Summer Skin : Soothe What Ails You

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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.

What Vitamin E Can Do For You

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Almost every product Martha formulates contains tocotrienol and/or tocopherol, both highly concentrated Vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E goes in and out of vogue but it remains one of the most effective topical treatment for scars, burns and collagen damage.

When you consider what quality skin care products ought to be doing for your skin, you think of wrinkle prevention and healing. What those boil down to are protection from UV damage and anything that may compromise the lipid barrier. Both of these needs are met by vitamin E. According to a 2009 article in Skin Inc called Vitamin E : A Skin Care Ally, by Doctor Pugliese, Vitamin E has two major functions: 1) protect the skin from ultraviolet rays and 2) maintain the skin’s protective barrier.

The body naturally creates alpha tocopherol but it gets depleted with any exposure to UV rays, causing temporary imbalances that can cause serious skin damage. When skin is exposed to harmful UV rays, it creates free radicals and skin goes through oxidative stress. Applying and ingesting vitamin E are essential to keeping the skin protected from sometimes unavoidable exposure to UV rays. Having an ample supply of vitamin E on the skin protects against this damage and prevents the skin from losing water. This is why vitamin E should be a staple ingredient in all sunscreens.

Besides using the full OHA system on your skin, another way to get Vitamin E in your life is to eat foods that have naturally occurring vitamin E, like, wheatgerm, sunflower and olive oils and nut oils, like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and peanuts. According to Skin Inc, “Using both oral and topical vitamin E can help prevent, or markedly reduce, damage from free radicals”.

Dear Sun, I’m Ready for Vitamin D Now, XOXO, Skin

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The sun’s starting to peek through the winter haze and spring will be at our doorsteps in no time. I say this as a shaky optimist in the midst of a Chicago winter, hoping to rise like a phoenix from the freakish cold.  Whatever the weather decides to do is not up to me or you or the news reporter, so all we can do is prepare for the changing seasons.

I'm Crossing My Fingers and Toes for This Weather

I did some thinking a while back about what is required of your skin to adjust to colder temperatures.  It all felt very dreary.  That’s why I’m happy to report that I’ve recently started thinking about what it takes for your skin to adjust to warmer temperatures and spring time sunlight.  I ran across a scientific study about how the winter sunlight provides our skin with virtually no vitamin D, whereas the sunlight during other seasons has a healthy amount.  That means, those of us who don’t take vitamin D supplements during winter will feel a big boost as we round the corner of this season and step into the next.  Who’s excited? (This gal!)

Just remember that you’ve got to balance the benefits of the sun with the risks of sun damage.  According to a different, but equally scientific, study, there’s no “optimal” amount of sun one should get every day.  What’s lovely about this advice, is you probably don’t need to change a thing.  Just use OHA’s naturally sun-filtering Intensive Nutrient Complex and Lip Line Treatment on those days when you’ll be getting glimpses of sunshine and consider using supplementary sun protection if you’re staying in the sun a while.  Now your skin’s ready for Spring.

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