling thirsty and to not mistake hunger for thirst. Carry water with you all the time, and continue to sip as you move through the day.
The bottom line.
Nourish your body with proper care and know that you are beautiful just the way you are! But most of all, loving yourself and the skin you’re in protects your mind, body, and soul year-round.