Sweet summer beauty

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Summer is officially here!  This is the season perfect for paring down our routines, enjoying longer stretches of sunlight, eating light, fresh foods from local farmers and (ideally) taking occasional afternoon naps on the beach to the soothing soundtrack of crashing ocean waves.  Dreamy!

However, increased exposure to heat and sunlight can also make you feel overheated, grumpy, itchy, burned or fatigued if you overdo it.  If you know you're prone to redness and rash (like me), this is the season of the "tap dance"--finding the perfect balance of working, playing and keeping your body/mind calm, cool and relaxed (or at the very least, having a few tricks up your sleeve to restore balance when the temps are rising and you're feeling crazed). 

Read on for my favorite summer products and practices...

 

FROM INSIDE OUT:

1. Coconut EVERYTHING: coconut oil, coconut milk/water, dried coconut or fresh.  Coconut is wonderfully cooling so it's great for summer, particularly if you're a more firey person as I am. :)  I sometimes massage a small amount of coconut oil (as is traditional in India) on my scalp to keep "cool headed", especially in July and August when the temps start to rise!  **if you hate coconut, think greens vegetables, sweet juicy fruits and aloe water**

2. Healthy Pitta or Healthy Skin herbal tablets from Banyan Botanicals--these blends tend to work for me almost all year round but it's one I definitely add in for summertime or when I travel to hot places (which is more common nowadays).  This doesn't work like a Rx--long-term consistency is key for the herbs to work their magic and because the herbs included in these blends offer multiple benefits, I find they work rather like a multivitamin and covers a lot of bases.  

3.  Favorite(non-alcoholic)summer cocktail:

Liquid chlorophyll and aloe juice blended with coconut water + squeeze of lime or slice of cucumber--refreshing, slightly sweet and very cooling! Or try juicing celery and cucumbers and add coconut water to sweeten a bit.  I like to keep juicing simple and this does the trick to quickly cool and hydrate.  You can infuse either drink with mint leaves or a wedge of lime (lime is sweet and cooling in the body--great to offset the sharp, bright heat of summer).  The deep green colour of these lovely beverages will make you feel fabulous but could make others green with envy...so make enough to share!

4. Balancing summer teas: fennel, green tea, peppermint (on their own or blended together)  Fennel seeds are great to cool and soothe firey digestion, peppermint immediately cools the body and aids happy digestion, green tea removes damp heat from the body to quell skin and system wide inflammation.  Basically anything minty, bitter or dark green is invited to the party in the summer time :)

 

FROM OUTSIDE IN:

1. Healing neem oil and rose neem sunscreen by Pratima Skincare--ever since first learning about this brand years ago, I've been hooked, particularly for hot weather skincare.  This neem oil is effective for all summer skin maladies but also moisturizing, calming and has an addictive scent!  At first I was hesitant...now it's a staple whenever the temps rise or I'm traveling.  It's soothing green colour comes from a blend of avocado and neem oils, plus added rose, sandalwood and basil essential oils give this oil a slightly sweet, medicinal smell that is strange at first and then crazy addictive...ask any of the many friends and clients I've recommended this product to!  I use it under the rose neem sunscreen, either with or without make up to protect my skin and prevent breakouts.  

2. Homemade body oil comprised of apricot, grapeseed oil, coconut or sunflower are my preference because they're lighter and I add cooling, calming essentials oils like lavender and rose geranium.  I usually buy my oils from Thrivemarket or Mountain Rose Herbs  Or when I'm feeling fancy, I use Uma Absolute Anti-Aging body oil, which has a stronger but intoxicating essential oil blend...I also use it as a perfume oil. 

3. Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+: clean clean clean SPF that smells like an creamcicle!  And the EWR ranks it a 1 which means it's a non-toxic as they come.  This one blends in beautifully and leaves almost zero white on your skin.  Protect your skin, people!  If you don't like sunscreen, wear a big hat or carry a fancy lil umbrella and carry your shade with you wherever you go.  In this day and age, however, it IS possible to find a clean sunscreen you enjoy wearing--message me directly for more suggestions.

 

HABITS/PRACTICES:

1. "Be cooooool!": I'm talking about the mindset and the subsequent positive effect this has on your body here, guys.  I give myself time to "mosey" along in the summer time, take the occasional afternoon siesta, wear hats, jump into a cool shower and slather myself with peppermint dr bronners soap (ahhhhh! if you haven't tried this as your summer soap, there's no time like the present), think loving, calm thoughts, run earlier in the morning to avoid the midday heat or simply meditate more and slow my thoughts down.  A mint green tea while sitting in the A/C can literally turn my day around.  Less stimulation is key and I generally keep my coffee consumption to a minimal and in the morning with coconut oil.  It's little things but it works.  

2. Sloooooow dooooown...do I really need to say more on this, urbanites?  Chill out!

3. Eat mindfully, lighter and less

4. Summer cocktails: my preference is cold, white wine or vodka soda with lime and cucumber slices...simple, clean and as cooling as booze can be (alcohol is inherently heating so use caution if you're experience too much heat internally or externally)

 

What do you do to keep cool and collected in the summer time?  I'd love to know!  Leave your thoughts and comments below.  Love & Light!