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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Beauty Channel > Skin Care

Summer Skin Care
by Natalie Katsman

Just as winter weather makes us pay special attention to our skin, summer with its sun and heat has its requirements too. SPF. SPF and more SPF. I know you heard a lot about it - but talking about summer skin care, I just have to remind you again.

However, SPF is only a small part of what you can do for your smooth complexion and healthy glow.

People with dry sensitive skin may notice that sun causes more dryness and irritation. In this case try to use herbal infusions instead of tap water when cleansing your skin. The best herbs are chamomile and sage - alone or in combination with linden blossoms. They will calm and soothe your skin. Having antibacterial properties, they will also prevent infections. If you spend a lot of time outside and feel that your skin is dry, soak cheesecloth in herbal infusion and leave it on clean face for a few minutes.

To make the infusion, you will need:

3 parts of linden blossoms, 2 parts of chamomile, 1 part rose petals, 1/2 part peppermint leaves.

Take 2 tablespoons of herbal mixture and cover with 1 cup of boiling water.

On hot days, when your face is sweating, do not rush to wash it with water. First wipe it with a cotton ball soaked in sour milk or sour cream. After 10-15 minutes rinse with sage infusion or green tea. Then apply your favorite moisturizer.

Some women think there is no need to use creams during summer since the skin sweats and already looks shiny. This is a big mistake. Oil and sweat are two different things. Oil depletion makes skin vulnerable to wind, sun, temperature contrast and other environmental factors. In hot summer days sweat evaporates from the skin surface making it even dryer and prone to injury or infection (read: acne).

Wrong day cream can also cause sweatiness. Too much moisturizer or night cream used during the day will make your skin feel hot and look too shiny. Try to choose a light cream that makes your skin feel comfortable without leaving an oily residue and apply it to clean skin to ensure the best absorption.

Cold water is an excellent skin toner for summer. In the morning apply fresh squeezed fruit or berry juice all over your face and neck. If your skin is dry or irritated, follow with sour cream or oil (olive, sunflower, or almond). Now wash your face with cold water. Ice cubes will feel great on normal and oily skin, however if you have visible capillaries, ice can make them worse.

Fruit masks are another easy summer treat. If you do not have allergies, they can be used everyday. Active ingredients in fruits will freshen and clean your skin. For the best result use fresh fruits and berries and make just enough juice or mixture for one application. There are some general guidelines to follow:

  1. Clean the skin first.
  2. If your skin type is dry, apply a thin layer of light cream while the skin is still wet.
  3. Soak a piece of cheesecloth in mashed fruit or juice and leave it on your face for 10-15 minutes (cut out holes for eyes in the cheesecloth to avoid eye irritation caused by fruit acids).

The mask can also be made with egg yolks, powdered oatmeal, or sour cream. For oily skin mix fruits with egg whites. If your mask has a thick consistency, you may not need a cheesecloth.

Fruits you can use:

For dry skin: apricots, grapes, melon, plums, bananas. You may add carrot juice to your mask; it is great for dry skin. The orangy color will disappear pretty fast.

For irritated skin or if you have visible capillaries: parsley is the answer to your problems.

For oily skin and enlarged pores: cabbage, cranberry, red currant.

Tomato, cucumber, watermelon and orange juices will do good for any skin type.

After removing a fruit mask, it is not necessary to wash your face with water - wipe it with a cotton ball soaked in tea, herbal infusion or cucumber juice.

When using masks, don't forget about your neck - it needs just the same attention as your face.

Have fun!

Natalie Katsman is a co-founder of http://www.natural-aid.com, where you can find fine quality aloe vera products for beauty and well-being and subscribe to HealthySkin Newsletter filled with beauty tips, recipes and information on herbal healing, skin care and cosmetic chemistry.

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