Happy Summer Solstice! On the longest, lightest day of the year, I am thinking of the sun—our source, the radiant energy that grows both our food and our incredible healing plant remedies, while nourishing us in every way. Living in South Florida, I am, of course, also acutely aware of its power. But while there is so much information shared so widely about protecting the skin from UV rays, it’s also important to me to honor this incredibly beautiful life force and to recognize, also, its healing potency.
To me, cultivating a respectful conscientiousness for the sun is a beautiful practice, and in this way I’ve found a daily rhythm that reveals so much beauty to me. I love to go out in the very early mornings, when the light is so soft and golden, and also at the end of the day, when the sunlight sets everything softly aglow at dusk. Not only can we marvel at nature’s beauty during these times, but we can absorb the sun’s great benefits, including some of the vitamin D we need, without going too far.
That said, I know we can’t always stay indoors at midday. In creating my skincare formulations, rather than including mineral sunscreens, which can draw from the skin’s moisture barrier, I blend in plant butters, protective oils and natural lotus leaf wax—each of which offers a light layer UV protection. My favorite nutritive-rich moisturizers for summer are Antioxidant Crème and Spontaneous Recovery Crème. On a day when you’ve planned to be out in the sun, it’s wonderful to let your skin drink in all their benefits for 30 minutes before applying sunscreen, which should always be the last step in your morning routine. (As for sunscreen, I prefer the tried and true—those that are zinc-oxide based.) At the end of the day, it's best to wash off any sunscreen as soon as you can—for this, Purifying Cleansing Gel is ideal, so cooling and refreshing. (For the times when anyone in our family takes in too much sun, I keep a snack pack of cosmetic pads soaked in Roman Chamomile Tonic in the fridge to help soothe the skin while dissolving the heat.)
I’m also a huge fan of physical block—long-sleeved shirts, sarongs, big sunglasses and hats—but I’ve recently started collecting small umbrellas whenever I travel, and my collection includes several chic umbrellas with bamboo handles that I found at the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. I use these whenever I’m at my kids’ tennis matches or going for a long walk. They're so pretty and playful—I love they've become part of my sun practice.
Whatever your ways to honor the light, I hope you’ll have a sunny and safe summer, bringing an appreciative sun consciousness into your days, and protecting your skin while reveling in the beauty and majesty of our solar source.
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