Summer Skin Survival Part 5

When Not to Wear Sunscreen

Welcome to the last installment of our Summer Skin Survival Guide! Yesterday we discussed make up and the importance of a good nights sleep. Today we are going to discuss two topics that may seem a bit counter intuitive for a sun care series.

9. When Not to Wear Sunscreen: Believe it or not there are times when it is beneficial not to wear sunscreen. A study released earlier this spring in The Journal of Internal Medicine entitled, “Avoiding Sun Exposure is as Dangerous as Smoking”, found that non-smokers who stayed out of the sun had a life expectancy similar to smokers! The study followed 30,000 Swedish women for 20 years.
Exposing arms and legs without SPF to the sun for at least 15-45 minutes during non peak sun hours is highly beneficial. Non peak sun hours are before 10am and after 2pm. Use the heat and color of the skin as a guide for how long to stay out. Time is up the second you see the slightest pink tint on the skin.
Synthetic sunscreens block the healing benefits of the sun, they also absorb and bake into the skin creating a whole host a potential health problems. Synthetic sunscreens create a false sense of security by disabling the skins early detection system, the sunburn. Sunburns are a warning sign of imminent skin danger. Disabling this early warning system results in over exposure to UV radiation, which ruins the healing benefits of the sun and creates other health problems.
Sunscreens block UVB rays which are the rays required for vitamin D production. The sun’s rays hitting the skin activates vitamin D production. Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintains healthy teeth and bones, supports the immune system, brain and nervous system, regulates insulin, lung function and cardiovascular health. Vitamin D is so important, a study published in The Nutrition Journal in 2010 found that 42% of adults and 12% of children in the US are vitamin D deficient, so get out there and absorb some rays! It can be the best health inducing 15-45 minutes of your day! Of course, if you are planning to be in the sun during peak hours, (10am- 2pm), wear sun screen and be sure to reapply every 2 hours that you are in the sun to protect your skin. Avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone. Research indicates that this ingredient is a hormone disruptor. Replace chemical based sunscreens with zinc oxide based sunblocks, they offer longer lasting protection without harmful ingredients. Steer clear of super high SPF’s like SPF’s over 50, they are higher in chemicals and there is no proof that they offer additional protection over an SPF 30. Be sure to refer back to yesterday’s post for a link to the Environmental Working Groups 2016 Guide to Sunscreens. Lastly, be sure to check the expiration dates on your sunscreen. Expired sunscreens have reduced effectiveness and can cause burns. Also if you have a sunscreen that is over a year old and has been opened, get rid of it. Opened sunscreens begin to lose effectiveness after a year, especially if they have been exposed to heat.

10. Take off the Sunglasses! The eyes need sunlight too! Anne Willis, Founder and CEO of De La Terre and director of Oncology Skin Therapeutics and Chief Executive Officer for the NCCAOM writes “The most direct path of communication to the brain and people’s health and mood is the eyes. When full spectrum light rays from the sun are received by the retina, it is coded in the brain and sets in motion production of hormones and neurochemicals that keep people happy and healthy.” She goes on to further explain “The lens at the back of the eye, which stimulates the body’s master clock in the hypothalamus and pineal gland, absorbs the blue part of the sunlight spectrum. This in turn creates the production and release of melatonin, the circadian rhythm hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. It is also a powerful immune booster and anti-aging antioxidant that protects DNA and delays neuro degeneration.”
So skip the sunglasses for short trips like running out to get the mail, weeding the garden or mowing the lawn.

I hope you have enjoyed my summer skin series. I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions or comments on the series.  You can let me know via email or via Facebook

Tracy’s Spa will be open Friday July 1st, click the schedule now button below to book your pre 4th of July appointment.

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Summer Skin Survival Part 4

Is the SPF in your foundation or tinted moisturizer really protecting your skin?

Yesterday we discussed the importance of locking in hydration by using moisturizers and keeping lips soft and supple with a coconut kiss lip polish. Today we are going to discuss summer makeup and the importance of sleep. These may seem like two random topics I threw together, but actually you can’t have beautiful skin and makeup without your beauty sleep!

7. Lighten up the Makeup: During the summer months consider switching up your foundation for a light weight tinted moisturizer. Heavier foundations and powders tend to melt on hot skin and travel into lines and creases accentuating them making them look deeper. Instead, try a tinted moisturizer, the moisturizer will give skin a plump, luminous look and the tint will cover any imperfections.
This may come as a surprise, but I’m not a big fan of SPF’s in foundations and tinted moisturizers, I don’t mind that they are in the product, but they often give women a false sense of security. Studies show that a thin layer of foundation is not enough coverage to protect the skin. You would have to really cake on the makeup to get the full effect of the SPF. In fact you would need 7 times the normal foundation and 14 times the normal powder to get the sun protection factor on the label! Instead, dermatologist recommend that you apply a thin, even coat of sunscreen, approximately 1 teaspoon for the face, neck and ears. Let the sunscreen soak into your skin for a minute or two, then dab off the excess with a tissue, then begin applying your make up. For a comprehensive guide on the best and worst sunscreens I recommend checking out Environmental Working Groups 2016 Sunscreen Guide.
Try this simple recipe to get a bronzed look without self tanner!

Natural Bronzer
Mix 1 teaspoon of Organic Sunscreen and a pinch of loose Mineral Bronzer in the palm of your hand. Blend it over your face for an instant glow!

8. Don’t skimp on sleep: It’s so easy now that the days are long to stay awake longer. Lack of sleep can lead to increased cortisol levels, which may slow the production of collagen in the skin. When our skin stops producing collagen it begins to lose resilience and starts looking tired and worn. Check out this sleep study done in England. The results are astounding, especially the effect lack of sleep had on the participant’s face in such a short time.
Try this soothing essential oil blend in a diffuser to create a relaxing atmosphere that will help you fall asleep.

Sleepy Summer Citrus Blend
6 drops Grapefruit essential oil
6 drops Bergamot essential oil
6 drops Lime essential oil
4 drops Ginger essential oil
2 drops Sandalwood essential oil

Blend all oils together in a small Amber glass or cobalt glass bottle with a dropper on top. Swirl bottle to make sure all oils combine. Allow oils to mix and mingle for about 30 minutes to an hour before using them. Add 4-6 drops of the blend to a diffuser. Inhale. Relax. Repeat…sleep!

Citrus essential oils are uplifting and antidepressant, they also increase your ability to concentrate and help clear the mind of negative thoughts and the never ending to do list that always seems to pop up when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Ginger essential oil is warming and soothing, it decreases inflammation in the body and aides in digestion. Because ginger is relaxing to the digestive tract and offers anti-inflammatory properties as well as helping the body release tension.
Sandalwood has an ancient history of use in prayer and meditation rituals, it is deeply relaxing and said to help bring mental clarity and promote healthy sleep.

That’s all for today, be sure to check back tomorrow when we wrap up our 10 Steps to Helping Your Skin Survive and Thrive Through Summer.

I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment or send your questions me at or via Facebook

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Summer Skin Survival Part 3

A Hydrated Skin is a Functioning Skin.  A Functioning Skin is a Glowing Skin!

In the real estate industry they talk about location, location, location. In the skin care industry we talk about hydration, hydration, hydration. In the last 2 installments of our summer skin series we’ve discussed the importance of hydrating the skin from the inside. Today we are going to the discuss ways to lock in hydration with moisturizers.

5. Moisturize: In the summer it is tempting to forego the moisturizer because your skin may not feel as dry. Moisturizers perform many functions, one of those is to act as a barrier on the skin’s surface locking valuable moisture in the cells. In the summer, use a light weight moisturizer, preferably one with SPF or sun filters. Look for ingredients like rosehips and evening primrose oils to help repair sun damage and maintain healthy collagen. Try this luxurious body oil to heal and protect skin all summer long.

Summer Body Oil
1 ounce Avocado oil
1 ounce Jojoba oil
2 drops Carrot seed essential oil
4 drops Frankincense essential oil
4 drops Lavender essential oil

Mix all ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Store in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Apply daily to moisturize and prevent sun damage.

Avocado oil is naturally high in vitamins A, D and E, it also even has some natural sun diffusing properties. While avocado oil is not classified as an SPF, it is said to have a sun protecting factor between 4-18! Avocado oil has skin softening and healing properties that help to reverse sun damage and lighten scars and brown spots.
Jojoba oil contains natural anti-inflammatory properties, it’s very much like the skin’s natural oil so it absorbs quickly and does not have a greasy feel. It is also known to have antibacterial properties, so it’s great for reducing breakouts and wound healing.
Frankincense and lavender essential oils help to heal, restore tone to skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and repair sun damage. They also help address skin discoloration, reduce inflammation and balance oil production.
Carrot seed oil is high in vitamin C and E. It enhances the body’s immune response to the sun and encourages cell growth and repair.

6. Lip service: Did you know that dry lips look smaller? It’s true! Summer heat and dehydration can zap the moisture out of your lips making them look smaller. Achieve softer, smoother lips with this exfoliation treatment.

Coconut Kiss Lip Polish
1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon Raw Unfiltered Honey

Combine all ingredients and gently apply to lips in a circular motion. You can also apply the mixture to a baby tooth brush and gently rub your lips. Rinse and follow up with lip balm.

Brown sugar and honey are hydrophilic meaning they attract moisture. Honey also plumps the lips.
Coconut oil has a rich texture and is rich in vitamins and minerals.

That’s all for today, be sure to check back tomorrow as we share a cool homemade bronzer recipe and discuss the importance of sleep! I’d love to know what you think of my Summer Skin series.  Please feel free to email me with questions at or leave a comment. If there are any other topics you’d like me to discuss in an email please let me know.
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Summer Skin Survival Part 2

In part one of our series we discussed the importance of hydration and exfoliation. Today we will discuss boosting skin’s glow from the inside and the importance of detoxifying and fortifying the skin with clay.

3. Feed your face with the fruits of summer: It’s no coincidence that watermelon is ripe and wonderful in summer, it is packed with electrolytes that help quench your thirst and compensate for water lost in the hot summer sun. Watermelon is high in vitamin B6 which helps combat stress and anxiety. The high lycopene content of watermelon helps to decrease free radical damage and slow down the aging process.
Berries of all colors especially blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries contain antioxidants that help prevent skin damage from sun exposure. Berries are also naturally high in alpha hydroxy acids and enzymes making them an ideal topical skin brightening treatment. Try this simple recipe for glowing skin.

Summer Berry Brightening Mask
1 ripe strawberry
1 ripe raspberry
3 ripe blueberries
2tsp raw unfiltered honey

Mash berries with a fork or purée them in a blender, combine with honey. Apply to skin and leave on 10-15 minutes, rinse with cool water.

Honey is anti microbial and helps encourage cellular turnover, it is also hydrating and plumping. Strawberries brighten skin and lighten marks left from skin blemishes. High in vitamin C, strawberries also prolong the life of collagen helping the skin look younger longer. Blueberries and raspberries are high in vitamin A and other antioxidants that balance skin oil production. The berries are also used for their skin cleansing enzymes that brighten the skin and break up and help fade brown pigmentation spots.

If all this talk of berries sound delicious, try this!
Berry Melon Cooler
In a blender combine:
3 cups chopped watermelon
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, hauled
raw honey to taste
Blend until smooth pour into a glass and top off with sparkling water.

4. Rejuvenate: applying a clay mask can help cool your skin and prevent breakouts by detoxifying pores and repairing the skin. There are actually lots of different types of clays that we use in skincare, each one has unique properties that make it more or less beneficial for a particular skin type.
For oily acne prone skin I recommend French Green Clay because it has tremendous absorbing powers. It easily and effectively draws oils, toxins and impurities from deep within the pores. You may even feel a slight tingling sensation when you use this mask which is ok because the increased stimulation brings blood to the surface of the skin resulting in a more refreshed, revitalized appearance.
For those with normal to dry, even sensitive skin I recommend French Pink Clay. This gorgeous rosy clay is considered the mildest of all the clays. It gently but effectively purifies even the most sensitive skin. It successfully draws surface toxins from the skin without over-drying. Additionally it softens plumps and refreshes the skin and with consistent use helps minimize pours.
Clay masks are simple to use, I recommend buying a clay mask in powdered form and adding water. Simply take 1-2 teaspoons of clay and mix it with 1-2 teaspoons of water. Mix until clay has a smooth consistency, apply and leave on until it dries, you will feel a tightening and pulling effect as the clay dries. Once dried rinse your skin with cool water.

Pick up your clay mask at Tracy’s Spa for $8


That’s all for today, tomorrow we will focus on keeping skin and lips moisturized. I hope you are enjoying my summer skin series.  If you have any questions please feel free to email me or ask me on Facebook
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Your Summer Skin Survival Guide

Summer is here! Let’s celebrate with simple skincare tips to help keep your skin glowing and healthy throughout the season.

1. Hydrate: Heat and sweat can leave your skin dehydrated. When dehydrated important enzymatic actions that take place in the skin shut down. The enzymes that signal the body to slough off excess dead skin cells “fall asleep” when we are not taking in enough water creating a cascade of damaging effects on the skin, pores become clogged, skin building and repair functions are inhibited. The result is an increase in skin inflammation and breakouts. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day keeps the body hydrated and helps the skin function properly.
If you are not a fan of water try this cooling and refreshing recipe.

Lemon Cucumber Infused Water
2 whole lemons sliced
1 cucumber thinly sliced
5-10 mint sprigs
2 liters of water

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Let the ingredients infuse in the water for 1 hour to over night. Sip throughout the day to stay hydrated.

Lemons are high in vitamin C which boosts immunity and helps your body make collagen and elastin which are the key to youthful skin. Cucumbers are high in antioxidants like vitamin C and pantathenic acid (vitamin B-5) which helps create healthy smooth skin cells. Mint is cooling and also contains some vitamin C as well important minerals like calcium and magnesium which are important healthy skin building blocks.

2. Exfoliate: With an increase of dead skin cells accumulating during the summer it is important to exfoliate. One of the main reasons your skin can look dull is because of dead skin cells which as we discussed above can compound and intensify already existing skin problems. It’s important to exfoliate correctly. If you are planning to spend the day in the sun I recommend that you temporarily stop using exfoliating acids like glycolic, salicylic or Retain A, these products can create sun sensitivity and make you more prone to burning or sun damage. Stop using Retin A a week before you plan to spend a lot of time in the sun. Stop using glycolic or salicylic acids two to four days before any planned sunny excursions. Use this simple and gentle skin buff recipe twice a week to create a healthy glow!

Rose and Almond Skin Buff
1tsp Rosewater
1/2tsp Almond flour or finely ground raw organic almonds.

Mix ingredients into a paste, apply to skin using gentle circular movements for 1-2 minutes then rinse with cool water.

Rosewater helps to maintain the skin’s PH balance and helps control excess oil. Rosewater is also anti-inflammatory and nourishing to the skin. Almonds are naturally high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage from sun and other environmental factors. The natural oils in ground almonds also help to keep skin hydrated.
The gentle circular motions increase circulation and encourage the removal of dead skincells without damaging or irritating the underlying skin cells that are not ready to be pulled away. It also stimulates cell turnover which is beneficial for the skin renewal process. Don’t over do it! Over scrubbing can cause redness, inflammation and breakouts. The key to using granular scrubs is using gentle pressure on the skin.

That’s all for today, be sure to check tomorrow’s blog post for more summer skin tips and skin saving recipes.

Facials are a great way to help skin transition into the hot summer months, simply click the schedule now button below to book your summer skin treatment today!

To keep up to date on all things happening at Tracy’s Spa be sure to like my Facebook page

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June 2016


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