After three months of summer weather, how’s your skin looking? Do you think twice before slipping on a pair of shorts, for fear of putting your dry skin on display? Do you forgo flip-flops just to keep your cracked heels under wraps?
California’s arid, hot summers wreak havoc on skin. Dry air zaps moisture, sun exposure dries us out, and all the sweating, swimming and subsequent showering we do depletes our skin of even more hydration. It’s like the perfect storm for gnarly skin. Who needs that?
As it turns out, getting and keeping healthy, glowing summer skin is quite easy. It only takes a few minutes each day to look like you just stepped out of a spa.
When skin doesn’t have enough hydration (water), it dries out. This causes the cells in the uppermost layers of our skin to die quicker, which in turn makes our skin look dry and full, even flaky.
To combat this, we need to do two things: Exfoliate and moisturize.
We must do both of these things; doing one without the other can actually lead to more problems. If you exfoliate without moisturizing, then skin can become irritated, dry, inflamed, and itchy. If you moisturize without ever exfoliating, then dead skin cells can clog up healthy pores and cause breakouts, or at the very least even duller looking skin.
So it’s a 1-2 game plan, always. Exfoliate, then moisturize. Exfoliate, then moisturize. Make it your mantra.
In order to reveal bright, new skin, we need to exfoliate those dead skin cells off. The quickest and easiest way to do that is by manual exfoliation, which just means scrubbing the skin gently with something (as opposed to chemical exfoliation, which uses substances like lactic acid or glycolic acid to chemically remove the skin cells).
One of the best natural and effective exfoliators around is salt. I use it almost every day during the summer to keep my feet and legs looking bright and healthy.
Salt is a workhorse. It cleans up even the most problem areas, like heels, knees and elbows, and also brightens up your sexy legs and arms.
Depending on your skin type, I recommend exfoliating at least once a week. For drier skin or problem areas, then 4-5 times per week can help.
(A note: NEVER USE SALT ON YOUR FACE, neck, or décolleté area. The edges and corners of salt granules are just too abrasive, and can tear the fragile skin in these areas. There are plenty of wonderful exfoliants to use on the face, but salt is simply not one of them.)
To keep skin healthy and hydrated, it needs water. A lot of it. Drinking water is the best way to hydrate your body, but in dry climates, even that might not be enough.
Here in California, a terrific way to hydrate your skin is to lock water into it using an oil-based moisturizer on damp skin. The water itself hydrates, but the oils literally seal that water into your skin, and keep it from evaporating in the dry air. The right oils can also provide vital vitamins and nutrients to your skin, and keep it supple.
At a minimum, moisturize every single time you exfoliate, using either a lotion, or an oil-based moisturizer on damp skin. Even better, moisturize at least once a day. Twice a day will not hurt.
How easy is this?
Because I love you, I’ve whipped up something that makes all this as easy as pie for you.
real kind.’s Salt Scrub pulls double duty by not only exfoliating those dead skin cells away with sea salt and shredded loofah powder, but also sealing in precious hydration (water) using luxurious avocado oil, which nourishes with vitamins, anti-oxidants, and emollients. Just a minute or two in the shower and you’re good as gold. Finish up with a lotion post-shower and your skin will positively glow. You won’t be able to stop touching it. Nobody else will, either.
So there’s your secret to get naturally glowing skin easily. Remember the mantra (“Exfoliate, then moisturize”), and post pictures of yourself on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter showing off your healthy summer skin with the hash tag #paganskincare. I’ll choose one goddess to win a 10-ounce Salt Scrub!
(Note: This blog post deals with dry skin all over, EXCEPT for your face, neck, and décolleté area. That’s a whole ’nother kettle of fish, and I have lots more posts coming about this divine area soon.)