Summer Skin : Soothe What Ails You

Who doesn’t love Summer? Everyone seems more chipper this time of year. Maybe it’s because they’re enjoying life outdoors, spending quality time with friends and family, and not having to layer their clothes to feel comfortable. All of this is lovely. The downside to summer, for many, is the harsh effect it has on their skin. Being outdoors in hot weather leads to sun damage and often sun burn. People with oily skin, like myself, often experience breakouts during the summer. For those of you in drier climates, your skin may get drier with the weather. Heat can wreak havoc on the balance we’ve reached with our skin and I’m here to share some helpful ways to overcome some summer skin obstacles.

Preventing Sun Damage and Burns:

A study from 2009 explains how antioxidants, like OHA’s green tea and vitamins E & C may have “minimal SPF” despite having been shown to “protect against UV-induced DNA damage and immune suppression, in part through its ability to reduce oxidative stress”. The conclusion is that “the addition of botanical antioxidants and vitamins C and E to a broad-spectrum sunscreen may further decrease UV-induced damage compared with sunscreen alone.” The best way to prevent sun damage and skin cancer is to use non-toxic sunscreen in conjunction with antioxidant skin care, like OHA. The most concentrated source of antioxidants in OHA is the Intensive Nutrient Complex, so if you want the most sun-protective bang for your buck, this is your best bet. Even better? Combine CoQ10 & Argan Face Cream, Lip Line Treatment, and Hydrating Mist in the palm of your hand and apply it all over your face and neck for a thoroughly antioxidant-rich facial routine.

Already Burnt?

Is it too late for prevention? If so, your skin will be red, sensitive, and hot. Make sure to stay out of the sun after a burn and drink plenty of water throughout the day. It’s important to be gentle with your skin, especially when it’s burnt, so avoid scrubbing vigorously and avoid any harsh, acidic skin treatments. Instead, use Intensive Nutrient Complex and Daily Moisturizer with Hydrating Mist to thoroughly calm the skin and bring it back to balance. Your burn will feel overheated, so liberally sprits your face and shoulders with Hydrating Mist to cool down and give your skin nourishment all day. Even oily skin that is feeling a bit fried can benefit from this treatment. Just be sure to dilute the serum and moisturizer with at least 7 sprays of Hydrating Mist in the palm of your hand before applying to your skin.

Speaking of Oily Skin…

As soon as the weather switched to summer in Seattle, my forehead developed some unsightly breakouts. Because my skin felt oily all day, I found myself touching my face a lot to wipe away excess oil. It’s no wonder I was having zit problems! As soon as I started using a little bit less moisturizer and serum (from 1 pump to less than half a pump for each) and using about twice as much Hydrating Mist, my breakouts cleared within a week. Beyond healing my breakouts, this new routine moisturized my skin just enough that it didn’t feel oily after my skin care routine but also didn’t leave my skin without oils after cleansing. When you have oily skin, it’s tempting to power wash your face and avoid moisturizer, but this habit will lead to your skin needing to replace oils that were removed from cleansing and often overcompensate by getting extra oily. Just a little bit of moisture will give your skin some much-needed balance.

On the Drier Side?

Martha’s favorite combination when she needs both sun protection and a lot of hydration is CoQ10 & Argan Face Cream combined with Daily Moisturizer and Intensive Nutrient Complex. This trio offers a protective barrier between the elements and the skin’s lipid barrier while also quenching thirsty skin. Essentially, it provides the skin with moisture and locks in that moisture all day. It’s chock-full of antioxidants, too, so it’s a great supplement to your sun care routine.

Your skin is communicating with you on a daily basis. It’s reflecting your emotions, your diet and how you’re nourishing it directly. When you notice changes in your skin, see what shifted in your life to figure out the cause of your skin’s changes. If the summer heat has been giving your skin trouble, I hope these bits of advice help you get back to good. Treat your skin kindly and enjoy all this season has to offer.

The CO2 Mask’s Triumphant Return

I’ve mentioned before that I spent a sizable amount of my adolescence in Martha’s house.  She was always formulating concoctions for everyone in the household to test; “Smell this” frequented casual conversations.  About nine years ago, Martha concocted a handful of face masks. One was a chocolate mask with coffee and one was the CO2 mask. Being a coffee and chocolate freak, the obvious love affair should have started with the coffee chocolate mask. I didn’t know what CO2s were but that CO2 mask, more than anything else I’d ever tried, made my face feel clean without feeling dry, feel glowing without making me feel oily and even healed random zits. I loved it. I loved it so much, that I would awkwardly bring up the CO2 mask in conversations with Martha, hoping she’d offer me a lifetime supply. She’d mentioned that CO2s cost stupid amounts of money but that they were the purest iterations of plants.

Fast forward to Fall of 2010 when Martha, after some nagging, recreated her famous CO2 mask. It’s as fabulous as I remember it and I’m squirmily excited that so many people seem to love it as much as I do. Sheila Hansen, of If a Goddess Wore Makeup said,

“The new mask is awesome. I normally avoid using masks because most of them leave my skin feeling tight and dry, but NOT the new mask by OHA. My skin felt clean, soft and hydrated. LOVE it.”

It’s beautifully healing on tired, dry or panicked skin, which pretty much sums up how my skin feels this time of year. Martha got creative and added acai and pomegranate to give your skin a fantastic nutritional boost. Let us know what you think of this little miracle!

Not All Lavenders Are Created Equal

Remember how I mentioned the “lavender” bath salts I tried giving Martha before I knew that there was a difference between high end lavender and grocery store lavender? After doing some research, I can attest to how wrong I was. So. Wrong.

Let’s break it down:

“Lavender”:  A lot of products in grocery stores with a “lavender” scent may not even have actual lavender in it.  It’s like “grape” gum. I’ve never tasted a real grape that smelled anything like grape-flavored gum but it’s what the market has decided “grape” tastes like so that’s what we’ve come to expect.  Same goes for lavender.  A lot of people out there (maybe even you!) have only encountered the most false versions of lavender and believe that you’re allergic to or dislike the smell of lavender.  If the ingredient deck says nothing of “lavendin” or  some form of “lavandula”, back away slowly and move on to something real.

A Field of Lavendin

Lavendin: Even though (or maybe because) Lavendin is a hybrid of lavandula angustifolia (often called True Lavender) and lavender spica (Spiky Lavender), it’s a totally sterile plant that can’t reproduce on its own. Despite its sterility, lavendin is by far the most prevalent form of lavender in soaps, toothpastes, everything because it smells so lovely. It has to be cloned, which is why most lavender fields you see look eerily symmetrical and tidy.  Lavendin, however, doesn’t guarantee all the healing properties that lavandula angustifolia provides, so OHA primarily uses lavendin to cover up the not-so-pleasant smelliness of unrefined olive oil, pumpkin seed oil and rose hip seed oil. It also does well at the basic lavender functions, like being antispasmodic and a stress reliever.

A Field of True Lavender

Lavandula Angustifolia (True Lavender):  Ahhh, now the really good stuff. When other skin care companies use this variety of lavender, they dilute it like crazy because it’s so expensive. This lavender is not skin sensitizing so it’s safe for almost every skin type. The most precious sub-species of lavendula angustifolia is Population Lavender, grown from seeds in France. It is among the most therapeutically complex and beneficial lavender oils in the world.  Talk about freakisly expensive, but OHA uses it because it’s what’s best for your skin. Different climates, altitudes, and even insects can affect the structure and therapeutic strengths of a lavender plant, so OHA sources lavender from all around the world, including the Pacific Northwest, Tasmania, France, Bulgaria, and the Himalayas. This guarantees that you get all the possible therapeutic benefits of lavender when you use OHA’s skin care system. Why is that cool?  See below:

Lavender Angustifolia’s benefits include:

* treating eczema, psoriasis, burns, bronchial disorders, migraines, wounds, parasitic infection
* relaxant, sleep aid and stress reliever
* antibacterial, antispasmodic, a circulatory stimulant and antiseptic
* regulates skin functions and stimulates cellular growth and regeneration
* brings balance to all skin types, including acneic, dry, normal, sensitive and oily
* heals open wounds or surgical wounds
* it turns you and your friends into unicorns. I’m kidding. I just wanted to see you if you were still with me.

Enlightening stuff, eh?  It just reminds me of what an honor it is to be using and working around the most beautiful ingredients available.

Want to see the OHA products that are rich in lavender? Check out the links below:

Facial Sugar Scrub

Hydrating Mist

Daily Moisturizer

Night Cream

Intensive Nutrient Complex

Lip Line Treatment

Until Next Wednesday,

Meg

PS: If you have questions, thoughts, or musings about the meaning of life, leave a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!

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