Keep your skin healthy and vibrant with natural sunscreen, after sun care, plenty of hydration and safe insect repellent.
Long summer days spent outside are glorious, but can also be unkind to our skin. By incorporating a few easy and mindful skincare steps today, you will ensure your skin remains beautiful tomorrow. Looking after your skin is also a great way to practice a bit of self-care. Here are a few simple tips to get your skincare regime ready for summer.
Sunscreen is essential to protect our skin from the harsh New Zealand sun. Anything we put on our skin has the potential to be absorbed and potentially risk the health of our bodies. Therefore it’s important to know what makes a ‘safer sunscreen’.
Most natural sunscreens use minerals (most commonly zinc oxide), natural herbs and oils to create a physical barrier on the skin to minimise the impact of UV light penetration. Many mainstream sunscreens use chemicals as protection. Research has shown these chemicals are absorbed into the blood stream and have endocrine disruptive properties.
Here are a few tips that may help in choosing the best sun protection for you and your family.
- When choosing a sunscreen, start by checking the ingredient list. A natural sunscreen needs about 15% zinc oxide for optimal results. While ingredient lists can be confusing for many of us, here are a few natural brands to consider: Wotnot, Kind, Oasis (affordable and family-friendly), and Skin Shield by Emma Lewisham. Shop HealthPost or Huckleberry for a trusty range of natural sun care.
- The Environmental Working Group (EWG) have a guide to safe sunscreen. Check it out here. Get the nitty gritty on sunscreen in our blog here.
- Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun so that it reaches each layer of the skin, providing maximum protection.
- While it can be inconvenient, it really is important to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or after swimming, towel drying or perspiring.
- Protect your skin from the sun by staying in the shade or wearing protective and lightweight clothing. Sit under a tree, bring an umbrella or use a shade tent.
- Vitamin D is essential for optimal immune system function. It’s produced by your skin in response to exposure to UV radiation from natural sunlight. As the sun is your primary source of Vitamin D, it is important to get safe sun exposure on your arms and legs, without sunscreen, each day. This is best done before 10 am and after 4pm, for about 15-20 minutes.
After Sun Care
- The skin needs to be moisturised after sun exposure. Apply a natural body lotion after the shower to help seal in the moisture. If you don’t have anything fancy on hand, simply rub virgin coconut oil into your skin. The face will need something a bit stronger like a serum or face cream.
- Aloe Vera gel is a natural, soothing and nourishing gel that provides relief to dry, weathered skin. It’s perfect for after-sun care, and helps to lock in moisture.
- Give a go at making your own hydrating body mist. Use ingredients you have on hand and pour into an old spray bottle. For the base use witch hazel or rose water. Or simply water and apple cider vinegar work too. Add a tablespoon of aloe vera gel from a plant and 5-10 drops of essential oils. Use peppermint for cooling, lavender for soothing, frankincense for nourishing, and tea tree or geranium for overall skin health.
- If you need to grab sun care on-the-go, Lifestream have an amazing Aloe Vera Mist, which is a lovely combination of aloe vera and Vitamin E, with herbal extracts of witch hazel, chamomile, mint, and cucumber to nourish and moisturise the skin.
- Eating healthy and fresh foods that contain antioxidants, vitamin C and collagen support healthy skin from the inside out.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying adequately hydrated keeps your skin moisturized, healthy, and, glowing.
- Don’t forget to hydrate your lips. A moisturising lip balm is essential in the summer.
- Dry skin (lacking oil) is different than dehydrated skin (lacking water). Get the specific details here. What’s important in this case, is that when we are in the sun and the body becomes dehydrated, the skin is also effected and can get tight and red. Your skin is telling you it is thirsty. No surprise, the best thing you can do is drink plenty of fresh water!
- Avoid chemical-based bug repellent by using a natural version instead. Chemical repellents often include DEET, which has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor and can cause skin rashes.
- If you’re the DIY type, it’s easy to make your own bug spray. Start with a carrier base such as a 50/50 mix of witch hazel and water. Add 5-10 drops of essential oils that bugs do not like: citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil. If you don’t have witch hazel, apple cider vinegar does the job.
- HealthPost have a great range of bug repellent. Support local with these three Kiwi made bug repellents: KIWIHERB Herbal Insect Repellent, goodbye SANDFLY, and Tui Extreme Bug Spray.
Give yourself some extra love this summer with these handy skincare tips. We would love you to share any sun care hacks you may have, with us over on Instagram at @chantal_organics.
To receive monthly recipes and sustainable living inspiration directly to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.