I love the feeling of sun on my skin. The warmth seems to penetrate into my entire being bringing about a feeling of wellbeing and connection. Unfortunately, I am also a skin cancer survivor. Yep, the M word. Melanoma. So, I had to find a balance of self-care and self-love.
You don’t need a 10-step process to treat your skin right in the summer. The three basics work just fine. Cleanse, moisturize, and protect. Be gentle with your skin by choosing products with clean labels and no synthetic chemicals. If you exfoliate, do so gently. Those young cells you are exposing are now more apt to be damaged.
Depending on where you live, you may have a love-hate with moisturizer. In warm climates, a heavy lotion can break you into a sweat. One key is to find ingredients that absorb quickly, not just sitting on top of your skin. Then, look for multifunctional ingredients, such as Fenugreek, which contains vitamins K and C and Ivy, with the ability to improve skin conditions, scars, and blood vessels. Remember, sunblock year-round, enough said.
Even the most cautious of us can end up with too much sun exposure. An outdoor wedding, a last-minute hike, or even SUP yoga can leave us with an unexpected sunburn.
Follow the four steps below to help your skin heal and feel more comfortable while it does.
- Cool off and cleanse: Take a cool shower or bath as soon as you can to reduce the skin temperature. Use a moisturizing body wash, avoiding any harsh soap. Be gentle, using your hands and leaving the loofah and wash cloth for another time.
- Choose natural: Use only clean-label products. Your skin is in a weakened state, which is no time to challenge your delicate cells with synthetic chemicals and harmful preservatives. Avoid products that list “fragrance” in the ingredients as that is a legal catch all for synthetics and parabens. Learn how to read labels.
- Moisturize and hydrate: Locking water in the cells is key to preventing or decreasing the amount of peeling. Be sure your products do not clog pores, non-comedigenic. The “anti” trio is helpful too, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-oxidant. Ingredients like hemp extract (CBD), Burdock, and Ivy have been shown to do all three.
- Comfort and nourish: Look for helpful ingredients that will support the skin as it heals. Aloe Vera is a go-to for all types of burns as it hydrates, protects, and provides some temporary pain relief. Chamomile is calming, hydrating, and softening. Vegetable glycerine and shea butter are excellent for holding in moisture and nourishing the cells. Sweet almond oil helps the skin regain a silky-smooth texture.