With the coming of summer comes long hours in the sun and heat. Protect your mane from the summer sun without sacrificing all the summer fun by taking the right precautions.
Summertime causes several effects on your hair. The balmier weather will dry out your locks while UVA and UVB rays bake your hair, just like your skin, which alters the color and feel of it. These changes cause damage and allow your hair to deteriorate more easily. Much like the effect of heating implements on your hair, the constant high temperatures of the summer months can cause breakages and split ends. The outside coating of your hair, called keratin, is also affected by the sun. The often causes discoloration, frizziness, brittleness and even hair thinning.
Photo courtesy Shutterstock.
Since it’s more likely for your hair to be damaged while soaking up the sun, consider wearing a hat. While they can also protect your décolletage from overexposure to harmful rays, protecting your head (and the hair on it) is just as important. It’s also good to know that there are shampoos and conditioners that help protect against UVA and UVB rays. You can even dilute sunscreen to apply to your hair; just remember to use a clarifying shampoo afterward to get rid of buildup. Kerastase has great sun-care products under its Soleil line, including Huile Celeste Protective Spray which contains UVA and UVB filters.
You can also keep your hair strong throughout the summer months by using proper conditioning techniques. Ideally you should be conditioning your hair with every wash, summertime means your locks will need some extra love to stay moisturized. Use Moroccan oil to help lock in hydration. After spending time at the beach or pool, use a conditioning masque to help restore moisture. Try Aveda’s Sun Care After-Sun Hair Masque to neutralize free radicals with green tea extract and Vitamin E, while also boosting hair strand density with a patented protein and blend of plant oils.
You may also want to change up your beauty regimen during the summer months. Dye, style and shampoo less often! Crazy, you say? Bleach and hair dyes, along with curling and straightening tools are essentially the quid-pro-quo, but they aren’t putting your hair in the best starting position during summer. Additionally, shampooing your hair too often strips it of natural oils which cause it to become dryt—skip the shampoo as often as possible, especially if you’re about to go swimming in a chlorinated pool!
Make the most of the gorgeous weather without damning your beautiful tresses by using these simple tips.
It’s easy to avoid the harsh chemicals common in skin-care products when we make our own—many of the nastiest compounds in conventional cosmetics are stabilizers and preservatives. Liz Marie Galvan, from Liz Marie Blog, offers this simple face mask made from edible ingredients. The honey moisturizes and cleanses skin gently. The cinnamon fights breakouts with its antiseptic properties, and the nutmeg sloughs off dead skin cells to reduce blackheads and even out skin tone. If you have sensitive skin, test these ingredients on a small patch of skin before adding them to your mask. If the mask doesn’t irritate your skin, apply once a week.
Liz Marie Galvan, founder of Liz Marie Blog (lizmarieblog.com), uses his all-natural face mask recipe to brighten and even out skin tone. Photo courtesy Liz Marie Galvin.
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Pour honey into bowl, then add nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
2. Apply mask to face, being careful to avoid the eye area.
3. Let sit 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Follow with a moisturizer.
Photo by Fotolia.
Step 1: Shape and Soak.
Clip toenails to a uniform length, aiming straight across in several small cuts to avoid encouraging ingrown nails. Then file nails in one direction. Fill a bowl with warm water and add 10 to 20 drops almond, jojoba, olive or avocado oil. Add 10 drops antifungal tea tree essential oil and 10 drops soothing lavender essential oil. Soak feet in water for 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 2: Smooth Skin.
Dry feet. Make an exfoliating paste by mixing 1⁄2 cup sugar with 1⁄2 cup any oil of your choice. Apply paste all over foot, concentrating on rough areas such as the heels, and rub into skin for a few minutes to moisturize and smooth calluses. Rinse hands and wash feet. Apply 1 drop oil on cuticle of each toe and massage into skin.
Step 3: Enhance.
Buff nails to a sheen with a buffer block ($6, Sephora) or use a healthy polish such as Kester Black’s ($20) cruelty-free polish, made without toluene (a suspected carcinogen), camphor (toxic in large amounts), formaldehyde (a carcinogen) and formaldehyde resin (an allergen).
Vanilla Lavender Stick
Lavanila’s beloved stick deodorant derives its lovely scent from essential oils, and it’s made without aluminum, parabens, phthalates or animal testing.
To Buy: $14, Lavanila Laboratories
Tea Tree Cream
Made with baking soda, arrowroot and clay, this underarm cream from Meow Meow Tweet also packs the punch of soothing shea butter.
To Buy: $14, Meow Meow Tweet
Eucalyptus Spearmint Cream
Formulated for sensitive skin, this cream deodorant from Lovefresh is made with shea butter, coconut oil and essential oils.
To Buy: $15, Lovefresh
Floral Fields Stick
This stick deodorant from Iwilla Remedy uses beeswax, clay and an essential oil blend of geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, neroli and vetiver to combat perspiration.
To Buy: $10, Iwilla Remedy
Clove Calendula Roll-On
For a convenient option, try Lavilin’s fragrance-free, 72-hour roll-on deodorant, made with hyssop, clove and calendula extract.
To Buy: $18, Lavilin
Keeping your skin healthy and nourished is essential for a radiant, youthful complexion, and it can help improve overall well-being. When skin is hydrated, not only does it look better, but it feels better and most people also notice a boost in confidence.
Maintaining your skin can prevent infections and bacteria from entering the body which, ultimately, keep you from looking your best. There are plenty of expensive lotions and serums that repair skin damage and can improve overall appearance, but there are also inexpensive, easy-to-grow natural remedies that can give you amazing results without the risk of side effects.
1. Aloe Vera
This succulent has been used to ease painful burns, typically sunburns, but it can also be used to hydrate and moisturize rough, dry skin. The gel inside the aloe vera plant is high in B complex vitamins, along with vitamins A, C and E. It also contains iron, copper, zinc, calcium and other minerals essential to your health. Simply applying the gel from the plant to your skin can promote healthy cell rejuvenation for a younger looking complexion.
Many women already use lavender for aromatherapy, as its pleasant fragrance can calm stressed nerves and soothe agitation. Along with being able to ease stress and anxiety, the oil from the plant can also improve the health of your skin. Lavender oil contains antibacterial properties which make it an effective astringent. It helps reduce and diminish acne breakouts, along with easing redness and inflammation. Lavender is also an excellent moisturizer that can improve blood circulation to create younger looking skin.
Sometimes referred to as calendula, this cheery bedding plant can be found in most gardens. Marigolds are high in vitamin A compounds, which are extremely effective at hydrating and smoothing rough, dry skin. It also promotes healthy skin cell rejuvenation, and reduces the appearance of facial scars. The bright flowers can prevent your skin from thinning while plumping up fine lines and wrinkles.
The small white and yellow flowers of the chamomile plant are frequently used in relaxing teas, and to treat symptoms associated with the common cold. This delicate plant also contains properties that—when applied to the skin—can brighten and tone dull complexions and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. A cold herbal tea can be used as a refreshing face wash to help promote cell rejuvenation.
Roses have been prized in gardens for centuries, and some varieties have been carefully cultivated for generations. When rose petals are combined with cold water you can use the mixture to soothe irritated rashes and reduce inflammation. Vitamin C in rose petals also provide moisturizing properties, which are essential for preventing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Additional Medicinal Plants
Other garden favorites to grow for skin care include clary sage and tea tree. The astringent properties of sage are excellent at removing blackheads without irritating your sensitive pores. Tree tea has been used in natural beauty products for years and can prevent acne breakouts, along with helping your retain a youthful glow.
Naturally fight the aging process, while improving the appearance of your skin. While most of these medicinal plants are safe and effective, it is always a good idea to consult a dermatologist, or other trusted health care professional, in order to prevent accidental irritations.
Vaileria Dennis is a Health and Beauty expert with 10 years of experience in the beauty industry. She works on behalf of ConsumerHealthDigest.com as a content coordinator for the categories Health and Skin Care Science. She is also passionate about fitness and women’s health. In recent years, she has had the opportunity to learn more about food and nutrition. She is always excited to share her ideas related to beauty tips, healthy recipes and diet plans.
Perfumes, fragrances, eau de toilettes, whatever you want to call them, they are a staple of modern day life. Packed with aromas that mimic and magnify natural scents, they exist to make us smell like wildflowers and feel like movie stars. However, these things all come at a cost.
Sometimes the price of the fragrance can be a barrier; many perfumes are priced well out of the region of many salaries. Some people may have allergies or sensitivities. The small particulates in perfumes can be major irritants for sensitive noses and, as a result, the owners are sometimes left fragrance-less. However, for anyone who can’t afford or can’t go near, perfumes, here are a couple of examples of odd, but effective, natural perfume alternatives.
Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked cookies? You know the one I mean, that soft vanilla aroma which hangs in the air. Vanilla extract, the commonly used baking ingredient, can double as a body fragrance to give the same irresistible smell as a freshly baked batch of cookies. Just splash it on a paper towel and dab it onto your skin. As with all these suggestions though, we recommend you try only a small amount first to ensure your skin doesn’t react to them.
Orange Flower Water
You'll normally find orange flower water is used to flavor Mediterranean and North African cuisine. For those of you that have some sitting in the pantry, a splash or two can offer up a natural, zesty fragrance that is powerful enough to match any traditional perfume product. However, for those of you without, never fear. Many shops sell this enchanting water, but it may take a couple of searches to find it. On the plus side, once you find it, not only can you make yourself smell like a Mediterranean kitchen, you can turn your kitchen into one too.
This is a trick many of you with children might have already learned, but for the rest of you I'll go into a little more detail. Baby oil can be found in all sorts of scents, such as lavender and jasmine, but isn’t simply limited to the little ones. A generous dab here and there will give you a gentle, often floral, aroma. This tip is perfect for those with youngsters as you likely have a number of bottles lying around the house. However, given its inexpensive nature, even those of you without children should consider giving it a go. As long as you don’t tell anyone its baby oil, who’s going to know?
Citrus scents are always popular. They appear in perfumes, oils, air fresheners and more. However, if you don’t have any on hand, you can get the fragrance straight from the source. It might sound bizarre—although not surprising—but, by softly rubbing the peel of citrus fruits on areas of your body, such as behind your ears, neck and wrists, you can smell delightful without having to spend a penny.
No matter how intriguing they are, sometimes these perfume alternatives just aren’t a substitute for the real thing. With perfume costing a small fortune these days, perhaps it’s better to look for alternatives to brand name products rather than simply giving up on perfumes altogether. With that in mind, you might want to consider visiting World Class Fragrances. Like big name brands, they offer high-quality products, but unlike those brands, they don’t waste money on elaborate marketing ploys and unnecessary glass bottling.
I like the ideas behind Kahina Giving Beauty and I was excited when the marketing director of a natural skin care and supplement distribution center asked me to try it. The line features handpicked ingredients by women in Morocco, specifically very high quality Argan oil. The line boasts ethically and sustainably sourced raw materials; certified natural and organic formulations that incorporate organic materials whenever possible; recycled and recyclable packaging; and donations to the Moroccan women who work to provide the raw materials. This sounded great to me, so I shelved my Dr. Hauschka for 10 days to give the line a try.
For 10 days I used Kahina Facial Cleanser, Toning Mist, Brightening Serum, Eye Serum, and Facial Lotion. I am 39-years-old with combination skin, a fair complexion and freckles.
I read and reread the ingredients as I am an ingredient hound and must know absolutely what I am putting onto my skin. Here is what I found.
The Cleanser is in a base of aloe vera leaf juice and argan oil, containing bamboo and papaya, which I like. The first thing I noticed was the scent. Yum. It smells of neroli and chamomile. 1 point for Kahina.
The Toner is sticky and advises to avoid contact with your eyes. It is a base of aloe vera juice and rose water with rice seed extract, white tea and glycerin. Pretty good ingredients, but very sticky. 1 point against.
The Brightening Serum is also a base of aloe vera juice, argan oil and glycerin. It smells of rose geranium and frankincense, which I love. It also contains some potent, nourishing ingredients like spirulina and shea butter. It’s also sticky and cautions to avoid spraying into the eyes.
The Eye Serum is a base of water, argan oil and glycerin. It contains the powerhouse sea buckthorn and carrot oil combo I love for sun repair and anti-aging. It smells like ylang ylang and neroli, yum but again TOO STICKY! Take the glycerin out of everything for goodness sakes!
The Facial Lotion is a base of water and argan oil, with glycerin, shea butter, alcohol and beeswax. It smells like honeysuckle. It is light and non- sticky.
I also received a tiny dram, each, of Argan Oil and Prickly Pear Seed Oil. These high quality oils absorb easily into the skin with no residue or stickiness! I enjoyed these very much.
Kahina Giving Beauty smells delicious, has quality ingredients and is definitely ethical, but very sticky! I would recommend this line only to those who can stand having sticky glycerin on their faces all day. If you really want to try something, go for the pure oils.
Shar Veda is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, Yoga Therapist, and herbalist living in Ashland, Oregon. She works with at risk teen-aged girls and offers compassionate health and lifestyle counseling anywhere in the world via Skype and or the good old-fashioned telephone. Shar has had the great gift of studying with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for nearly 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook!