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Summer sun solutions

I was recently asked to write some info for an article in Hawke's Bay Today's Indulge Magazine so I thought I would share it with those of you who might have missed it.

Beautiful skin cannot be bought it is your dedication to a skincare routine, treatments and a healthy diet and exercise that helps you maintain and improve your skin. Summer is no different however it may help to tweak your winter skincare programme to ensure the negative effects of the season are minimised by eating healthily, exercising regularly and ensuring your skin is balanced, protected from harmful environmental elements. To help here are a few of the essentials to help you this season.

Dailycleansing not only removes makeup and other impurities it is a chance to massage the skin to stimulate your circulation to brighten, to reduce congestion or to balance or hydrate your skin.

Promotes smoother, brighter skin, be sure to do this only once or twice a week or as prescribed to ensure you don't irritate or dry your skin. We have a natural acid mantle that if altered can allow harmful bacteria to grow.

Moisturising and Protection
I always say that something is better than nothing when it comes to skincare and even if it is only one product then make that your moisturising sunblock with plant stem cells and peptides.

Plant stem cells protect and stimulate our own stem cells leaving a brighter skin. Peptides work to support the production of collagen assisting with your skins tone. With summer arriving, it is essential for your skin to have the best protection use a product that has a combination of ingredients that both absorb and reflect harmful UV rays Image Skincare Prevention + is what I recommend.

Eye crème and Sunglasses
A good eye crème will help prevent and soften lines and wrinkles around the eyes while your sunglasses will stop you squinting preventing the lines from forming. Make sure you only apply the eye crème around the orbital area not directly onto the lids (unless prescribed) as it is often used incorrectly this will create oily lids or worse milia those little hard lumps.

A beauty therapy only hydrating masque will infuse vitamins A, C and E and other nutrients into the dermal layer of the skin. Image Skincare's Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque works to lighten, brighten while hyaluronic acid lost through illness or life stage will draw moisture to itself plumping and hydrating the skin.

Other masques may be used to soothe sensitive skin using ingredients like calendula, comfrey, aloe vera.

Plant Based and Essential Oils
A change of season can disturb our skins natural moisturising factor (NMF) as the wind dehydrates and the change of temperature increase oil flow. Our skin is made up of 50% water and 50% oil and a balance of both is what keeps it hydrated and soft.

We can replace water by drinking or using hydrating products. Oil is replaced through the ingestion of essential fatty acids or the application of products to maintain healthy a supple, smooth and blemish free skin.

Rosehip, Evening Primrose, Apricot Oil often contain Vitamin E, an antioxidant, to nourish and soften skin however too much will occlude our pores causing blackheads and congestion. Products including soybean oil stimulate collagen production. Extracts of Arnica, Calendula, Chamomile, and Comfrey in skincare work to calm, soothe and heal irritated skin.

Tea tree oil is often found in acne products – it is an anti-inflammatory agent.

Essential oils like sweet orange oil, ylang ylang, and lavender are often added to massage oils, their aromatic qualities may soothe and calm you while the base oils nourishes and allows for smooth strokes.

From our Food
Water is great for maintaining the skins hydration helping to prevent fine lines and wrinkles by plumping cells. When taken up in the blood it will improve your circulation and aid you to feel less tired. Water helps digestion and assists with the removal of wastes and toxins in the body.

It is best for us to eat foods that are high in vitamins and minerals as we absorb these better from our food. However for many on the run or their digestive system is not functioning effectively there are some fantastic supplements available. A few of those essential nutrients to help our skin include:

Vitamin C taken internally is your best bet for healthy summer skin – it is perfect for those who suffer from acne and other skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Applied topically vitamin c will work with your sun protection to protect the skin from uv rays. Vitamin C works to reduce inflammation and its anti-oxidant properties are essential for anti-aging. Found in citrus fruits, berries, green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, sweet potatoes and watermelon.

Vitamin B helps us to manage stress which is often shown on the skin by way of splits at the side of the mouth or coldsores. Nourishing your lips, keeping them supple and moist helps reduce the impact of the sun using a product like Image Skincare's Ormedic Balancing Enhancement Complex with avocado oil containing Vitamin E is your lips best friend. Vitamin B (there are 8 B Vitamins) also found in eggs, whole grains, spinach and kale, almonds, avocado, legumes, sunflower seeds, brown rice and carrots etc.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's)Essential fatty acids are a daily recommendation of mine for all ages. It works to keep our cells outer membrane intact ensuring your cells can take up water and that toxin's leave. We don't make this crucial nutrient found in walnuts, oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel. Fish oil, evening primrose oil and flaxseed oil capsules are a great alternative.

Removing Stress
Reducing stress levels will have a positive reaction on your skin - any form of regular exercise or massage increases the circulation bringing more nutrients and oxygen to feed your cells increasing mitosis (cell turnover) leaving a brighter complexion. Try breathing in and out more slowly, do a Yin Yoga Napier class, walk in the fresh air, meditate, have regular massage or facials treat yourself and your skin will love you for it.

To Wrap Up
There are so many vitamins and minerals that work to improve the skin but I felt it was necessary to review the key ones for your skin.

A regular skincare routine will work wonders and can take years off your face. Today I treated a lady who just uses water, loves the sun, eats healthily and has, with good luck, wonderful genes that have ensured her skin is still in good condition. However after a half hour facial she could see how bright it was, feel how smooth it felt and there was no denying how much plumper it looked after the 10 minute application of the hydrating masque.


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