HOW-TO | SUMMER-READY SKIN
Though summer hasn't quite kicked off in the rest of the country, we (Texans) are already feeling the heat. Every body of water is beckoning and we're looking for every opportunity to bare skin and cool off with a cocktail. We love the season, of course—it's the season of sundresses, margaritas, and lounging coolly by the pool. But we'd be amiss if we didn't properly prep for the shining sun.
Forget frying—here are our quick steps to get healthy glowing skin overnight - sans toxic chemicals and animal ingredients, naturally.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! We can't stress this enough. No matter what you apply to your skin, it will still look dry and dull unless you're hydrated from the inside out. We love to take our 32 oz. BKR everywhere to ensure we're getting plenty of water, and eat water-rich foods as the days warm up.
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Spring brings with it temperature fluctuations and airborne allergens, both of which can contribute to your skin reacting in unpredictable ways. Summer presents its own set of issues: soaring heat and elevated UV rays, salt on your skin from sweat and sea, and the yo-yoing of going back and forth between dry air-conditioned interiors and the hot, humid outdoors.
Ensuring your skin is hydrated will alleviate the majority of the problems your skin will face, and provide a smooth canvas upon which to build your skincare and makeup regimen.
Remember that caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, and will dehydrate you faster than you can say 'venti soy latte'. For every 8 oz of coffee, caffeinated tea, or alcohol you drink, add 8 oz of water to your daily needs. Not sure how much water you should be drinking? Divide your weight in half; that's how many ounces (minimum!) you need every day.
If you're like us and find it hard to drink just plain water (#CopOut), try adding lemon wedges, berries, cucumber, mint or even a splash of orange juice to your water to satisfy your tastebuds.
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First, dry brush your skin by using a stiff-bristled brush to massage and shave off dead skin cells. We love this tutorial on dry brushing. Spend a good 5 minutes brushing your skin in circular motions from your feet and hands inward toward your heart. Not only does this flake off dry skin, the rough texture of the brush improves blood circulation, reduces cellulite and speeds up your skin's healing time. Don't have a brush? Try this one by Aromatherapy Associates.
Second, step into the shower and apply a quality body scrub. [Our favorite is the Lime + Coconut Salty Sweet Body Scrub from Captain Blankenship that features both salt and sugar and has the most gorgeous summery scent.] Take your time massaging the scrub from your neck down to your toes, focusing on drier areas such as elbow, knuckles, knees, and feet. Be sure to rinse thoroughly!
Exfoliation allows the freshest skin to shine and doubles as the perfect base for developing a decent tan - if that's what you're into!
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Next, lock in all that moisture from your bath or shower by applying a deeply hydrating lotion or body oil that absorbs quickly. We love OSEA's Ocean Lotion or One Love Organics' Gardenia + Tea Antioxidant Body Serum.
An important note to consider: certain body lotions and oils can be photo-toxic or photo-sensitive, meaning they can cause skin damage and painful sunburns if worn in the sun. Products containing any citrus oils (lemon, lime, grapefruit, bergamot) or petroleum by-products* such as mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, and polypropylene glycol can cause photosensitivity. Be careful what you moisturize with before direct sun exposure!
Mother always told me never leave the house without sun protection. The secret to beautiful skin (and long-lasting health) is protecting our skin from harsh UV rays. A common misconception that deters most of us from wearing SPF is that it deters a good tan. This is a myth. You can still tan beautifully while wearing SPF. Always look for an SPF that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and go higher in number the lighter the skin you have.
Another myth? That dark skin doesn't need SPF. While darker skin doesn't burn easily, it is still susceptible to UV rays and thus skin cancer. It is true however, that darker-toned skin can get away with lower protection, like SPF 15, while paler skin requires SPF 30+. The difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is minuscule (97% to 98%) - so stick with a mid-range number to avoid the chalkiness of the lotion. We love Suntegrity for its insane staying power and extra cute packaging.
Other ways of protecting your skin? Wearing long sleeves, pants, scarf, and/or a hat in the sun, using gloves and protective gear when working with chemicals or materials that can be abrasive to the skin, and eating colorful fruits and vegetables that can increase your body's own ability to protect itself from the sun and other environmental factors.
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Next step? Show off your now gorgeous skin by layering on some body oil to enhance and exaggerate.
We love French Girl's Lumiere Body Oil in Bronzing and Moonlight or Prtty Peaushun's Skin Tight Body Lotion because they have a beautiful iridescence to them that highlight the contours of your body, and are tinted just enough to blur any imperfections whilst allowing your skin to shine through.
Think of it as contouring for your body - the subtle sheen allows light to bounce off of your curves, creating a streamlined silhouette and drawing attention to your skin's smooth, hydrated texture.
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Last, but not least, let's not forget that after a little sun, your skin may be dry, irritated, or even burnt. Always be sure to take care of your skin after sun exposure to ensure its healthy healing. This will maintain your hard-won glow for weeks!
Treat your skin to a cooling mist like OSEA's Sea Minerals Mist or Sea Vitamins Boost to help your skin rehydrate and oxygenate. Calm inflamed skin by applying The Blue Cocoon beauty balm by May Lindstrom.
Avoid harsh exfoliants immediately after sun exposure to prevent any abrasives from harming the surface of your skin and further irritating any burns or dry patches you may have. Wait at least a day or two before exfoliating again.
To nudge along your healing process, drink plenty of water (of course!), try soaking in an aloe-rich bath like this Coconut + Cactus Bath Milk, or applying a deeply hydrating mask or cream like Pai's Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream.
That's it, ladies. Now you're a pro when it comes to soft, smooth, sun-kissed skin.
* - At PETIT VOUR, we never carry any products that contain any form of petroleum or its derivatives. Why? Check out our Restricted Ingredients List for more information, or view Our Standard to learn how we curate the products in our shop and beauty box.