By Kate Downes, LAc TCM Practitioner
Picture this: warm sunshine on your face, a gentle breeze tousling your hair, and the soothing sound of waves crashing in the background. There's no denying the blissful feeling of spending time outdoors, especially during the precious summer months.
But as someone who values self-care, you also understand the importance of protecting your skin while basking in the sun's glory. The good news is that you can enjoy the sun and practice smart self-care, too.
What Does Sun Care Really Mean?
When we hear the term "sun care," our minds often conjure images of sunscreen bottles and wide-brimmed hats. But sun care goes beyond the physical act of shielding ourselves from harmful UV rays. It encompasses a holistic approach to nurturing our skin and prioritizing our overall health.
We've all heard about the damaging effects of prolonged sun exposure, from premature aging to skin cancer. The sun's UV rays can penetrate the layers of our skin, causing DNA damage and triggering the production of harmful free radicals. This oxidative stress can lead to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. By practicing healthy sun care, we can enjoy the benefits of sun exposure (like vitamin D production) while shielding our skin from the damaging effects to preserve its natural glow and resilience.
Sun care isn't just about preserving our external beauty – it's also about protecting our overall health. Along with skin damage, excessive sun exposure can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of various types of cancer. By adopting regular sun care and self-care practices, we reduce the chances of developing such life-threatening conditions and promote our long-term well-being.
Beyond the physical benefits, sun care contributes to our emotional and mental health. Being outside on a sunny day simply makes you feel happier – likely due to the increase in vitamin D and serotonin production that occurs with sun exposure. When it comes to sun care, however, there's also something inherently therapeutic about taking the time to protect ourselves. Applying sunscreen becomes a mindful self-care ritual, a gentle act of self-love that we can weave into our daily routine. It's an opportunity to slow down and connect with our bodies.
4 Ways to Infuse Self-Care into Your Sun Care this Summer
Enjoying the sun can be a form of self-care – as long as we practice healthy skin habits that protect our skin, nurture our well-being, and celebrate our individual radiance. Let’s explore a few mindful rituals that will transform sun care into an act of self-care.
1. Find a high-quality sunscreen that works for your skin.
Sunscreen is so much more than an SPF number – and not all are created equal. In fact, many conventional sunscreens can clog your pores or have less-than-desirable ingredients for both your skin and the planet. Thankfully, there are many safe and effective products out there, you just need to find the one that feels great on your skin. In general, a lightweight formula with nourishing ingredients and an SPF of at least 30 is best for most skin types. Check out a few of our favorite skin-safe and reef-safe sunscreens here!
2. Make applying your sunscreen a ritual in itself.
For most people, slathering on sunscreen feels more like a chore than a moment of self-care bliss. But when you make applying your sunscreen an experience in and of itself, it becomes a delightful part of your self-care routine.
Next time you head outside, set the mood while you apply your sunscreen. Clear the air with a few spritzes of Sun Aromatherapy Mist and play a joyfully sunny song while you spend 3-5 minutes carefully massaging the cream into your skin and making sure to reach all those often-forgotten spots (like your ears or feet). You’ll not only be fully protected and nourished, but you’ll also feel your stress lift and your mind settle.
3. Customize your summertime skincare.
Using high-quality sunscreen is important self-care, but your skin needs more than just sun protection in summer. Once you’ve found your sunscreen, it’s time to customize your summer skin-care ritual to support your skin’s other needs.
Depending on your skin mood, you may need deep hydration in summer’s dryness, anti-inflammatory support for summer heat, or blemish control to combat environmental toxins and extra-sweaty days. If you’re not sure exactly what your skin needs, take our skin quiz to find out your skin’s core element and the best products for you.
No matter what your skin element is, the perfect summer skincare ritual starts with a gentle cleanse, followed by a hydrating essence and moisturizer, then finishes with your SPF to create a protective barrier. Worried about feeling greasy? Don’t be – all Once in a Pink Moon products are lightweight and absorb right into the skin so you can get the benefits of all four steps without feeling too dewy.
4. Hydrate inside and out.
Staying hydrated is part of sun care and self-care. Incorporating hydrating products into your ritual, such as lightweight moisturizers and hydrating essences, prevents dryness on the outside. It’s also essential to hydrate from within by drinking plenty of water or herbal tea. Celestial Sun Brew Herbal Tea makes a delicious chilled summer tisane that quenches your thirst while also providing your body with vitamins and inflammation-fighting antioxidants. Pro tip: reserve some chilled tea and use it as a refreshing facial mist for hot days.
⁛Sun care goes beyond sunscreen and floppy hats; it's about embracing our radiance and making our health a priority. For more self-care rituals and inspiration, follow @pinkmoon.co and @_onceinapinkmoon, and sign up for SMS love notes from us – including your monthly horoscope!