Tag Archives: Aloe Vera

The Best Plant Extracts For Skin

Usually, when we think of the plights of ancient civilization, acne does not top our list. However, that does not mean skincare was not a problem for our forebears. After all, if there was a sun, was there not sun damage and, if there were pregnancies, were there not stretch marks? While we can pretty much assume our forefathers and mothers all battled with skin issues, there is a noticeable absence of the mention of benzoyl peroxide and hyaluronic acid in the history books. So what did our ancestors use to ensure skin health before the advent of “science-based skincare?” Plant extracts. And if they worked back then, shouldn’t they work now?

Let’s take a moment to investigate the best plant-based extracts for your skin that are still available.

Aloe vera

Aloe Vera
This extract has been around since time immemorial. Best known as a remedy for irritation and minor burns, this desert plant is known for its ability to fight bacteria, protect skin cells from damage, soften skin, and rebuild new tissue. Aloe is an ideal ingredient for mature skin and improves collagen levels when ingested or applied topically.

Tea Tree Oil
Ideal for moisturizing and cleansing, tea tree oils reduces sebum production in the sebaceous glands and reduces the amount of bacteria that cause blemishes to form. Its antiseptic properties make it an effective healer, it is known for its ability to safely remove dead cells from the skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.

Shea
Shea butter evens skin tone and protects and moisturizes the skin and scalp without clogging pores. Extracted from the nut of the West African karate tree, shea butter is naturally rich in vitamins A and E and helps restore elasticity to the skin and soothe irritation.

Shea butter

Olive Oil
Hailed as a skin care remedy by the ancient Egyptians, olive oil is still regarded as one of the most effective natural oils for skin care. It has been associated with everything from aiding in digestion to acne prevention and anti-aging. The words “Extra virgin” or “cold pressed” on the label should indicate that the olive oil contained within is the purest of all extract and have more nutritional components to improve skin appearance, but beware falsely labelled products!

Avocado
One of the finest extracts found in nature, the oil from the avocado is an extract long found in face masks, bath oils, and cleansing cream. Avocados are rich in vitamin A, which is effective at removing dead skin cells and contain amino acids which protect skin against environmental damage.

Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is known for the ability to reduce scars and is often recommended by surgeons to patients to reduce evidence of surgery incisions. It is credited with boosting collagen in the skin and reducing stretch marks and the appearance of wrinkles and frown lines. Cocoa butter is an active ingredient in most moisturizers and is useful in combatting rough skin where dryness is common.
Cocoa butter

Coconut Oil
Great for both hair and skin care, coconut oil is an effective moisturizer for dry skin and scalp. It can also delay the appearance of wrinkles and has been proven to be effective in the treatments of psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. The antioxidant properties of the coconut prevent premature aging and degenerative disease and it is available in a variety of skin care products, such as lotions, soaps, and creams.

Do you know of any plant extracts we haven’t mentioned that do wonders for your skin? Let us know your favorites. We’re all ears!

Using Aloe As A Go-To Skin Cleanser

Woman with aloe vera Those who have seen the movie, “The Campaign,” may remember the bumbling Will Ferrell character, Cam Newton attempting to recite the Lord’s prayer: “Our Father, Art, who is up in Heaven. Aloe Vera be thy name.” Although Cam may have been a little off base, it might not be that surprising if one were to find out that aloe vera is indeed included in the holy recitation. After all, aloe vera has quite a resume. It has been mentioned in the Bible, hailed by Mahatma Gandhi for helping him survive his fast, and praised by Christopher Columbus upon his landing in the New World.

In fact, the ancient aloe vera plant has been credited with everything from clearing up acne to assisting with digestive problems to fighting cancer and, as if this wasn’t enough, it now appears that aloe vera can add a new title to its impressive list; cleanser.

Protecting the Skin
The skin is the largest organ of our body and comprises our outermost, protective layer. This means it is an easy target for pollution, free radicals, and dirt which end up taking their toll, which is why women and men spend so much money and time on products and procedures to reverse the effects. The most basic of these products are cleansers.

Many products have been designed to clean skin, but some people are not so fond of the ingredients that some of them use, and find themselves bewildered by the unpronounceable ingredients on the product label. For those of you looking for an alternative, aloe vera, or products with aloe vera, may be just the solution.

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera
Ok. Let’s take a closer look at this miraculous plant. Aloe vera is packed vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can relieve skin and digestive complications and protect the body from free radicals, bacteria and inflammation. It also contains mucopolysaccharride, which locks in the skin’s natural moisture leaving it hydrated and fresh. Here are three ways to use it on your skin.

  1. Mix a half teaspoon of milk with a tablespoon of brown sugar in a cup. Let sit until the sugar no longer has a grainy appearance. Using a spoon, peel the aloe vera gel from its leaves and add it to the mixture. Spread the concoction on your skin allowing it to seep in for five minutes before rinsing with water.
  2. Spread the plant’s gel directly on the skin without combining it with any other ingredients. The gel can be applied as an overnight mask which should be washed off in the morning.
  3. Mix two smidgens of turmeric, a teaspoon of milk and two drops of rose water. When it turns to a pasty consistency, throw in some fresh aloe vera gel and stir it until it blends in completely with the paste. Apply the mixture to your neck and face and leave it on for up to twenty minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Tip: Drain out yellow sap and wash off leaves before removing the gel from the plant.

If you tried any of these, we’d love to know how it went! Do you think we should add aloe vera to the Lord’s Prayer? Please drop us a line and let us know!

Getting To The Bottom Of Redness And Irritation

Is there anyone out there who remembers the 1998, prime time sitcom, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch?” If you happen to be a “Sabrina” follower, you may remember Season 3, Episode 3, entitled, “Boy, Was My Face Red.” In this episode, Valerie (Lindsay Sloane) has an embarrassing moment in school and Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) decides to cast a spell to spare Valerie from the ridicule of her schoolmates. In a somewhat boomerang-like twist, Valerie’s embarrassment is absorbed by Sabrina, resulting in Sabrina’s face literally turning red. Sabrina seeks refuge in the the Other Realm, as one does, only to find out that the only way to get over hardships is to face them head on.

We hear you Sabrina. A red complexion can be a drag, and, while not all of us have the option of hiding in other realms, there are some other things for the red of face to consider.

 irritating skin

Causes Of Redness
Assuming you are not a victim of a spell gone haywire, there are a few possible causes of skin redness. The skin of acne sufferers tend to display a background redness or splotchy patches, Rosacea can also cause red skin, especially when triggered by a glass of wine or the sun. Perioral dermatitis can cause redness around the chin. nose, mouth, and eyes.

Avoid Triggers
Redness of the face can be triggered by irritants. It is important to determine if any of the products you are using on your skin are exacerbating the condition. Stop using them all and then bring them back one at a time to try and locate which one is the culprit. You can also consult an allergist about getting a patch test done.

OTC Cream
Licorice and feverfew are both over the counter natural anti-inflammatories. Products containing turmeric, magnesium, tea, ginger and cucumber are also effective.
Avoid products with peppermint, fragrance, witch hazel, clove oil, and eucalyptus that are likely to irritate skin.

Cold Compresses
Cold compresses can cool and soothe skin while fading redness and inflammation. Simply run a wash cloth under cool water and apply it to your skin. You can put it the fridge for a few minutes for maximum effectiveness.

Aloe Vera
With all the benefits of aloe vera, it is no surprise that one of them is the ability to act as a salve. Use a whole leaf on your face or buy aloe vera gel at a drug store. Spread a small amount on red areas and massage with fingertips. In 30 minutes, you should feel more comfortable and redness will be less noticeable. woman with aloe vera

Corrective Concealer
If you chose to use corrective concealer to mask redness, look for one with an added pigment. A green tint tends to work the best at counteracting redness. Dot small amounts over red area and use a sponge or fingers to blend in. For best results, avoid layering too thickly.

Aspirin Paste
Aspirin contains salicylic acid which can reduce inflammation of blood vessels. Crush half an aspirin into a bowl, add a few drops of water and mix into paste. dab on to face and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse face and pat dry.

Cool Ways To Use Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

After God created the world, he created a  beautiful garden.  This Garden was full of beautiful flowers and succulent fruits and small animals.  And in this Garden, God made Adam and, from Adam’s ribs, God made Eve.  And somewhere in this beautiful garden, God made aloe vera.  And God saw that it was good.

Ok.  So maybe aloe vera is not mentioned in the story of Adam and Eve, but it sure has a long history.  Ancient Chinese and Egyptians used it to treat burns, wounds and reduce fever.  It is said that Alexander the Great conquered the island of Socotra off Africa to get aloe to treat his soldiers for battle wounds.  Egyptian beauty queens, including Cleopatra, used them to enhance their complexions  and, in 1944, Japanese used it to soothe their wounds resulting from exposure to the A-bomb.

What is Aloe Vera?
Known as the natural healer, aloe vera  is most commonly found in warm and dry climates.  Although it looks like a cactus with thorny leaves, it is actually a member of the Lily family.  It possesses the unusual ability of being able to close its pores to prevent moisture loss and stays moist while other plants die.  ( Can we invent something so that humans can do this?) The lower leaf of the plant is used for medicinal purposes and, when sliced open, produces gels that can be applied to the skin. The leaves and seeds are edible.

Cool Ways to Use Aloe Vera
Is there anything this plant can’t do? While most commonly known to treat minor wounds and burns, the aloe vera plant can also be used to treat:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS):   A study done at the Royal London Hospital found an improvement of 38% of   patients suffering Ulcerative Collitis who were treated with aloe vera., as opposed to 8% who were given a placebo.
  • Asthma:  Boil some leaves in a pan of water and breathe in.
  • Constipation:   The aloe juice taken from the tubules are dried, becoming granules that are dark brown in color.  (Do you get where this is going?)
  • Aging skin: After being absorbed in the skin, aloe vera stimulates fibroblast cells that produce collagen and elastin. Drink in a tea or apply directly.
  • Bad breath:  A 2014 study showed that the vitamin c in aloe vera can block plaque, provide relief to bleeding gums and freshen breath.
  • Bacteria on Fruit: A recent study showed aloe vera, when used to coat tomatoes and apples was able to block many types of bacteria.  It could be used as an alternative to harmful chemical to keep fruit fresh.
  • Diabetes:  According to a study in Thailand, two tablespoons of the juice per day caused blood sugar levels to fall in people with type 2 diabetes

Well, hallelujah!  I don’t know if this stuff is sacred or not, but I am definitely a believer!  Also good for cancer, arthritis and looking lovely in the home or office as a plant, aloe vera is a miracle!

Sunburn Soothing Treatments

Woman with sunscreen Regardless of all the information we are given to protect our skin from the sun, sunburns do happen. Either we lose track of time, forget to reapply, maybe even nod off while sunbathing. Well, nobody’s perfect. And, if you do get a sunburn, you need to know that best way to treat it.

At first signs of a sunburn, you should act fast to cool it. If you are near water, you might want to take a quick dip to cool skin… with emphasis on the word ‘quick’! You don’t want to prolong exposure so it’s important to cool skin and then cover up and get out of the sun as quickly as possible. Then follow up by treating skin with cool compresses or ice water, but do not apply ice directly to sunburn. A cool shower or bath can be effective if you don’t stay in the water too long since it can have a drying effect. You also want to avoid harsh soap.

Moisturizing is also an important step in treating sunburn. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends moisturizing while skin is still damp from cooling and then follow up to keep the skin moist over the next few days. Avoid petroleum or oil based ointments which can trap heat and make the burn worse.

You also want to make sure you treat the inflammation as soon as possible. “At first sign of sunburn, taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin can help with discomfort and inflammation,” says Dr. Brackeen, who practices at the Skin Cancer Institute in Lubbock, TX. You can continue with the NSAIDs until the burn feels better. Over the counter cortisone cream, and aloe vera are both topical solutions that will help to this end. It is recommended you wear loose, soft clothing to avoid further skin irritation and stay out of the sun while sunburn is still active.

While healing from a sunburn, you want to drink plenty of fluids. “Burns draw fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body, so you may become dehydrated,” explains Brackeen. Rehydrate by drinking extra liquids including water and sports drinks that will replenish electrolytes at the first sign of burning and as skin heals.

woman with sunburn
Seek medical help if there are signs of severe blistering over a large portion of your body. You may also want to see a doctor if you are experiencing fever, chills, wooziness or confusion. Do not scratch or pop blisters as this may cause infection. Signs of infection include red streaks or oozing puss.

Although skin will heal from a sunburn, the skin has still been damaged. Repeat sunburns put you at a risk for skin cancer and premature aging so prevention is really the best route. Covering exposed skin, limiting sun exposure, and using an adequate amount of broad spectrum sunblock with a sufficient SPF are all key in avoiding sunburn. The SCF offers, “Remember how bad this sunburn felt, then commit to protecting yourself from the sun every day, all year long. Learn from the burn.”

Aloe Vera Leaf Juice

Aloe vera

You’ve probably heard of the Aloe Vera plant as a pain reliever and healing salve for burns and sunburns, and, to be sure, it certainly excels in that regard, but it may have numerous other applications as well. Of course, the usual skepticism when discussing alternative medicine and folk remedies is advised, but aloe vera’s potential is at the very least worth investigation and objective assessment. Let’s take a look.

What’s Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a species of succulent plant in the aloe genus with long, thick, dull green, spike-edged leaves all growing out of the center of the plant. When one of the leaves is cut open, a thick, sticky gel is revealed inside the plant. This gel is what’s of interest for potential health, medicinal, and skincare applications.

Burn Relief
One purported use for Aloe Vera is pain relief, especially for burns (including sunburns) but also for rashes, minor irritations, cuts, and other wounds, and etc.

This one actually holds a lot of water. There is ample evidence for aloe being effective on sunburns and other burns. It not only reduces pain, but causes the burn to heal faster than it would on its own. There’s also suggestive research and ample anecdotal evidence to suggest that aloe probably helps soothe and heal a variety of rashes and skin irritations. There is insufficient evidence supporting Aloe working well for wound healing of any kind, however, and what evidence does exist is conflicting.

Topical Skincare
It is also suggested that Aloe Vera can be used in or in addition to skincare products for purposes such as acne control, soothing sensitive skin and preventing flare-ups, and helping to nourish and moisturize skin.

While not conclusive as of yet, research does suggest that Aloe Vera is helpful at reducing acne, and it is less harsh than a lot of other acne treatments, like salicylic acid, which has a tendency to dry out the skin. However, aloe alone is not a sufficient acne treatment on its own, as research suggests that applying aloe gel in the morning and evening improves acne by about 35%. If you want that to be 100%, you should pair it with a prescription acne medication.

As for softening skin, there isn’t enough evidence to make a clear conclusion. It’s a “maybe, maybe not” kind of thing. Some studies were done, but the results are inconclusive, and it seems that aloe may increase water content in the very outermost layers, but not inner layers, meaning it doesn’t really fix the problem, so you’re better off with other skin softening ingredients.

Studies show promise for aloe treating psoriasis symptoms. A 0.5% aloe extract cream reduced skin plaques after about four weeks in clinical trials. It is more effective than corticosteroid creams commonly used for decreasing severity, however, it does not decrease other symptoms, so using prescription creams along with aloe is your best bet.

Ingestion
A lot of too-good-to-be-true claims for drinking beverages with aloe gel in them or taking aloe capsules have been made; everything from aloe juice as a depression cure to helping fight cancer to lowering cholesterol.

We’ll save you a lot of time on this one; almost none of these claims, or any other positive claims about aloe beverages, have any decent amount of supportive evidence. The singular exception is that aloe can be an effective treatment for constipation, but there are much better prescription and over-the-counter options for stool softeners or laxatives.

The Benefits of Natural Antibacterials

The beauty industry is constantly introducing customers to the latest and greatest ingredients, but sometimes your skin just wants something effective and gentle. If you have acne-prone skin, whether it is oily, dry or sensitive, you definitely don’t want to risk aggravating your face even further by using harsh chemicals and products to clear your skin. Fortunately, there are some natural antibacterials that are common ingredients in beauty products, and that can be used by themselves if you want to really cut down on what goes onto your skin. Our favorite three natural antibacterials, and their benefits, are below.

Natural anti-bacterials

Natural Antibacterials to Try
For a more natural approach to skincare, consider the following natural antibacterials:

  • Honey – Honey is one of the easiest and most readily available natural antibacterials. Its antibacterial property makes it especially good for acne-prone skin, and because it is a humectant, those with dry skin will love it too. Skin care products that contain honey are beneficial, but you can also incorporate raw honey into your skin care routine by itself. Kim Wallace, a natural beauty advocate, is a huge believer in honey for skin care. “Raw honey can help unclog pores while simultaneously delivering moisture to parched skin. If you’re suffering from a breakout, you can sleep with a small dab of honey on your face and awaken to less stressed skin,” says Wallace. Remember that you want to purchase raw, not processed, honey if you plan on using it on your skin.
  • Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is used in a large variety of beauty products, and many of these are targeted specifically for people who have oily or acne-prone skin. Tea tree oil shampoos are very effective for reducing and eliminating dandruff and it can also reduce breakouts on the scalp. Studies have shown tea tree oil to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide among those with acne, and tea tree oil doesn’t come with the added risks that benzoyl peroxide does. Look for products containing tea tree oil if you suffer from acne. If you prefer to use tea tree oil alone, know that it can be irritating to some skin, so you might want to dilute the tea tree oil with a bit of water before applying to your skin.
  • Aloe Vera – Most famous for its soothing after-sun products, aloe vera is an incredible skin care multitasker. Aloe vera is a very calming natural antibacterial, and it also has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Because aloe vera is so gentle, you can apply it directly to the skin without fear of any irritation. Products that contain aloe range from cleansers to moisturizers, but you can keep a steady supply of fresh aloe in your home. Simply invest in a small aloe vera plant and snip off a leaf and extract the gel from inside.

Returning to more natural ingredients can help your face recover from the irritation and aggravation of harsh chemicals. These natural antibacterials are incredible skin care ingredients, whether you use them in your favorite product or on their own.

Aloe Vera, Lavender and Calendula

Many plants are incredibly versatile and can play an important role in your daily life. Aloe vera, lavender and calendula are three plants that you should consider keeping in your home or garden for their health benefits. Below, find out what health benefits aloe vera, lavender and calendula have to offer to your family and yourself.

Aloe vera

Aloe Vera
Perhaps most well-known for its after sun benefits, aloe vera is a small plant with some mighty powers. Keep aloe vera on hand to:

  • Boost Immune Function – Scientific studies have shown that aloe vera not only can boost immune function, it also has antitumor properties. The polysaccharides in aloe vera activate increased production of nitric oxide, which has been shown to have significant antitumor potential.
  • Calm Skin – Aloe vera certainly does help with inflammation, redness and irritation after a sunburn, but it can also be useful as a moisturizer, an anti-acne treatment, an anti-aging treatment and to reduce stretch marks. Aloe vera has antibacterial properties, making it beneficial for acne and it contains vitamin C and E which help to naturally firm the skin while adding hydration.
  • Lower Cholesterol – When taken orally, aloe vera plays a role in rebalancing your blood chemistry, which in turn lowers high cholesterol levels and triglycerides. A high level of triglycerides in the blood is associated with an increased risk of stroke.

Lavender

Lavender
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils, and there is a good reason. This flowering herb has so many positive benefits and uses, and it is a great addition to any home. Use lavender for:

  • Sip It – You probably don’t think of lavender and drinks together, but lavender adds a unique flavor to everyday drinks. One popular way to drink lavender is to add it to lemonade for a refreshing drink. You can also spice up a cocktail, like a classic martini, by using lavender or lavender syrup.
  • Calm Down – One of lavender’s many day-to-day uses is stress and anxiety reduction. To boost your mood and reduce your stress, put some essential oil in a diffuser and let the scent hang in the air, or add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a soothing bath.
  • Soothe Skin – Lavender has a soothing effect on more than your mind, it can also help to calm your skin. Use lavender after shaving to reduce irritation, redness and inflammation. You can also use lavender to help eradicate dandruff and dry scalp problems.

Calendula

Calendula
The vibrant flowers of calendula may be what brings initial attention to this plant, but calendula has been used for a variety of purposes for hundreds of years. Use calendula to:

  • Improve Immune Function – Calendula tea has been used for many years as an immune system booster. Calendula is high in beta-carotene and when consumed regularly it can help to detoxify both your liver and gallbladder as well as boost the immune system. Calendula also can heal viral inflammations, candida and peptic ulcers. Studies have indicated that two to three cups of calendula tea per day provides the most benefits.
  • Prevent Infection – For minor cuts, burns, scrapes and other injuries, calendula can provide healing relief. The antibacterial properties of calendula prevent infection while the anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling, inflammation and irritation.
  • Treat Varicose Veins – The unsightly veins that make you want to skip shorts in summer have been a source of frustration for years, but using a calendula ointment can eradicate these pesky problems. Calendula cleanses, stimulates circulation and improves healing, all of which are important as you rid your body of varicose veins.

Aloe vera, lavender and calendula all have unique health benefits that work for both internal and external conditions. You can grow your own aloe vera, lavender and calendula plants to ensure that you always have a fresh supply on hand. Use aloe vera, lavender and calendula to start improving your health today.

Ingredients to Look for if you Have Sensitive Skin

If you suffer from sensitive skin, you know how difficult it can be to find products with ingredients that will keep your skin healthy, clean and youthful without being irritating. You may know what ingredients you need to avoid if you have sensitive skin, such as alcohol, fragrance or abrasive ingredients, but you might not know where to start looking when it comes to ingredients your skin will love. Below, find our five favorite ingredients to look for if you have sensitive skin.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the most soothing skincare ingredients available. Aloe vera is a clear gel that is secreted from cactus plants and instantly calms irritated skin. One of the major uses for aloe vera has been after sun care and that is because it is so soothing. Aloe vera reduces redness on sensitive skin, hydrates the skin and calms skin down. Aloe vera gel is widely available and many grocery and health food stores sell aloe stems if you want to go straight to the source. Simply cut the stem and use the 100% pure aloe vera gel that the plant secretes.

Glycolic Acid
Exfoliation is still important to sensitive skin because it removes dry, dead skin cells and other debris and helps to promote healthy cell turnover. Alpha-hydroxy acids are great exfoliants if you have sensitive skin because they are not harsh or abrasive and exfoliate more by dissolving dead skin than scrubbing it off. The reason that glycolic acid is particularly helpful for sensitive skin is that it has a small molecular structure thus it is able to absorb more deeply into your skin.

vitamin E.

Vitamin E
Antioxidants are always great for your skin, and the antioxidant vitamin E is particularly beneficial to you if you have sensitive skin. Like other antioxidants, vitamin E protects your skin from oxidative damage due to harmful free radicals. Vitamin E is an amazing anti-aging ingredient for sensitive skin because it fights free radicals, helping to prevent wrinkles, while remaining super gentle to your skin. This skincare ingredient also reduces inflammation in the skin and helps to regulate the moisture levels in your skin so that you stay well hydrated.

Peptides
Proteins are necessary for your skin to maintain its health and youth and peptides are a great anti-aging ingredient for sensitive skin. Peptides are chains of amino acids that are portions of larger protein molecules. Peptides have the ability to communicate with your skin cells, directing them to perform functions necessary for youthful, healthy skin. One of the ways peptides work is by directing cells to produce more collagen or to thicken the support structure of your skin, which is definitely helpful to sensitive skin.

Chamomile

Chamomile
Chamomile is an amazing ingredient for sensitive skin because it has been shown that chamomile flavonoids and essential oils are able to penetrate the deeper layers of your skin. A natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, chamomile helps to prevent skin issues like acne while being super gentle to your skin. In addition to having the ability to keep skin clean, chamomile also helps promote healing of wounds and prevents infection.

Finding the right products for you may require a bit of trial and error but when you know where to start, you can significantly shorten the journey. Using the ingredients above will help you to achieve healthy, radiant and calm skin while also protecting your skin from harm and premature aging.

Top Summer Skin Care Ingredients

Woman enjoying the summer sun

Like your wardrobe, your skin care products most likely rotate depending on the season. For some, this is not a problem at all and changes in climate do not affect the skin at all. But, for most of us, a change in season requires products that target the specific skin concerns associated with that season. Perhaps the most common problem associated with summer skin is oil production. The rise in temperature can actually melt the sebum that is in your pores, making your skin look like an oil slick. The other major concern associated with summer skin is the level of sun protection. You should definitely be using sun protection year-round, but it is a must have for the summer months. Vine Vera has rounded up the most important ingredients to look for to keep your skin looking its best during the hotter months.

Woman applying sunscreen.

SPF
Okay, we already said it but it bears repeating, you should be using an SPF all year long not only in the spring/summer. But, with the sun being out for longer periods of time, it is especially important that you use a product that contains SPF. Depending on the type of sunscreen you prefer (chemical versus physical) the SPF ingredient you should look for will change. The most common, and beneficial, SPF ingredients to look for in summer skin care products are titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone and oxybenzone. Often, products contain a mixture of many SPF ingredients in order to provide broad-spectrum coverage. For summer, try looking for a mattifying sunscreen to help control your oil production. A great way to make sure you don’t forget your SPF is to buy a moisturizer with SPF of 25 of higher built in.

Salicylic acid molecule.

Beta Hydroxy Acid
Using a BHA (salicylic acid) can help minimize the amount of oil clogging your pores. A BHA exfoliant penetrates the pore and removes built-up skin cells that also clog your pores. This helps cut down on breakouts experienced during the summer. If properly formulated, BHA exfoliants can also drastically reduce, or eliminate, blackheads while also fading discoloration from sun damage or post-acne marks. This is a product that is great year-round for those with oily skin, but benefits those with normal to dry skin in the summer as well. Aim to use your BHA exfoliant two to three times weekly. There is one caveat that comes with using a BHA: though removing skin cells helps reduce breakouts, it also does remove a bit of added sun protection as it reveals new skin. This means that it is even more critical to be using a product with SPF.

Aloe vera plant on a wooden table.

Aloe
Even if you are diligent with your sunscreen use, applying with plenty of time to sink in and reapplying every two hours, a burn is a possibility. Aloe is an excellent ingredient for soothing sun- burned skin. That isn’t it’s only purpose though. Aloe is a natural anti-inflammatory and may help wounds heal more quickly. You can go straight to the source for your aloe needs, or, you can look for moisturizers with aloe or grab some aloe vera gel for sunburn relief.

Though your skin care needs are likely going to change from season to season, you don’t have to overhaul your entire bathroom counter. A few products with beneficial ingredients is all you need to help your skin deal with a change in climate. And we’ll say it again, even though it’s listed on here as a top summer ingredient, you should use an SPF every day of the year.