8 Ways to Make This Your Most Beautiful Summer Ever

summer-natural-beauty-wellness

summer-natural-beauty-wellness

Want the secret to a summer of looking and feeling your best?

If I could give you just one piece of meaningful advice for a gorgeous summer, it would be to start thinking about your beauty in a different way—from the inside out!

Summer is your season to glow, to feel energized, inspired and alive, and to enjoy the very best of nature. There are so many ways to boost your beauty and health this season, and I don't want you to miss a single one. As you move through the summer months, take these eight tips with you, and use them to create your most beautiful summer ever...

1. Fight Sun Damage with Sun-Protective Foods.

You know you're going to hit the beach this summer, so why not be prepared with a beauty from within sun defense strategy? Packing your diet with sun protective foods can prepare your skin to turn on the UV defense and repair when you're exposed. The effects last several days after eating. The nutrients that protect you the most are lycopene and beta carotene, found in colorful red, orange, yellow and green foods like watermelon, red pepper, tomato, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots and grapefruit. Other sun defenders include algae like spirulina and chlorella (they have a natural UV-defender called astaxanthin) and vitamin c-rich foods like kiwi, strawberries, berries and greens.  Did you know that you can even get a better tan from foods than from the sun?!

2. Start a Morning Ritual.

Bright summer mornings make you want to pop out of bed a few minutes earlier, and you can use those extra minutes (whether you have 15, 30, 60, or even 90) to make big changes in the way you look and feel. I shared my favorite morning beauty rituals with Sophie Uliano at Gorgeously Green.

3. Stay Slim with Cooling, Water-Rich Foods.

You know that cucumber, celery, and watermelon are at their peak during summer, but did you know that they're nature's beauty offerings for your skin and your waistline? These water-rich foods, along with watercress, lemon, lettuce, parsley cabbage and tomato, are natural diuretics. They help flush your body of toxins and excess water weight, even while naturally hydrating you with their high water content.Fill your basket with these powerful summer beauty foods to stay slim and cool this summer.

4. Treat Yourself to Natural Sunscreen and Insect Repellent.

Honestly, SPF with chemical ingredients is doing you NO favors. It's a health danger for your body even while it's defending you from skin cancer and sun damage. This summer, pick a physical sunscreen (it's called physical because it creates a little barrier on your skin to reflect sun) that has the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. To check out a list of the top safe sunscreens for 2013, check out the Environmental Working Group's 2013 Guide to Sunscreen.Personally, my favorite safe sunscreens come from Badger, True Natural, MyChelleand COOLA.  While you're at it, grab a nontoxic bug repellent too (check out my article on natural insect repellents for Dr. Oz's YouBeauty.com site) or make your own.

5. Travel Pretty.

Time for vacation! Whether you're heading to the beach or crossing time zones for a global getaway, check out my top tips to look and feel your best while traveling. Bet you didn't know that digestive troubles are prone to flare up during air travel, or that a simple beauty ritual can restore your glow when you arrive!

6. Make a Homemade After-Sun Healer.

This green tea-based after sun spritz is cheap, easy, and there's real science behind it: the antioxidants in green tea defend and repair skin from sun damage, whether you sip or mist it allover. Get the easy recipe for my Green Tea Chamomile After Sun Face Mist here. Just don't use it as an excuse to skin your natural sunscreen!

7. Party Smart.

It's the season of BBQs, picnics, and parties. Celebrate so you feel great and look your best tomorrow, not just today. Don't be tempted to eat foods that sabotage your beauty (think pretzels, chips, cake, hot dogs, and sugary cocktails) when you're part of a group. Choose the foods that feel best for your body. When in doubt, bring your own beauty food to share—try my Spicy Sundried Tomato Hummus (packed with zinc, to clear your skin), or a pitcher of Frosty Basil Lemonade that protects cells fro UV radiation.

8. Rehydrate Naturally.

Skip sugary, preservative and dye-filled sports drinks and go for water (yes, it's just fine for daily hydration) or fresh coconut water if you're working out. Coconut wateris naturally packed with potassium, and essential minerals like magnesium, calcium, sodium that aid in electrolyte balance and keep you glowing and hydrated.

[Image by eelx]