Summer Skin Care Tips – Social Awareness

{SCA}Summertime can be a bad time for skin. Those warm days can also bring a new host of skincare issues you need to know how to deal with. From UVA rays to pool chlorine, it’s important that you are ready and prepared to keep your skin healthy and protected from the elements of summer. Excessive heat during the summer disturbs the critical oil-water balance in the body. Too much of perspiration clogs the pores and exposure to the U.V. rays results in premature aging, wrinkles and sagging of the skin.

According to Ayurveda, every individual is a unique combination of the three doshas or psycho-physiological principles Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata is mainly air and space, Pitta fire and water and Kapha water and earth. These doshas also govern the seasons of the year, with Pitta, the fire element, ruling the hot summer months. During the summer, even if you do not have a lot of Pitta in your make-up, you may find that you need to take steps to placate Pitta to stay healthy and balanced. This goes not only for your overall health but skin and hair health as well.

Social awareness and guidelines for summer skin care

  • A teaspoon of cod liver oil supplies you with the daily requirement of essential fats (including Omega-3 fatty acids), as well as Vitamins D and A, which are crucial for rejuvenating cells and keeping skin moist and smooth.
  • Drink lots of water throughout the day, not only to replenish moisture lost to the heat and sweat but also to help flush toxins out of the body and keep skin looking clear and lustrous. Herb or spice teas, made with skin-enhancing ingredients, offer added therapeutic benefit. To balance Pitta, choose cooling herbs and spices such as mint (pudina), cardamom (elaichi) and fennel (saunf).
  • Eat Pitta-balancing fruits, vegetables and herbs, which supply the skin with essential nutrients and come with free-radical fighting antioxidant properties while they help keep your skin cool. Carrots (gajar), lettuce (salad patta), and leafy greens are good vegetable choices. Sweet juicy fruits such as pears, grapes, watermelon and mangoes both nourish and cleanse. Go easy on spicy or sour foods, especially if you plan to go out and enjoy the sun for the day, to keep your skin from breaking out or getting inflamed. Milk is a cooling, Pitta-pacifying beverage that also supplies nutrients to your skin and helps to keep it from drying out.
  • Makeup should be used sparingly and thoroughly removed at bedtime. Establish a good cleansing routine, morning and night, using a gentle facial cleanser. Your skin will be more oily and breakout-prone in the summer than in the winter, but don’t succumb to the temptation of scrubbing your face clean with harsh soap. Pamper your skin in the summer with a liberal application of moisturizers to restore suppleness and prevent wrinkles from forming.
  • Exfoliate regularly using a chemical exfoliant such as glycolic acid or microderm-abrasion scrub to rid of dead skin cells, promote new cell growth and prevent acne outbreaks which occur way too frequently during the hot summer months.
  • Get plenty of quality rest each night. Keep your bedroom cool, dark and comfortable and sleep on cotton or linen sheets. Get to bed early and awaken early for clear healthy skin and sparkling eyes.
  • Pitta dosha governs the heart and emotions. When you feel stressed, angry or frustrated, your skin will show it over time as furrows and small lines and breakouts. Practice calming yoga poses or meditation to stay serene and help your body and mind manage stress.
  • Keep your skin nourished with an herbal moisturizer. Look for ayurvedic formulations that contain skin-friendly herbs such as sandalwood (chandan), turmeric (haldi), brahmi, gooseberry (amla) and aloe vera (gwar patha). At least once a week, treat yourself to a fruit or vegetable mask appropriate for your skin type. Cucumbers (kheera), avocados (makhanphal), apricots (khubani) and papayas (papita) lend themselves well to homemade masks. Puree the fruit or vegetable and blend with some yogurt, honey, oatmeal and lemon juice (for oily skin) or rosewater (for dry skin) and apply evenly to the face. Let it stay for 15-20 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water.

Do not go out during the hottest parts of the day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you exercise outdoors, do it early in the morning. Wear sunscreen, lip protection, sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat when you go out-exposure to the sun can age skin very rapidly.

While this all may seem depressing and dire, the truth of the matter is summer is a great time to give your body positive benefits as well. Exercise that comes with being outside is ideal for a healthy glow and proper circulation, which can help your skin look fresh and vibrant.