One's skin can take a serious beating during the summer. With hot, humid weather abound, it's not surprising to experience dry and itchy skin as the seasons begin to change. But as summer begins to dwindle and wind down, it doesn't mean we should become lazier with our skin care regime. In order to fully protect your skin and keep those good feeling, summertime vibes advancing throughout fall and winter, you'll want to pay careful attention to how you protect your skin before summer comes to a close. 

Wear Sunscreen - Even When It's Cloudy

Just because the sun is beginning to disappear earlier and more frequently doesn't mean the harmful effects from UV rays have subsided. When choosing a sunscreen, look for something that has at least an SPF rating of 30. Anything above that, while seemingly more protective, higher SPF numbers actually diminish in their efficacy as their numbers increase. Sunscreens with SPF 50-100, for instance, only block about 1-2% more UV rays than SPF 30. No matter what type or strength of sunscreen you choose, be sure to reapply it every 90 minutes or so.

Choosing an organic sunscreen can also reap many benefits. Not only will natural ingredients have a reduced impact on your skin, but reducing the number of chemical ingredients will protect sensitive skin and baby's skin from irritation. Momma's Best Homemade recommends sunscreens with non-nano zinc oxide as the only active ingredient for this reason. 

Opt for Natural Tanning Solutions

The science is clear - tanning beds are directly linked to the development of skin cancer and many other skin-related issues. Not only that, but tanning beds are no safer than direct exposure to the actual sun, so the risks involved aren't even worth the time and energy (not to mention the costs) of using a tanning salon.

As far as alternatives go, it's not a bad idea to apply natural ingredients to help encourage a bit more summer color in your skin. Tried-and-true natural methods are a far cry safer and easier on your skin than over-the-counter tanning products, which contain methylparaben and synthetic perfumes, among other harmful ingredients. When looking for a body scrub or tanning product to bring out a slightly darker shade in your skin, pay attention to the ingredient list: vanilla extracts and products containing black tea can do the trick for those of fairer skin.

Exfoliate Your Skin at Least Once Per Week

Sitting atop the surface of your skin are countless dead cells that can alter its appearance, making it look dull, rough, or dry. Exfoliation, or the act of removing dead skin cells either via manual scrubbing or chemical processes, helps to keep skin appearing fresh, healthy, and strong. Periodic exfoliation also helps skin cells to regenerate at a more rapid pace, which can help slow aging.

Choosing natural exfoliates to go with a gentle scrubbing brush or natural loofah should be a priority, as artificial ingredients or chemicals used for exfoliation can be extremely harsh and cause irritation. Avoid so-called fruit acid exfoliates, including alpha and beta hydroxyl acids, as these can be extremely rough on one's skin. 

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

The summer months can significantly dehydrate your skin, leaving it dry, cracked, and unhealthy. The best moisturizers, however, work over time and combat dry skin with regular use. Especially in the face of sunburns, you should take care to quickly and effectively offset the negative aspects of sun exposure by moisturizing and using a lotion with aloe vera. 

Using natural body lotions containing Vitamin E, coconut oil, and organic vanilla will help moisturize your skin, preventing against dry and scaly skin and leaving it smooth, soft, and smelling wonderful. 

Get Plenty of Sleep and Drink Water

There's nothing better to help a body recover from a long day in the sun than a good night's sleep. While the draw of late nights at the beach and long barbecues outdoors with friends may shorten your downtime, it's important to give your body plenty of time to rejuvenate naturally. Decreased amounts of sleep can increase levels of stress hormones, which can slow collagen production and cause skin to lose its elasticity. 

Moreover, there's no better way to keep your skin hydrated and healthy than providing it with plenty of moisture from within. Extra exposure to the sun and an active outdoor life can spur dehydration, which can encourage greater levels of toxins throughout the body. When toxins begin to build up and accumulate, your organs work less efficiently (particularly your kidneys), which has a direct impact on the health of your skin. As a standard rule and a bare minimum, you should drink 64 ounces of water per day, every day.

For more tips on living naturally or to learn more about the benefits of organic, homemade beauty and skincare products, check out our blog or contact Momma's Best Homemade today.

Now get out there and enjoy the rest of your summer!

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