When applying moisturiser or any cream to your face do a little massage at the same time, always massage upwards and focus on the areas along the jaw line or any pressure points that relieve tension for you.
Many of us in the northern hemisphere are experiencing a summer heatwave at the moment. Here are four quick tips to help your skin and hair cope with the summer heat.
Raspberry seed oil, (Rubus idaeus)
My latest favourite oil for the skin. It is a lovely light weight oil, high in antioxidants and also, for summer, high in vitamin E and provitamin A, which early studies have identified as having the potential for protecting your skin from the sun. 1 I use this oil as a component of my summer face cream and lip balm (my own blends) and also undiluted directly on my skin as a skin protector and as an after sun pick me up to stop any sunburn in its tracks. Raspberry seed oil can be difficult to find unless you are lucky enough to have a great herbal store near you. I buy mine online, or you can ask your pharmacy to order some in for you. I do not recommend Raspberry seed oil as a replacement for sunscreen. It is an extra added benefit to it's general antioxidant properties and should be used with this in mind.
Rose hydrosol, (Rosa damascena)
Rose hydrosol, or Rose water, is a divine boost on a hot day. Available at most pharmacies, or your local bio/health food shop, it is easy to find and is great for a quick refreshing and hydrating cool down. Just spray on your face, arms, legs and breathe in the fresh floral aroma. Rose hydrosol has moisture retaining properties and is specifically good for dry and mature skins, but it is so mild it can be used by anyone. Not only is it good for your skin, Rose hydrosol can also help balance your mood, so if the heat is stopping you from sleeping properly or the kids are driving you crazy, grab the Rose hydrosol, spray liberally and breathe deeply. It's safe to use on the kids too. I keep mine in the fridge so it's even more refreshing. 2
This is a great simple recipe for flaking dry skin, and although I have a full recipe on another blog here, this is a quick and dirty version for immediate use. Take a small plastic container (mine is about 9cm x 5cm - don't use glass in the shower), cover the bottom to about 1-2 cms up the side with any type of sugar or salt (I use a medium grain sugar), pour in olive oil (you can use any vegetable oil, I use oilve oil for its moisturising properties and it's not expensive) to cover the sugar/salt. Stir in the oil to combine all the salt/sugar. You need less oil than you think, so don't over do it. Less is best, you can always add more. But if you do have too much, just add a bit more salt/sugar to balance it out.
Finally, add in 3 - 5 drops of essential oil. I use sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) a lot for my scrub as the scent is not only up uplifting, but the oil can provide anti-inflammatory and anti-septic benefits which can help if you have any of the minor bruises, cuts or insect bites. Lavender (Lavendula augustifolia) is also great for this but is more relaxing. Mix all of the essential oil in thoroughly. To use, wet the skin first, rub in wherever you need it and wash off. Your skin should still feel a little oily and this will provide you with an extra moisturising boost for the skin. The oil disappears quickly so don't worry about it getting on your clothes. Note: many citrus essential oils can be phototoxic e.g. Lemon. This means that they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. These oils should be avoided, even in a wash off product like a scrub. Sweet orange essential oil is however not phototoxic.
You need: small plastic container, salt or sugar, organic vegetable oil, skin friendly essential oil (e.g. Sweet orange or Lavender)
Camellia hair oil
My hair is very sensitive to the sun and can go almost blonde and becomes very dry with a lot of sun exposure. Recently I have been using Camellia oil (Camellia sasanqua) for its hair conditioning properties, but it also has antioxidant properties and can protect the hair (and skin) from UV and environmental exposure.
Prepare by putting an old towel around your shoulders. To apply the oil pour a small amount into the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and then apply the oil starting at the tips of your hair. Pour a second amount into the palm of your hand and apply to the top of your head, moving down. I have medium length hair and usually apply a third amount, again on the tips and underneath using my hands to pull up the sides of hair into a pony tail and spreading the oil at the same time. I then leave my hair in a pony tail for at least 30 mins before washing out as usual. You can also put your hair in an old towel or a shower cap.
Like Raspberry seed oil I buy my Camellia oil online, you can ask at your local bio food or herb store, or ask your pharmacy to order some in for you.
Stay hydrated and enjoy the summer!
1. Parker, Susan, Power of the Seed, 2014, Process Press, Port Townsend USA. p.172 - "Claims are being made for a potential SPF of 28 to 50 when the oil is used without dilution on the skin."
2. Catty, Suzanne, Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy, 2001, Healing arts Press, Vermont, USA, p.123.