As the weather gets warmer, you may need to change your skin care. In the spring and summer, skin tends to get oilier, and in some cases dehydrated (often when skin gets dehydrated, it ironically pumps out more sebum to prevent moisture loss). Here are my recommendations for a spring and summer skin care routine.
During warmer weather you may want to switch to a tougher cleaning cleanser that removes excess oils or impurities but that won’t over dry your skin. If your skin is on the dry side, try a soap based cleanser that is superfatted (that has extra oils added after the soap is made) and rich in glycerine. Some people with dry skin prefer to use soap free cleansers like cold cream or cleansing oils a few times a week.
If your skin is on the oily side, you may also like soap based cleansers, or you may want to try a gentle detergent based cleanser (note: all detergents are synthetic. However some detergents are naturally derived—but are still synthetic. Be sure to try a detergent that is gentle like decylpolyglucoside, since many can be very harsh), or a clay based cleanser (I suggest using clay based cleansers only a few times a week). Oily skin may want to use cleansers made with herbs such as lemongrass to help balance their skin.
Most people may also like cleaning with aloe (only recommended for light cleaning. If you wear makeup, use one of the cleansing methods above). Check out my blog (below) for a post on cleaning with aloe!
Exfoliate and mask:
With the onset of warmer weather, what better way to treat your skin than a fresh homemade mask or scrub! Fresh masks and scrubs can add nutrients, hydrate, tone, detoxify, and exfoliate the skin, depending on the ingredients. If your skin is oily try adding tomatoes to a clay mask. If your skin is dry, there is nothing better than a hydrating, fruit mask like apple. All skin types may like using a strawberry scrub, which brightens the skin and also contains natural fruit acids that are great for blemished skin. Be sure to use a mask or scrub (exfoliant) no more than 1-3 times a week. See recipe below for a fresh sweet strawberry scrub!
Tone and hydrate:
Just like in the fall and wintertime, hydration is the key to great skin. Many ingredients can provide hydration, and some can even help balance sebum levels. I recommend using hydrosols as toners. Oily skin may prefer using lemon balm (melissa) hydrosol. Drier skin types may prefer rose hydrosol.
Hold in moisture or moisturize:
Contrary to popular belief, oils are good for the skin because they mimic the skin’s natural lubrication called sebum. Often if you give the skin a balance of oil and hydration (water or water-rich ingredients) the skin will balance itself. During the spring and summer months, you may need to switch to a lighter oil or moisturizer.
If you prefer moisturizers, I recommend using a lotion instead of a cream, since lotions contain more water and water-rich ingredients, and less oil than creams. Often many lotions will also use lighter oils. If you want to keep using your favorite creams (which some people with dry skin may prefer) you may want to apply to very damp skin (to increase absorption) and apply less than you usually do than in the fall and winter.
Some people prefer to use oils to seal in hydration. Oils also need to be applied to damp skin (since oils do not hydrate, they work by holding moisture to the skin).
Try to get or buy products made with cold pressed (or expeller pressed if you can not find cold pressed) and unrefined oils for their nutrient content. Organic (even richer in nutrients) and fair trade products are an added plus. Whether you use an oil, oil based serum (a mix of oils and usually essential oils) or a moisturizer (lotion or cream), you may want to try ones made with kukui nut oil (the lightest oil available) or camellia oil (a light oil from the green tea plant). Both are rich in antioxidants and good for all skin types.
Sweet strawberry scrub
1 teaspoon brown sugar
honey or agave
Mash the berry. Add the brown sugar and a small amount of honey or agave. Gently massage onto damp skin and rinse well. Make and use fresh every time.
The brown sugar is a manual exfoliant and is a natural source of glycolic acid. Strawberries gently clean and also brighten the skin, and contain natural fruit acids. Honey cleans and softens the skin and helps draw toxins from the skin. Agave also cleans and softens the skin, and is a vegan ingredient. Use dark agave, which has more nutrients. Suitable for all skin types, except the very sensitive.
Link to my recipe on my blog for an aloe facial cleansing gel:
My banana chocolate mask in my Eco Living autumn and winter skin care article is also a great mask to use during the spring and summer months.
My avocado agave mask on anb portal is wonderful to use on dry and normal skin types during warmer months, though many people with oily and combination skin love it too!
About The Author:
Li Wong has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. She has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001, and is currently a student of Jeanne Rose’s Aromatherapy Studies Course. Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception. Her all natural, eco-friendly, vegetarian cosmetic company will open very soon.
For more information on environmental issues, Eco Living, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, and herbalism check out: Solarkat’s Eco Blog. http://solarkatecoblogspot.com
If you have any questions on Eco Living please feel free to contact Li at: