Summer is a time when we want our skin at its glowing healthy best. It is also a time when our skin is exposed to the environment and more prone to bites, stings and rashes. Some people have flare-ups of eczema in the heat, while others overindulge in the wrong foods and get more spotty and pimply than usual. Here’s 7 tips to support healthy skin this summer.
1. Keep you fluids up
If there is only one thing you do to support your skin, its keeping those fluids up! A litre of water or herbal tea should be an absolute minimum, although it is recommended that women drink 2L and men drink 2.5L per day. Medicinal herbal teas such as nettles and rosehips will also provide extra cleansing actions and essential nutrients for healthy skin. If you drink a tea or coffee, add another glass of water for each cup you drink.
2. Nutrition – you are what you eat!
Hydration isn’t just about the fluids we consume, but also about how we keep fluids inside the cells and tissues. Nutrients such as magnesium and essential fatty acids like omega-3 oils are key for this. Make sure your summer diet is full of veggies (raw and cooked), legumes, nuts and seeds, organic chicken, and oily fish such as wild-caught salmon. Skin nutrients like zinc are always important, especially if you have any specific skin complaints. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, helping to heal and restore, and protect the skin from free-radical damage. Almonds are a good source of magnesium and vitamin E. Vitamin E works to protect the skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays, whilst providing nourishment of the skin.
3. Address problem skin areas
Whatever the issue, the herbal medicine cabinet has potent herbs for creating rich balms to soothe the skin, calm inflammation, and promote the healing and repair of tissues. If you are prone to eczema, dermatitis, acne or any other skin complaints, these may flare up in the heat. Botanicals such as Poroporo, Burdock and NZ-native Kawakawa have proven their worth for skin itching and inflammation. Totarol, an extract from the mighty Totara tree is specifically anti-bacterial and excellent for pimples and acne, especially when combined with Manuka essential oil. Calendula is the star of the skin story. It is naturally antiseptic and contains compounds which reduce irritation and inflammation. Calendula is excellent for use on all tissues, no matter how sensitive, and is ideal for use cuts and grazes, insect bites, burns and rashes.
4. Take care in the sun
We all know that living in the southern hemisphere we are exposed to high levels of ultra UV radiation, which causes oxidative damage to our skin, leading to wrinkles, dryness, age spots, and changes that can possibly lead to growths and skin cancers. Plants to the rescue! Green Tea is one of the key ingredients in new Kiwiherb Skin Restore Cream and is one of the most well-researched plants for reducing oxidative damage to the skin and all its ill-effects. The polyphenols in Green Tea help to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation changes.
5. Get a good night’s sleep
Getting enough restful sleep is essential to healthy skin because your stress hormones are at their lowest when you are sleeping. This allows the body a chance to rest and rejuvenate, diverting energy into proper digestion, muscle growth and skin repair.
6. Natural make-up removers
You don’t have to spend a fortune on makeup removers; some natural alternatives can even be found in your kitchen cabinets at home. Olive oil is hydrating and works well on dry skin to eliminate impurities, while coconut oil cuts through hard-to-remove waterproof makeup. Paired with almond oil, jojoba oil works well to remove makeup from sensitive areas around the eyes.
7. Give yourself a facial massage
Using your fingers, press gently on the orbital bone under your eyes, gently moving from the inner to outer corner of your eyes and repeating twice. This will help stimulate circulation to reduce puffy eyes, and will also work on reducing fine lines and inflammation.