Summer is here at last, bringing long hazy days, glorious golden evenings and dining al-fresco. But why do we forget every year that it also brings sunburn, insect bites and hay fever?
Thankfully Mother Nature has her own remedies, many of which are locally grown and produced.
We spoke to Beddington-based holistic and clinical aromatherapist Louisa Pini, founder of Just Be Natural, for her top natural health and beauty tips for summer.
1. Beat hayfever with local honey
Just a spoonful of locally-produced honey a day is said to help the body build its defences against pollen. Keeping it local means your body can adjust to the specific pollen sources nearby. Louisa also recommends putting some plain balm – any ordinary lip-balm will do – inside the nostrils to coat them and help catch any stray pollen.
2. Change your cleanser
Dry skin can suffer in summer, and most of us reach for an extra-hydrating moisturiser to counteract the stripping effects of the sun. But Louisa advises thinking about your cleanser too. ‘Most people will still be using a really astringent, foaming cleanser that will dry the skin out,’ she warns. Switch to something creamy or oil-based and feel the difference.
3. Cool down with Epsom salts
A cool, fragrant summery bath is the perfect antidote to long hot days. Try adding Epsom salts to cool you down, draw out toxins and boost your energy. Louisa also suggests an essential oil blend of lavender to relax Ylang Ylang to de-stress and orange to uplift.
4. Treat bites naturally
Lavender and tea tree essential oils have natural midge-repelling properties and double up as a great treatment for bites. Carshalton Lavender oil is one of the few essential oils that can be applied directly to skin. Try one drop directly onto a bite to relieve itching, soothe and calm the skin.
Tea tree oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and a drop will help reduce redness and help guard against infection. Be aware that these oils do have strong properties so only use directly on occasion. Louisa advises mixing with a carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond to dilute if you have concerns about applying directly to the skin.
5. Look after your skin
The most important additions to your summer beauty regime are a good SPF – Louisa recommends the Green People range – and a calming, nourishing facial oil. The Rejuvenate facial oil from Just Be Natural contains a host of skin-loving wonders including evening primrose oil, vitamin E, macadamia nut oil, rose geranium and frankincense. It smells divine and your skin will drink it up overnight. If you have overdone it in the sun, applying the oil to any red, tender areas will help soothe and nourish your skin back to health.
Catch Louisa at the Just Be Natural stand at this year’s Environmental Fair in Carshalton Park.