This is the season to kick back, relax, contemplate the universe and enjoy time outdoors with family and friends. Barbecues on the beach, hiking on the trail, and long bike rides in the country will all be more enjoyable when you know how to navigate your way through some of the beauty hazards of the season. Here are our five most common summer afflictions and easy ways to remedy them.
When you expose the top of your head to the sun, it can lead to a sunburned scalp and scorched hair. Aloe to the rescue!
“Aloe is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help reduce inflammation, hydrate the skin and soothe burns with the cooling effect of the gel inside the plant’s leaves,” says Cyntra Clemencia-Gabay, Assistant Manager, ZoiA Spa, the Hyatt Regency Aruba (aruba.hyatt.com). “The nutrients from aloe vera also act as a natural conditioner that restores hair’s strength and luster.” Try this recipe from the ZoiA spa.
This conditioner can be used to help restore deep moisture and vitality to hair and help fight dandruff.
Half a lemon
¼ cup Aloe gel
3-5 drops essential oil of choice
1. Mix all ingredients.
2. Pour into an empty bottle.
3. Store at room temperature. Use when needed.
If you are a bug-magnet like I am, you will want to know about essential oils like lemongrass, peppermint, geranium, lemongrass, rosemary, and citronella, which help keep the bugs at bay in a natural way.
Natural Bug Repellent
Certain oils can be photosensitizing in combination with the sun, so be sure and use sunscreen with the Repellent.
1. Put a couple of drops of two or three essential oils (see above) in a base oil (sweet almond is great).
2. Shake well and apply to skin.
3. Or, mix with water in a spray bottle for a DIY bug repellent.
Try: Farmaesthetics Tansynella, $17, farmaesthetics.com;
Erbaviva Organic Buzz Spray, $20; erbaviva.com
Sun-bathing–protected by sunscreen, of course–feels so good and as little as 15 to 20 minutes will help you get the vitamin D that you need. But if you overdo it, cool skin down after a hot day with ingredients like aloe, peppermint, or a spritz of coconut water or rosewater, which can refresh overheated skin.
Rose Water Spray
Rosewater is available at many health-food and specialty stores.
1. Keep rosewater chilled.
2. Sprinkle it on cotton or gauze and use to blot the face.
3. Or pour into a mini spray bottle, carry in your purse, and spritz your face throughout the day.
Try: Alaffia Everyday Coconut Water Face Toner, $8.99, wholefoods.com; Aubrey Organics After Sun With CoQ10 & Pomegranate (with aloe and baobob oil), $8.49; aubreyorganics.com; Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Spray (with lavender and peppermint), $14.95, earthmamaangelbaby.com
As you sweat more over the summer, the oil glands can get overstimulated, too, and excess oil can lead to breakouts, not only on the face! Treatments with tea tree oil, rosemary and marine extracts can provide relief. A mask with honey, once a week, will also help.
Sweet Honey Face Mask
Honey is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and it also helps skin retain moisture.
1. Warm one cup of honey in a saucepan.
2. Cleanse and exfoliate your face (or back) with a gentle scrub.
3. Apply a thin layer of warm (not hot!) honey onto your face or back with a small brush or fingers.
4. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Reprinted with permission from Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes, by Rona Berg