Friday, June 17, 2016


F A R M A C Y   |   D E S E R T   D A Y S  ,  S U M M E R   S U N
A guide to protecting + nourishing our skin in light of my upcoming move to be under the West Texas desert sun . . .

p r o t e c t i o n
s u n s c r e e n  +  c o c o n u t  o i l | most sunscreens are loaded with pore-clogging +reef-disturbing ingredients in addition to toxic chemicals, such as oxybenzone. Head on over to EWG's Guide to Sunscreens to see the least toxic options—rated a "1"—to protect your skin. Be mindful that a higher SPF does not necessarily correlate with better protection and, according to research, it might have no additional effect. According to the FDA, high SPF is "inherently misleading." I use Badger's Sport sunscreen and mix it in with raw coconut oil to emulsify it further as it's a thick, white zinc-based lotion. The coconut oil is also both a moisturising agent for the drying heat and a very mild sunscreen of SPF 5 (low yet still an additional support).

a b h y a n g a | this is one of the most nourishing ritual you can include in your day, preferably in the morning, to drive moisture deep into your cells to ward off dry summer skin. Abhyanga is a traditional Ayurvedic medicine practice that dates thousands of years + is touted to combat aging skin, regulate the sleep cycle, increase circulation, promote lymph drainage and circulation, and firm skin tissue just to name a few benefits. Simply pick the oil that is appropriate for your constitution or doshasesame for vata, sunflower for pitta, and coconut oil for kapha—gently warm it up, and massage it in upward strokes. Here is a wonderful instructional video from the Ayurvedic leader Banyan Botanicals.

a l t e r n a t i n g  t e m p e r a t u r e  s h o w e r | this is my favourite thing to do at the end of the day. I begin my shower with warm water post-body scrub to drive in the oils to my body and wash away dirt. i then follow this with water as cold as I can bear it, singing beautiful French words, and alternating between hot and cold. This hydrotherapy  increases circulation, awakens the central nervous system, aids in organ efficiency, and reconnects the physical body to the spiritual one according to Kundalini yoga.

m u d   m a s k s  +  e p s o m  s a l t   s c r u b s | mud masks from clays such as bentonite or french green clay are complimentary to a sun care ritual as they draw out toxins from the body that we sweat during the day. On the face, it purifies the pores to prevent clogging and, consequently, acne. You can also do a whole body mud mask as well, but make sure you're not sunburnt, dry or irritated. Kaolin clay is a better option for the body as it's also moisturising and more gentle. Epsom salt scrubs with equal amounts of salt and raw sugar mixed with enough oil of your choice to emulsify with two tablespoons of raw honey is also a great exfoliant, detoxifier, and healer. Make sure to follow your mask with a deeply hydrating moisturiser or oil. I am currently obsessed to say the least with Bottega Organica's Overnight Renewal Cream + their ingenious dual action oil.

m i l k  +  o i l  b a t h s | Cleopatra took daily baths with milk, so she must have been onto something . . . Milk, specifically raw organic unpasteurised milk, is loaded with enzymes that remove dead skin cells, soothe inflammation, and moisturise the skin to a baby soft touch. Add oils such as cold-pressed virgin olive oil, raw coconut oil, or unrefined sesame oil.

h a n d m a d e  s o a p | not only are clean options are carefully blended with essential oils and moisturising oils, they also last much longer than body washes do. My favourites are marfa brand co. , nubian heritage,  zum, + remy & rose.

h e r b a l   t e a s | sip on cool herbal teas such as dandelion, licorice, + burdock root for detoxification or cucumber-infused water to drive increased hydration into your cells via the cleansing properties of these additions—water, elevated.

a l o e  v e r a  +   c a l e n d u l a | most people turn to aloe vera to combat sunburns, but make sure that you use it either the gel directly from the leaf or get a bottle that does not have additional sketchy ingredients. Calendula is another great option for soothing the skin as it moisturises chapped or dried skin, aids in scar healing or prevention, and reduces inflammation.

n a t u r a l   f i b e r s | just say no in general to synthetic fibres such as polyester, but even more so during summer months. Synthetic fibres not only prevent proper air circulation but can also irritate the skin, especially sunburns. Opt for natural fibres such as cotton, silk, and linen instead.

d e o d o r a n t | if you have yet to switch your deodorant to a natural one without pesky, dementia-causing heavy metals and hormone-disregulating parabens, at least discontinue your use of antiperspirants. Although it may be tempting to use antiperspirants in the summer to ward off extra sweat, they block sweat glands and consequently your body's main way to cool itself down. Aluminum, which is the main ingredient in antiperspirants, also discolours fabric. Some great options are Primal Pit and Schmidt's, which has calendula as well to soothe irritations.