Natural Beauty Care Guide

How to Summarize Your Skin

The sun has always been a prime offender against the skin, but in recent years its harmful effects have increased as the protective ozone layer has weakened. Solar radiation is a factor in cataracts, cell degeneration, and the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which leads to premature aging and wrinkles. It is the leading cause of skin cancer, and also increases free radical generation in the skin because it decreases production of antioxidant enzymes. When ingested and absorbed into the body they will cause hyper pigmentation if the skin is exposed to too much sun. Of course, summer heat aggravates, leading to increased skin sensitivity and sebaceous secretions.

In general, sensitive skin types tend to turn red rather than tan in the sun, and also develop freckles. Dry and oily skin types both tan easily. Nevertheless, nothing ages the skin more quickly than a sunburn, so individuals of every skin type should take precautions to protect themselves from the sun.

  • Give your face an extra cleansing each day and always clean your face after strenuous activity. Warm weather means more active oil glands. Perspiration makes dirt cling to your skin.
  • Use a "light" night cream and daytime moisturizer. Smooth on only a few drops to compensate for the extra washing and perspiring that remove the skin's invisible shield. Use additional moisturizer when you travel by plane; pressurized air is excessively dry.
  • Watch out for the sun; too much of it makes skin lined, leathery, and old before its time.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 to 30, depending upon your skin. If you don't burn easily but do tan easily, use lower SPF. If you burn more easily than you tan, use higher SPF. Try not to use sunscreen unless you are in the sun, since it tends to increase skin sensitivity in general. Sesame and neem oil both are excellent natural sunscreens.

  • Avoid sunbathing. If you do sunbathe, olive and coconut oils are natural tanning agents, since they absorb ultraviolet light and provide even coloring. A daily dose of B-complex vitamins also helps produce an even tan.
  • After sunbathing, take a cool bath, adding a few drops rose, sandalwood, or vetiver essence to the water.
  • To treat sunburned skin, rub on either crushed cucumber, cucumber juice, aloe vera juice, an ice infusion of elderflower and chamomile, or cold buttermilk.

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