This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
The Importance of Skincare/Body Care
I know, this might seem a little out of left field for someone who is normally talking about soul and spirit stuff. But we’re about a whole life here, not a half a one. Yes you are a soul, but you are also a body and your skin needs you. You also need your skin, it’s an integral part of your immune system, healthy skin does a much better job of protecting the rest of your body. Way too often people who are really into spirituality either totally ignore and neglect the body or decide if the soul is good, the body is evil. We don’t play that game around here. Holistic living acknowledges that our bodies are gifts, miraculous blessings of unimaginable complexity. It took millions of years of evolution for your body to be the way it is. You are the result of evolutionary success, or you wouldn’t be here. And that’s a big deal.
Taking care of the body that you’ve been gifted with is important. We’ve only got one Earth, and you’ve only got one body. Yet for some reason we’re recycling, and trying to reduce our energy consumption, and composting, but we’re totally ignoring our body. Let’s fix that.
The Special issues with Summer Skin
The biggest organ in your body is your skin. We don’t often think of skin as an organ, it’s just the thing that keeps our insides in, our outsides out and us from looking seriously freaky. But it’s a big complicated organ with important jobs to do. And summer brings it’s own challenges for your skin. From the time you spend in the pool or lake, to vastly more sun exposure than the rest of the year there are a multitude of issues your skin is dealing with right now. Taking care of your skin well is a gift you can give back to the wonderful body that caries you around, lets you interact with this marvelous world, and dances to salsa music.
Skincare is a big industry these days with a bewildering barrage of products and advice. Advertising doesn’t help because frankly half of it is utter bunk. Chemical this, and organic that and I’m that snarky person pointing out that everything is a chemical and that “organic” means pretty much nothing because it’s essentially unregulated. So, where do you start? There are a few skin care experts out there whose opinions I value. They tend to be down to earth, and pretty uncaring about hype or the latest fads. Listen to people who are actually trained facialists or doctors, folks trained in the science of skincare.
I’ve combed through my own favorite skincare, and suggestions from my favorite experts (who will be linked below) to find options for just about any summer skincare need. I present both budget and higher end options as appropriate and I’ll only recommend things I know and like. Feel free to get lost in the linked websites finding other great suggestions. There’s a ton out there, and something will work for you.
Let’s start with getting your face clean. To start, soap isn’t a great choice. It’s incredibly drying for one thing, and pretty harsh on top of it. While “drying” might sound great for those with oily skin it actually just makes the issue worse as your body works overtime to rehydrate after all that drying out. A good cleanser is your friend. I have a couple I like for different things.
Getting makeup off doesn’t have to be bad for your skin. I’ve got a couple favorites at different price points. The first, that will work for just about any skin type is First Aid Beauty’s Cleanser. It’s gentle and non-drying without being too rich or heavy for oilier complexions. It does a bang up job of removing makeup, even eye makeup and while it isn’t cheap it lasts long enough to be worth it if you use it just for makeup removal.
My other favorite might not work for those with oily skin, but it’s a drink of heaven for my dry skin that’s edging into “older” territory. Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil pretty much instantly breaks up even tough eye makeup and everything else. I dispense a half to full pump in my palm and massage it in. It’s light, and hydrating and does a beautiful job of getting everything off. I remove it with a damp wash cloth. While it is not cheap my current bottle has been going for about four months and is only half used so I consider it a pretty solid purchase.
Morning or Second Cleanse
For morning, to just get any oil and dirt from the night off my skin and prepare it for the rest of my skincare I love a gentle cleanser, there’s no makeup to remove so ultra gentle is perfect. My favorite is one of the Yves Rocher soothing cleansing milks here and here. Only buy these on a 50% off sale, which happens pretty frequently. A bottle will last me a couple months so it’s pretty much drug store prices. Note: they calls these makeup removers but I don’t find they work for that. They do a lovely job as a second cleanse or a gentle morning cleanse.
Two In One
Caroline Hirons and Pixi have created a two in one double cleanse that simplifies the whole thing if you can can’t be bothered with multiple cleansers. I haven’t used it yet because I’ve got stuff to use up first but I’ve loved everything Pixi I’ve tried and I trust Caroline, so give it a go and let me know how it works!
I’m not huge on acids, but especially for those of us with dry skin they can be great for prepping the skin for serum and moisture. When I’m really dry a good swipe with Pixi’s Glow Tonic feels wonderful. Instantly more hydrated and less tight and dry. I prefer the Pixi Glow Tonic to Go pads, I get them at Target. They’re just so quick and easy. But buying the big bottle and your own cotton pads is much cheaper.
Serum according to the the experts is the place to invest your $$. There are a number I like and seem to rotate through depending on my mood.
Estee Lauder makes the queen of serums, it’s been around forever and is just plain the trusted benchmark by which other serums are weighed. I find it works really well for me, keeping my skin healthy and plumped. It doesn’t work miracles like wiping the lines off your face but it does care well for the skin. I probably wouldn’t pay full price for it, but if you are a member of Costco you can buy it on their website for a really good discount that makes it worth while.
For an easy to get starter serum L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Concentrated Serum (whew) is a good bet. It won’t break the bank, it will do good things, and I find it comfortable and hydrating. Since those are my two biggest requirements for a serum it works pretty well.
And now for something totally different. Deciem, a collection of skincare products from various brands who have cut out theadvertising, fancy packing, and just about everything else to bring you the best skin care possible at the lowest price. Will these beat out a $200 serum? No. But if you can’t spend $200 on a serum there’s certainly a great option. I have personally used and love the 2% retinoid which is wonderful for signs of aging and stupidly cheap at under $10. For a bit more oomph at only a slightly higher price I’m really enjoying their SubQ Anti-Age serum. Caroline Hirons, my favorite facialist has a good writeup on Deciem here and the Anti-Age serum here. (Frankly the brand can be a bit confusing so here’s another guide she wrote about their Niod line.)
The amount and sort of moisturizer you need will depend on your skin, you’ll likely need a little less during the summer than during the winter. Though if you spend a lot of time in air conditioning, or swimming in chlorinated pools you might need more. I have a few favorites that work well for me. I’ve found most moisturizers are pretty similar so I would not bother spending a lot of money on a moisturizer. A great place to start that’s available just about everywhere is L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Moisturizer.
For a little step up and a little more ability to chose the formula that’s right for you I go back to Yves Rocher. Again, buy when these are on sale as I would not bother paying full price. Their formulas are wonderful though with everything from very light to very rich.
I can’t over emphasize the importance of SPF for your skin. Wear it people, yes even on cloudy days. Your face especially. I wear
SPF on my face winter or summer, makes no difference. If I’m going outside at all I have SPF on. It’s just part of my regular skincare routine and easy to include. There are tons of options here and for your body go with whatever works for you. For my face I prefer La Roche Posay Anthelios 50. It’s light, doesn’t leave me greasy and sits well under foundation. It isn’t cheap but again, a little goes a long way and one or two bottles will get me through the summer. One will easily last me through winter.
For a slightly cheaper option Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturizer also cuts a step out of your skincare routine as it’s both an SPF and a moisturizer. It comes in quite a bit cheaper as well so is good if you are on a budget. This is not the place to splurge on skincare.
This one is a bit of a cheat as it’s also makeup. But my go to daily SPF has become It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream (SPF 50). The shade range is sadly pretty limited but you can get a generous sample of two of the colors at the link provided. My sample is still going strong after weeks of use because you don’t need a lot of this. I really like the SPF, it its very well on the skin and provides a lovely makeup base. Often my “no makeup” days are just this with a little bit of blush and some lip gloss.
I’m a sucker for a good lip balm. My lips are always dry and cracked, always. Not just in winter. I’ve learned pretty early on that most “lip balms” with petroleum products don’t make things better, but keep making things worse. So I’ve gotten super picky when it comes to lip products. My favorites tend to be all bees wax and lovely natural oils from little tiny Etsy shops. But I’ve recently encountered two I’m really loving from Sephora. The first is a “lib balm & scrub” though it’s so gentle and mild I just use it as a regular balm. Swipe it on and go. It’s simple, cheap and lasts and really does seem to smooth and hydrate my lips. At $6 a pop it’s affordable too.
My other current favorite is much more expensive, but it’s got SPF 15 and it’s tinted so in the summer this is essentially my lipstick. Fresh’s Sugar lip treatment in Honey is my favorite but there are a range of colors available.
Add Your Own
What are your favorites? What works best for you in the summer? Is caring for your body an important part of your life or something you are still struggling with? Let us know what you’ve got to share today.