Summer is in full swing! As a sun worshiper, I recognize the healing powers of the sun (Vitamin D anyone?), but I also recognize that the heat, chlorine and UV rays take a toll on my skin. Here are some tips to keep your skin at its best!
It is important to protect yourself against damaging radiation that can cause skin cancer, so definitely WEAR SUNSCREEN. Many sunscreens contain unnecessary harmful ingredients, so my advice is to pick up your sunscreen from a natural health store, that way you know it is going to be effective while minimizing toxins. (In Toronto, the Big Carrot has a great selection!)
Bugs are definitely the WORST part about summer for me! Insect repellants generally contain varying amounts of DEET, which is very effective against bugs, but also a known carcinogen. I’m not into carcinogens, so my strategy for bug season is to cover up with long sleeves at dusk and to use a natural insect repellant. (Burts Bees, Kiss My Face, Buzz Away and Natrapel are all decent. You can even DIY with a few drops of citronella oil added to a spray bottle of water)
Moisturize and stay hydrated. Drink lots of water (at least 1.5L/day) and choose a natural moisturizer free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil and petroleum. Apply liberally every morning, or as often as needed.
Eat your fruits and veggies! They contain skin nourishing vitamins and minerals, as well as potent anti-oxidants to prevent signs of aging. Summer is the best time to take advantage of farmer’s markets, where you can get delicious local produce that is in season! Nuts and avocados contain oils and fats that also contribute to healthy skin.
Take your vitamins: multivitamins and fish oil will help keep your skin looking its best.
Ditch your cigarettes. Seriously. Smoking rates are HIGH in the LGBTQ community, and we know that inhaling those death sticks generates lots of free radicals in the body that attack skin cells. (And mutate DNA… no big deal)
Monitor your skin! Inspect your skin regularly to see if any of your moles or freckles are changing. If you notice changes in colour or size, point it out to your doc.
If you have other skin issues (acne, scarring, eczema, psoriasis, etc) make an appointment with a health care provider to discuss your options. There are TONS of natural ways to solve these problems, so if you’re looking for a more natural approach, see your Naturopathic Doctor!
... And now... GO GET SOME SUN! J
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