We're deep into summer now with long days spent in the sun, wind and water, exposing our most delicate bits to the intense summer elements.
I don't know about you, but I always see a few new sunspots show up on my face, chest and feet right about now... And this year they arrived right on time.
But what can be done to help both prevent & erase these extra melanin flecks?
Thankfully there a few natural solutions that likely won't require you to purchase anything at all.
• Proper Preparartion aids in Prevention:
1. Start your day with an all-over-body application of a moisturizer that also doubles as a mild sunscreen. Not only does your skin love the extra moisture first thing in the morning, daily massage also helps to break down visible cellulite areas and keep your skin smooth and toned. And, wearing a light sunscreen all over the body keeps your skin protected in places you might not have even thought about applying sunscreen: tops of the feet, backs of the arms, and the fronts of the legs right where that sundress ends and your leg freckles begin.
2. While you could buy a moisturizer with SPF, there are so many natural plant & nut oils that contain varying amounts of SPF naturally. Beeswax, Carrot Seed oil and Red Raspberry oil are some of my favorite natural sunscreens. Here at Herb & Myth we've created a brand-new organic sunscreen made from a blend of many of the best natural sunscreen oils. It's now available for pre-order in our shop -- but you can also make one yourself using many similar ingredients, customizing it how you like.
3. If you're anything like me, sun-worship is not just a poolside activity on your day off; It's a way of life. I try to spend as many hours of my day as I can out in the sun to take full advantage of our far-too-short Pacific Northwest summers. But I still have to limit my exposure during the hottest + most intense hours of the day: usually between 1-4pm. Knowing this ahead of time allows me to plan my day so that I can get all the sun I want without feeling over-exposed. I often start my sun-worship with an outdoor morning yoga session around 10am before it gets too hot, with another session at sunset when the heat of the day has begun to dissipate. Any work in the garden or my herbs can come before or after morning yoga, as long as I can take a respite by 1pm.
4. In the sun for long periods? Always wear a wide-brimmed sun hat -- no matter how much you crave an even, tanned face. The skin on our faces is so delicate with such a variety of different needs and issues that it's almost impossible to get a healthy, even glow through sun exposure. Instead we end up with redness, blotchy patches and an ever-growing number of freckles. A proper sun hat still allows the face to get some exposure while protecting extremely important areas like the nose, shoulders and back of the neck.
• Treatment & Erasure of Sun Spots:
1. E X F O L I A T E: Proper exfoliation is one of the best things you can do for your skin weekly. It allows your skin to rid itself of old dead skin cells that can lead to serious issues like skin cancer; it causes your skin to develop fresh, new skin cells to replace the old dead ones, giving your skin an immediate healthy GLOW; it sloughs off hyper-melanin areas like sunspots to reveal your natural skin color underneath.
2. While you could spend a lot of money on an exfoliatior product that claims to work all manner of miracles on your skin, the truth is you really only need baking soda to get the job done PROPER. Baking soda is the perfect combination of grit and detoxing salts to both scrub as well as remove bacteria and impurities from the dermal layer. To use, simply wet face and add a dime-sized amount to your face wash in your hand. Using small, delicate circles, exfoliate your entire face taking care not to scrub too deep or for too long. BE GENTLE; like diamond dust, baking soda will take off anything, including many layers of skin if you're not careful.
3. Erasing Sun Spots can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks so be patient with the process. Here is a recipe I like to use to help fade new sun spots and reduce coloration on old ones:
1 tsp fresh Lemon juice
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
5 drops Vit E oil
1 Green tea bag + 1/2 cup hot water
• Begin by steeping Green tea bag in 1/2 cup hot water while you prepare everything else. Mix the Lemon juice with the Apple Cider Vinegar and the Vitamin E oil. Add 2 Teaspoons of your Green tea and mix. Soak a few cotton balls or thin strips of cotton/linen in this mixture and place directly on sun spots, leaving for at least 15 minutes. Repeat this daily until spots disappear.