Get glowing skin that you'll want to show off with these four skincare tips.
Block out the sun
While broad-spectrum sunscreens that use chemical ingredients such as Mexoryl SX are low in toxicity, mineral-based sunblocks containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which sit on top of the skin, "are better light barriers," says Jaggi Rao, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Alberta. Choose non-whitening formulations to avoid a ghostly look.
TRY: Green Beaver Certified Organic SPF 30 ($9.99 at natural health stores across Canada) or Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunscreen Pure Lavender SPF 45 ($11.99 at grocery, natural health and London Drugs stores across Canada).
Choose good oils
Although oil treatments are usually associated with cold weather, Kristen Ma, author of Beauty: Pure+simple and co-owner of Toronto's Pure+simple spas, says different oils can be used at different times of the year. Since skin is prone to heating up in the summer, she advises using products containing coconut oil to cool skin down. It also works as a natural antiinflammatory, has antibacterial benefits and is good for acne-prone skin.
Because toner has natural astringent properties, Ma says, it's especially beneficial at this time of year, when skin tends to produce more oil. Both organic peppermint oil and witch hazel hydrosols (which combine the organic extract with water) have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and clarifying properties. She suggests storing them in the fridge for a cooling spritz in the heat. And don't forget to spritz your neck and chest, which can be breakout-prone in warm weather.
Skin exfoliation is key in winter to slough off dead skin cells caused by indoor heat and atmospheric dryness, but we're more prone to inflammation during the summer. Ma's advice for hot seasons is to avoid acid peels, cut back on exfoliation to once or twice weekly and use a gentler exfoliant on your face. However, body parts that would benefit from more rigorous exfoliation include the underarms, the bikini area and anywhere else you might develop ingrown hairs from frequent hair removal.
TRY: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($72 through www.dermalogica.ca) or Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Advanced Anti-Aging Body Wash Exfoliate & Replenish ($8.99 at drugstores across Canada).