Last weekend Kerstin and I went on a four-hour hike in the heat of the desert sun in Ladder Canyon located about 40 miles southeast of Palm Springs, California. The geologic formations, some 600 million years old, are among the most unusual of their kind in the world. The canyons were formed by the convergence of the North American plate and the Pacific plate along the San Andreas fault. The desert flowers were blooming. It was magnificent. We wore hats and of course sunscreen (Multi-Vitamin Day Crème SPF 30), but hiking in the desert for four hours reminded me how intense the sun can be.
The sun is good for our health and well-being. We need our healthy dose (minimum 20 minutes a day) to ensure a proper amount of Vitamin D uptake (and as we all know Vitamin D deficiency is a big issue these days. Testing your levels is recommended). The sun also helps to enhance our mood and energy. But we must pay attention to how much exposure we get. Small things, like driving a car without adequate protection, can contribute to skin aging and hyperpigmentation over time.
Of course there are things we can do to protect our skin. This includes using sunscreen with antioxidants and mineral-derived sun reflecting ingredients like Titanium Dioxide when out in the sun for long periods of time.
For golden color (without damaging sun rays), KFI offers a Sunless Tan – which I’m thrilled to say, won a top beauty award this month from SELF MAGAZINE. The magazine will be on newsstands in the middle of April and we are certainly celebrating here at the office. We knew we had a great product a few years ago during the development process when Kerstin was taking all of our final production samples for her personal use. We actually had to hide the last few samples from her so we would have an original retain for our files. This moisturizing formula delivers a rich, natural-looking tan with a sun-kissed glow. It is enriched with Sweet Almond Oil and sustainably-harvested, fair-trade Shea Butter from West Africa to deeply hydrate and smooth the skin for a radiant, streak-free appearance. The product has a great texture and is made with a vegetable-derived Dihydroxyacetone, the active ingredient which reacts with Amino Acids in the top layer of the skin to produce the golden sunless tan. It also contains other botanicals including Green Tea, Calendula Flower, Echinacea and Chamomile. Many of our staff members mix the sunless tanner with their favorite KFI moisturizer for everyday use (they recommend Rejuvenating 24-Hour Moisture Crème for face and Vita Lotion for body) and apply frequently to face and body for just a hint of color (we do live in southern California after all).
For those times when you inevitably receive a little too much sun exposure, Aloe Vera is one of my favorite remedies. I keep a large Aloe plant at home. Simply break open an Aloe ‘leaf’ and apply the gel directly to the skin for instant soothing relief. Be sure to use a mature plant to ensure it has medicinal benefits. The bulk of the Aloe Vera leaf is filled with gel, which is approximately 99 percent water, while the remaining 1 percent contains over at least 75 known nutrients including 20 Minerals, 12 Vitamins, 18 Amino Acids, 200 active plant compounds called Phytonutrients and Enzymes. Aloe is also an excellent anytime skin moisturizer (I use our Aloe Gel at night). It supplies oxygen to the skin cells which in turn increases the strength and synthesis of skin tissue – rejuvenating the skin, hydrating it and increasing flexibility. Try our Aloe Gel with Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Arnica, Organic Calendula, Organic Green Tea and a special Laminaria Algae from France that according to research has proven powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Aside from topical application, Aloe is the drink of choice for some people seeking physical endurance and stamina. I put it in my smoothies. Discard the skin and only use the gel.
Enjoy the season change and enjoy the blessings of the sun… just remember to enjoy it wisely.