Summer weather is in full swing and for most of us that means more hours spent enjoying outdoor activities with family and friends or working in the garden. During summer months our skin requires extra care to prevent sun damage and premature aging. Aside from drinking plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated, here are some tips for the gentle care of summer skin.
Cleanse and Refresh
Summer weather can also create sweatier skin. Refresh between cleansings with a light nourishing spray to remove oils from your forehead and nose and to hydrate and balance your skin’s pH. At the end of the day use a gentle and moisturizing cleanser to thoroughly remove makeup, sun block, sweat and pollution from your active day. Exfoliating 2 or 3 times per week will brighten skin by removing dead skin cells and clearing pores. Applying a natural mask once a week will help draw out impurities, absorb excess oils and refresh your skin.
Be sure to look for antioxidant rich products to neutralize damaging free radicals from prolonged sun exposure. Providing the right balance of nutrients will help your skin repair and heal itself. Applying a nourishing serum directly after cleansing and exfoliating will help the serum to penetrate most effectively.
Take advantage of sun blocks to shield skin from the free-radical damage of the sun’s rays. Prolonged sun exposure not only burns the surface of the skin but contributes to subdermal free radical damage and an increased risk of skin cancer. Think about ditching the chemically laden sunscreens and replace them with all-natural, reef friendly products. Zinc oxide based sun blocks protect against both UVA and UVB light rays. Unlike chemical sunscreens, zinc oxide is a non-toxic, powdered mineral which also helps calm skin irritations and soothe rashes.
Hot and humid weather can trigger increased oil production which can start a cycle of excessive cleaning, which leads to dryness, which in turn triggers more oil production. Keep your skin balanced with a moisturizing sun screen and at the end of the day, a light moisturizer before bed. Don’t forget your body. Even though the skin of the body is thicker than your face, it still needs special summer care. Apply an all over body moisturizer especially to your exposed arms and legs.
Cleanse and Refresh: Chamomile & Lavender Facial Cleansing Spray: an easy spritzer to take to the beach for an on the spot refreshing spray. Plant distillates and aloe vera cleanse, balance pH, calm inflammation and help to repair damaged or fragile skin. Doubles as a fabulous hydrating mist to refresh and add moisture throughout the day.
Nourish: Pomegranate & Argan Antioxidant Oil Serum is a potent blend of raw, organic oils, rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and beta-carotenes, penetrates deep into tissue layers to provide a uniquely holistic solution for most skin-type problems.
Protect: Raspberry & Green Tea Daily Defense – a lightweight, protective moisturizer that combines the benefits of antioxidant rich green tea extract with safe, skin-loving, earth-friendly, zinc oxide. - Green Tea & Zinc Oxide with 30 SPF makes the safest UVA/UVB broad spectrum sun protection. Safe and effective for every member of the family and also ocean safe, GMO free, PABA & paraben free and biodegradable.
Body Care: Lemon Verbena & Frankincense Body Oil - a skin pampering elixir to nourish both body and senses. Apricot kernel, sunflower seed, jojoba seed and babassu provide an antioxidant-rich blend of organic, cold pressed and light weight oils to soften, soothe, and repair skin’s barrier.
We've been reflecting about how the years have changed our perspective and our habits around caring for our skin. When we were in our teens and twenties, taking good care of our skin usually meant taking off makeup before climbing into bed at night, no matter how weary we were or how late the hour. We certainly didn't appreciate the resilience of our youthful skin and its natural radiance, nor did we think too much about preserving those features.
These days, children get regular lectures about protecting their skin with a safe form of sunscreen (at least mine do), but for those of you in the 50+ age bracket, you may recall that in our early years, there were no moisturizers with sunscreen available to us. Instead we were actively seeking the sun to give our skin that bronzed glow that we valued so highly.
If you were really on top of things you may have started to use a simple moisturizer at some point in your twenties or early thirties and maybe even an eye cream when those tiny crow's feet started to surface. I distinctly remember looking at a neck cream on the counter of a department store and wondering why the heck anyone would want one of those.
By the time we hit our forties and early fifties our skin is finally gaining our undivided attention. Sun damage surfacing from earlier years, wrinkles and lines forming and a loss of natural radiance has us searching for new and more effective ways to care for our skin. Happily with today’s greater ingredient awareness there are plenty of gentler, healthier and effective options to deliver this kind of TLC to our skin.
While my skin is no longer young, it still glows when I am happy and rested and when I take the time to clean it gently and to nourish and protect it generously with natural and organic skin care. It may not be young skin, but I am loving the skin I'm in.
The secret to proper cleansing is to get rid of airborne particles such as soot, smoke, dust and dried sweat, residue from makeup and sunscreens, and to clear out clogged pores without also stripping away the skin’s natural oils and water. Many cleansing products including soaps and scrubs, dry the skin and alter its pH balance, causing it to become more alkaline.
If you’ve reached that squeaky clean sensation on your skin, you’ve probably just over cleansed. In principle this result sounds good, especially if you have oily skin. But, in fact, the body is always seeking to balance and regulate its processes, so when we remove the skin’s natural oil content, it responds by producing more oil to compensate for the loss. Of course, if you already have dry skin, you do not want to make it drier. And if you have sensitive skin, you don’t want to irritate it with harsh chemicals and soaps.
Do we need a heavy duty cleanser to ensure our skin is truly and deeply clean? Not at all. We just need to get rid of the dirt that accumulates during the day. Our faces are the most exposed, yet fragile, part of our bodies. If weather is harsh we can cover up with gloves and a scarf around our neck, but we don’t generally hide our faces under a mask. The solution is to eliminate the dirt without over-cleansing and potentially causing skin irritation.
Not long ago, I asked a twenty-nine year old customer what she liked about using our night cream. To be honest, I was a little surprised that someone her age would be in the market for a night cream. She told me that after she washes her skin every night, it then feels dry and so she likes applying the night cream to compensate for the dryness. My first reaction to hearing this was, “Oh no! Which of our cleansers is making your skin feel dry?”
It turned out that, despite using many of our products for her skincare routine, she had hung on to using a beloved cleanser that she’d been using for years. The brand of the cleanser was a household name, whose products are synonymous with calming dry, itchy skin. Nothing too ominous here I thought until I looked at the ingredient list and discovered a surprising number of ingredients that have been flagged by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) as “toxic, causes skin rashes and allergic reactions.”
The point is, this supposedly soothing cleanser was in fact drying out her skin and setting up a cycle requiring moisturizing beyond what someone her age would normally need. Ideally, an effective facial cleanser washes the daily dirt, oxidized sebum, and dead skin cells off your face while leaving behind enough of the skin's own oil to naturally moisturize.
If a cleanser, used alone or in a double-cleansing ritual, leaves your skin feeling dry, it is removing too much of this natural moisturizer. If it leaves you feeling greasy and sticky, either it isn’t removing enough oil or it contains emollient and film-forming ingredients that are clogging pores.
At Botanic Organic we’ve formulated our cleansers to clean without stripping away the necessary moisture or leaving an oily residue on the skin. At the same time, they are balancing, nutritive, healing and totally free of toxic ingredients. To keep skin in glowing health, we recommend a double-cleanse method of cleansing several times per week.
For morning and light cleansing that doesn’t involve makeup or sunscreen removal, our infinitely gentle and refreshing Chamomile & Lavender Facial Cleansing Spray will leave your face feeling refreshed and soft. This facial mist cleanser is made from plant distillates and aloe vera to cleanse, balance pH, calm inflammation and help to repair damaged or fragile skin. It can do double duty as a hydrating mist to be sprayed on the face throughout the day to add extra moisture or as a facial toner. If you need to baby sensitive skin or just like the idea of using soothing plant-distillates to clean your skin, this is the cleanser for you.
The Chamomile and Lavender Facial Cleansing Spray has become my little savior in a bottle! Between traveling and enduring the hottest ever summer in Southern California, this spray has been put to the test. During the day, I use it as a light mist to calm and refresh. When getting ready for bed, I use it after cleansing my skin by spraying a small amount on a cotton square and gently patting over my face and neck. It can also be used alone, as a cleanser, but I preferred to use it as a follow up to the grains.
— Roxanne, Los Angeles, CA
For night-time cleansing when you need to remove all of the daily residues, a wise choice is the Tangerine & Lemon Facial Cleansing Oil. This is an extremely effective, non-drying oil cleanser that rids skin of makeup, mascara, and the pollution that collects on the face over the day. For those of you who have never used an oil cleanser, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Even our customers who have oily skin and who’s first reaction is to shun an oil cleanser, have been surprised by how well it works for their skin.
This cleansing oil has really been a game changer for me. It’s a fantastic makeup remover, but it also feels deeply nourishing when I massage it into my skin. When I’ve oil cleansed in the past with coconut oil or even olive oil, I’ve always felt a little grimy afterwards, but this rinses off cleanly while leaving enough moisture behind to still feel soft and hydrated. I love it.
— Toni, Cultivated Well Being, Alameda, CA
Oats & Goat's Milk Cleansing Grains is a non-irritating, preservative-free daily cleanser, effective for all skin types. This uber gentle cleanser can be used as a one-step cleanser and also as a second-step for double-cleansing. Oatmeal gently exfoliates, drawing impurities from your skin and unclogging pores, while the lactic acid in goat’s milk works as a gentle exfoliant allowing new healthy skin cells to emerge, revealing vibrant, glowing skin.
I absolutely love this product! It smells fantastic, has a great texture, and is a gentle yet effective exfoliator for my very sensitive skin. After use my skin is soft and hydrated and my pores are noticeably smaller. This is definitely the best facial cleanser I have ever tried! So happy to have discovered Botanic Organic!
— Emily, North Haven CT
Honey & Licorice Root Daily Cleansing Grains is another of our cleansing grains made with 100% organic, nourishing, food-grade ingredients. It makes a wonderful second-step, deep cleanser perfect for practicing the double cleanse method. It is a nutritive, preservative free, all natural cleanser that will repair, brighten and gently polish your complexion while leaving your skin feeling incredibly soft, moisturized and protected.
I love the feeling of the Organic Botanic products on my skin. The products also make my skin look amazing. All the products have a very refreshing, soothing, natural smell, and nothing chemical. I use the Honey & Licorice Root Daily Cleansing Grains a few times a week. Although it exfoliates, it leaves my skin feeling moisturized, not dry and stripped. I have never found a facial cleaning product that makes my skin feel this healthy.
— Courtney, Menlo Park CA
Botanic Organic was born from my desire to create seriously natural, plant-based products that would benefit the needs of my own particular 50+ skin. As a mature woman, I was looking for ingredients that would help reduce inflammation for redness issues, help repair my skin from decades of environmental damage and offer good emolliency for my increasingly dry skin. In those early days, I hadn’t considered that these same products might work beautifully for those beyond my own skin-type demographic.
Today, a growing number of our customers reach out to me asking if we have products to help with their teen or young adult children's skin. I suggest that they try a few of the same products originally created for our older demographic. After all, ingredients that help to restore skin’s balance, reduce inflammation and add reparative nutrients should improve any skin type. I also assume that our products will be a gentler and healthier options to the harsh and stripping products that many young people are drawn to for managing blemishes and oil prone skin. It’s all about getting skin back into balance whether we’re trying to balance oily, blemished skin or dry, environmentally damaged skin. If you haven’t already read it, you can learn more about Why Plant-Based Oils are Actually Good For Acne in this earlier blog post.
The holiday season is a great time to think about balms. Our balms provide a wonderful medium to deliver restorative and nutrient rich oils and butters to extra dry winter skin. Unlike the more familiar forms of creams or lotions, our balms do not contain any water-based ingredients. They are made only from oils, butters and waxes and are therefore a super concentrated emollient. Formulating non-water-based products is a way to eliminate the need for chemical antimicrobial preservatives. Instead, antioxidants like vitamin E and rosemary oleoresin are used to reduce the rate of oxidation and extend shelf life.
We know reviews are an important tool for helping people decide what products to buy, and we've wanted to add customer reviews to our website for a long time. We played around with a few options for adding reviews, but none of them worked as well as we'd like.
I'm happy to say we've finally found a good solution and have today introduced customer reviews on our website. The reviews are handled independently by Yotpo, a company that specializes in this area. We're now able to automatically follow up with our website customers to get their feedback, allowing you to see how others are using our products, and enabling us to make even better products.