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Your first habit for beautiful skin revealed

When you hear the word "habit", does your mind do a quick jump and a leap to guilt? Do you go straight to your bad habits? When I was a kid, the word "habit" it was just a dressed-up synonym for being bad. When handed a pamphlet that said "build healthy habits" we'd roll our eyes. There was no such thing as a good habit. Some cardboard adult in some out-of-touch office was doing double speak and we knew it.

So, when I bring up 5 easy habits for beautiful skin, I hope you won't tune out. I promise my pdf is a lot better than xeroxed hand-outs you received in school, and the health education lessons you copied down from the overhead. (Could anything make you sleepier than the appearance of a transparent sheet sliding onto the surface of the overhead projector?!) Here we go!

Regardless of what you've read elsewhere, beautiful skin isn't exclusively about what you put on or take off your skin. Obviously, I know that part's important. I don't go a day without my nourishing skin care routine that includes my Slow Botanicals products.

glass jar of white skin cream made of roses and lavender. Jar is on white eyelet fabric, surrounded by dried rose buds and lavender sprigs

And before I go on, I'm going to put out my firm belief that tough love isn't good for your skin in the long run. Retinol, chemical peels and botox. They're quick bandaids, they make you love your reflection for a moment. At the risk of all sorts of skin consequences. Personally, I don't want to use a product that can lead to eczema, fungal infection, increased redness and make my skin more sensitive to the sun (that last one...I don't get why you'd use a product to heal a condition just to cause more of that condition. Make sense to you?) I believe in nourishing and nurturing. In love. I don't think inflammation is the answer. I think self soothing works great in all sorts of circumstances. Skin included. naturel at 51 years! My skin looks the same after 3 months of summer.

So, on to skin beautifying habits! I'm going to share one habit with you. Although it's number 5 on my pdf for easy habits, I think this one's the most difficult. Because it's plain annoying.

Woman with brown hair and blue eyes wearing polkadot bathingsuit, smiling

Today's habit is, ta da, Sunscreen! The most basic reason to apply sunscreen: Who wants skin cancer? Seriously, this is to be avoided. I’ve removed stitches from more than one set of ears that’s been cut off for melanoma surgery. Have a favorite pair of earrings? Wear your sunscreen! That's merely the cosmetic reason for avoiding skin cancer; I don't think I need to elaborate on the rest.

I don’t advocate just any old sunscreen. Specifically, I’m talking physical sunscreen. That means it blocks the sun's rays. Zinc is my favorite. This is the same zinc you find in diaper cream. (I have a hilarious early-motherhood sleep-deprived story about that. Ask me sometime if you’d like to hear it). That's not what you were expecting to read? lol Well, think about this: we apply zinc to a baby’s tushie to heal up the most stubborn rash ever. We do this because zinc is a powerful healer. I think if you’re going to put something on your skin, make it count! Why not do a little healing when you go out in the sun? (But make sure you're not using a zinc plus chemical sunscreen, all rolled together. Combined in one product, they make each other ineffective. That's the best that occurs. The worst is making each other toxic. What's the point in spreading that all over your skin? Before you reach for a bottle of sunscreen, check here for safety). When you use a zinc based sunscreen, the good done goes further than what you’re adding on. It’s as much what you're choosing to skip. Chemical sunscreens are just that – they're formulated to create a chemical reaction when you put them on your skin. I imagine that's pretty difficult concoct and so they contain all sorts of harmful ingredients that do bad while simultaneously doing good. It's really hard, if not downright impossible, to find a chemical sunscreen without a whole lot of harmful fillers. Check yours out here. I've got another really, really important reason why I go all in for physical sunscreen but NEVER choose chemical sunscreen. And it's got nothing to do with me.

Woman on beach in black sunhat and sunglasses and turquoise t-shirt wearing sunscreen to protect skin

Did you know chemical sunscreens are responsible for a whole lot of devastation of coral reefs? Maybe you live far from an ocean? Or your section of ocean doesn't contain coral reefs? Well, the waterways of the world are all connected. I once found a small coconut, not the kind you grab at the grocery store, on the beach in Washington State! So please, pretty please, avoid using these. Especially brands using oxybenzone. Not easy: it's in 80% of all chemical sunscreens!

Still not convinced? Check out this statistic. A whopping 90% of the changes you see in your skin, that we call "aging", are actually caused by glorious sun rays shining down on your skin. I'm a sun worshipper. I try to worship safely.

I hear you cry: "But what about vitamin D?" Oh, yes, vitamin D is absolutely important to physical health, emotional health, mental health. I love vitamin D! But, honestly, most of us don’t get enough vitamin D from the sun. In our modern world of mostly indoor living, the amount of sun we get doesn't make a dent in our needs. When I was pregnant, my midwife in Laguna Beach explained that all her patient’s Vitamin D levels are way on the low end, even there in Southern California. She told me to skip the expensive blood test, assume I'm low, and take a supplement. (That said, I'm not your medical practitioner, and I want you to ask your Provider's opinion. Don't do what I say.)

But you have dark skin? You don't need sunscreen? You get your vitamin D naturally from the sun? All the more reason to take vitamin D and wear sunscreen at the same time. Dark skin doesn’t easily manufacture vitamin D. Contrary to popular belief, you’re still at risk for skin cancer even if you’ve never had a sunburn. We all need to care for our skin.

Heard of the newish buzz word, "habit stacking"? We all do this without knowing it. We all combine habits because as we get older it's one of the only ways to make a new habit stick. It's the stick stack :)

First thing every morning, I wash my face. I know I'll be too busy when I'm running out the door to put on sunscreen. Or too lazy. So immediately after I wash and dry my face, I apply my sunscreen to my face, neck and arms. A little later on, after my coffee, I layer my face cream over top.

And to be sure I don’t run out of sunscreen, every spring I order four or five 6 oz tubes of my favorite, all at once. I stick a tube in my beach bag, one in each bathroom and sometimes I keep one stashed on the windowsill at the front door. I dislike putting on sunscreen. My kids hate it. So I have stations all over the place where I can grab my kids, hold them down, and smother it on.

When I don't wear sunscreen? That nagging voice is incessant. It's worth putting on my sun screen for that peace of mind alone ;) Summer’s here! Grab your hat. Apply your sunscreen. I challenge you to have skin that's more beautiful at the end of the summer than it is now. I truly believe you can do it! There it is: your first habit for beautiful skin revealed. Make sure to read my upcoming posts with four more habits. Four more nourishing habits that make your life better all round. Please share this post with a friend you care about. Wishing you a wonderful week, Chwynyn


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