We are creatures of light and water. As someone, who spent a significant portion of my life in what could be best called, extreme heat, I have some strategies for taking care of your skin that I teach to our students as they go into clinical practice. As a holistic therapist, I treat the skin both internally and externally. For over 20 years, I have worked as a herbalist and educator with with spas and wellness centers formulating herbal and all natural spa preparations. I hope these tips help to restore and feed your skin. Seeing our bodies as sacred is part of keeping your body healthy, so I like to think in terms of rituals we can perform on our skin to keep our bodies vibrant!
Rituals help us to honor the shifts in us, as well as the earth, when we move from more light to less light, and more water to less water.
DAILY RITUALS FOR THE SKIN INCLUDE
~An ounce of prevention
~1 long sleeved shirt
~Several glasses of room temperature water with electrolytes
~Unctuous and demulcent herbs like chia seeds
~Suncreen? This can be controversial. If you do choose to use sunscreen, you may want to choose the brands with a mineral barrier and you may want to consider whether or not you feel comfortable with using nanoparticles
Herbal Sun or Burn Spray
· This is a great remedy for folks that need to treat areas of the body that were damaged by the sun. You will need : a burned area of the body, a glass jar with a lid, a strainer, a spray bottle, vinegar and or water, Rosemary and of Lavender, Aloe, Oak leaves and or Chaparral. To receive a handout with all of the recipes, sign up here.
Daily Cleansing Rituals when its hot
- Look to the liver. Cool and Flush.
- Drink teas that are bitter, diaphoretics , diuretics
- Dandelion, Chaparral, Calendula, Cleavers, Burdock
- Sun teas and suspended cold infusions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4cpWEqYr5A
Nightly Protection Rituals: Oils
Cooling Oils include Sunflower and Coconut
Other bases used may include Grapeseed, Apricot, or Jojoba(at 10%)
Massage in towards the heart in long strokes
May make a herbal infused oil like comfrey leaf, calendula, plantain, lavender, rosemary or chaparral on the full moon to use the next moon
Use 3 weighted oz of herbs per 32 oz of oil for a gentle infused oil you can use all over daily
You may add a few drops of essential oils 1drop per oz
Weekly Exfoliation Rituals
Scrubs not soaps! Grind up nuts and grains
You may also combine salt or sugar with oils. I prefer this during the hot dry season. Easiest done outside! Sometimes I will add in additional herbs and exfoliants
May be done without oil as well.
Herbal Scrub for Sunbaked Skin
Please do not exfoliate on sunburns
2oz of Himalayan pink salt
1 oz of coconut or sunflower oil —For every oz of salt do at least a ½ oz of oil or infused oil(Enough oil to coat the salt. Some people prefer more some less)
A tspn of dried powdered rosemary leaves
Combine and stir. Scrub briskly into skin until you feel a bit tender (may need help to do your back!) Use a washcloth to clean it off(no soap)
Alternative exfoliants include corn meal, ground nut meals, sugar, or grains like chickpeas or rice
Summer Rituals to Cool the Core
Sun Teas: add fresh herbs to water and let steep in the sun for 8-12 hours. Use about a handful per quart
Suspended Cold Infusions: see video
you will need: Fresh Peach Leaves, Peaches, Mimosa Blossoms, Agarita Berries, Raw Local Honey and Brandy, a 16 oz jar.
· Add a handful of Peach leaves, 1 Peach sliced, a handful of Mimosa Blossoms, 1 cup of Agarita Berries into a 16oz jar so that its well stuffed. Fill with a mixture of half honey and half brandy to cover the plant material. Let sit 2-4 weeks. Decant off and add 1-2 tblspns to a quart of water. Or just enjoy . Don’t forget to eat the peaches!
Herbal Aguas Frescas
Aguas Frescas mean “cool waters” and are made from water and fruit blended and strained. If you buy them from restaurants they add additional sugar. You can make your own with cooling herbs and foods instead of hot teas, which for those of us in the sunny south, we don’t want to make hot tea!
- Take 1 cup of fruit or veggies like melon, cucumbers or berries, 1 cup of water and a small handful of a cooling herb like Peach Leaves, Hawthorne Berry, Agarita Berry, Rose Petal, Hibiscus, or Bee Balm. Blend together and strain. You may add in additional cordial or your burn honey to taste!
Rituals of Repair
Ways to treat burns:
- Astringents, Demulcents, Antioxidants, Drawing Agents, Aromatics
- Some of my favorite herbs include Chaparral, Lavender, and Aloe
Recipe: Ritual of Sweet Repair
You will need: a burned area of the body, raw local honey, Bee Balm Flowers and Lavender Flowers and a 16 oz jar, and a paintbrush
Stuff a 16oz jar with fresh Bee Balm and Lavender. Add honey. Let sit for 2 weeks to 1 month. Decant off. Apply to area of burn with a paint brush. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263128/
Herbal Allies to Help you Beat the Heat