Here comes the sun. And with it, there is always a bit of a celebration. People want to go out, the world seems to get more beautiful, the outlook is brighter and hope seems to be floating with every flap of a butterfly. It is so easy to forget that the sun can also be unpleasant, notorious for, at its best, sweat, and at its worse, aging, burns, and skin cancer. In hot and humid climates, this can get worse.
That threat sometimes gets us to rush into buying the wrong product, even sometimes a product that is detrimental to us. Thankfully there are safe, natural ways of preparing for the sun and we have conducted a full research into the perfect routine under the sun for your benefit and the sake of your skin.
What does the sun do to our skin and what protects us from it?
The sun burns - Protect your own skin with the right sunscreen.
What seems to be an obvious requirement is often disregarded by many, generally because of misunderstandings.
So, let's debunk three of the arguably biggest and most dangerous myths of them all. First, every shade of skin requires sunscreen, from the lighter to the darker epidermis! Second, all sunscreens are not equal under the sun and applying the wrong type of sunscreen is as good as not having any on.
Third, sunscreen should be applied all year round, whether you are staying indoors or lying outside in the sun.
So how can we effectively protect our skin from the sun?
It is increasingly recognized that nothing short of a 50+ sunscreen will provide good protection to our skin especially in the hotter and more humid climates. The protective layer should be applied to every area of skin, even the part that will be eventually covered by clothing. It is recommended to give the cream up to twenty minutes to settle, before heading out.
The sun and sweat dry us out - Hydrate your skin
A dried out skin loses elasticity, tends to shed more often and appears tired, aged, hard and inelegant. Most people would think first about drinking water, which is often in itself a great idea. However, dermatologist Dr. Donna Pellowski says drinking water does not cure dry skin, but rather "Dry skin is an external problem and is best treated from the outside."
Moisturizing products are essential in order to restore the skin oils lost during washing, and to keep your skin hydrated. They prevent dryness and keep the skin soft and supple. Every daily routine that includes washing any part of the skin should be followed by moisturizing. Most sunscreens are also moisturizer in essence. Simply ensure that the Sun Protection Factor (or SPF) is at the very least 15+.
A gentle, unscented toning mist will allow you to keep your skin hydrated and refreshed throughout the day without irritating it, every time your skin feels dry. Some products go a little further than providing natural hydrating benefits. Green Beauty Box toners, for example, are great for dehydrated skins, giving them a boost of moisture through the day.
The sun worsens breakout - Cleanse your skin
Hot weather has a propensity to worsen skin breakouts, and even more so when it is also humid. That is not a sight (or a feeling) we would encourage you to entertain as it can be quite unpleasant. A very important routine in such temperatures, is to always cleanse our skin. This is particularly important after removing makeup or having our skin in contact with any product that tends to block our pores. The clogged pores, accumulated dirt and inflammation caused by excess oil production under the sun can be significantly reduced if not avoided through an appropriate cleansing routine.
The sun damages the skin - Repair it
Sometimes the damage is done before we knew how to avoid it.
For those times when something can still be done, there are serums that will help us repair the damages of the sun on our skin.
Kahina is a brand that offers a number of solutions to that end, from restoring dry skin to reducing sun damage. Skin serum that contain antioxidants are sought after for higher repair factor.
MUN Ayour Body Toning Serum, for example, is full of those and will relieve skin that has been exposed to the sun. To address areas of particular concern (including wrinkles and stretch marks), dab on extra serum both morning and night.
Obviously, most people wash their bodies and face every day. This unfortunately does not remove all impurities, especially those from makeup, excess oil. Although it is great for at least starting to clear our skin from some of the impurities that would otherwise contribute to skin issues such as bad odor, it tampers with our natural oil balance.
We recommend using natural, gentle washing products to stay safe, and follow our routine for a healthy skin under the sun. Every morning, make sure you follow these steps (note that we assume you have no makeup on... well it is the morning!):
1. Cleanse your face:
Cleansing goes further than washing by removing excess oil. To preserve the natural skin oil balance in the process, make sure you use gentle cleansers. A cleanser with essential fatty acid such as Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser will help maintain your skin's oil balance during the process.
With time, our ability to naturally exfoliate declines. This is why after a quarter of a century or more, we need to manually ensure that we go through that process to renew our skin so it is cleared from dead skin, and looks brighter. The best exfoliants are gentle (harsh ones irritate the skin). The average frequency of face exfoliation is twice a week. While this might be excessive for sensitive skin, and less sunny temperatures, the hotter and more humid the weather, and the oilier the skin, the higher you will need to exfoliate.
3. Tone (face and sometimes body):
This is a stage still needed by those using harsh cleanser or just those wanting double protection, ensuring the skin is soothed, decongested and hydrated. Our favorite is Soapwalla Essential Facial Toning Mist which also refines skin texture, locks in moisture, heals and nourishes the skin.
4. Moisturize (including sunscreen):
lightweight non-greasy products are more effective. They don't clog your pores, they don't accelerate sweating, they don't over-smell to the point of starting to smell bad, and they don't make your skin choke or your clothes stick. Humidity can make it difficult for them to stay on so waterproof products are a plus.
5. Now you can apply makeup.
Light, waterproof make-up prevents accidents due to sun and humidity. Natural products, or even organic wherever you can, also prevent issues with your skin.
6. Cover yourself using light, airy, light-colored clothes that will allow your skin to breathe and not attract the sun
During the day
- Keep your sunscreen and toning mist handy for an all-day re-application. These will keep you protected and hydrated all day.
- In addition, keep your serums handy, shall any issue arise before you can avoid it.
Before going to bed
- Make sure you remove mineral sunscreen and makeup
- Cleanse to make sure that the day's grime and dirt and any remaining trace of your makeup is completely removed
- Apply a night cream that doubles as a pampering product to help you relax and fall asleep so both the sleep and the cream can do their beauty miracle.
Kahina Giving Beauty Night Cream is a favorite. Ingredients like clinically proven concentrations of Resveratrol and polyphenols from red wine grapes build collagen and reduce fine lines, while Moroccan Blue Tansy soothes, calms, and softens. In addition, this product is vegan, fair-trade and certified organic for a relaxing night and a well-cared-for skin.