Well, it’s officially summer here in Canada! Here on the West Coast we’ve been getting record-high temperatures and while us snow bunnies love a hot, hot summer, we also know that with the summer heat comes a few factors to consider when it comes to our most precious organ.
Today we’re sharing some of our favourite all-natural wellness tools and rituals to save your skin this summer!
First, a beautifying elixir...
They say if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. We say, if you can’t stand the heat, get into the kitchen - and whip yourself up a hydrating elixir that’s sure to cool you, soothe you, and revitalize you from the inside-out.
We don’t have to tell you that staying well-hydrated in the summer is key, and while plain, old H2O is all the body really needs, we’re big fans of adding a little something extra to our cups in order to reap the beautifying benefits of the earth’s abundance...
Enter the ‘hydration bible’: Beauty Water by Tori Holmes. Tori writes in the introduction, “Water keeps us alive and is essentially the one ritual that we require daily. An elixir is the water that you know, but made better with plant medicine. Sometimes called ‘tonics’ or ‘functional waters’, elixirs support us on every level - mind, body, and spirit. By adding plants from the earth in the form of herbs, fruits, adaptogens, and superfoods, you are creating water that can support your wellness in incremental, profound ways.”
Tori recommends choosing an elixir and sticking with it for one full month. This way you’re not starting out with an extensive shopping list, and can slowly build your collection of herbs and adaptogens over time. And similar to how we always suggest incorporating only or one or two new skincare products at a time, you’ll be able to better observe how certain ingredients interact with your body and learn which ones bring you the greatest results.
This July we’re loving her Collagen Tight recipe. A beautiful pink elixir, this collagen-based tonic can lead to healthier hair, skin, and nails. Collagen is the most structural protein in the body and represents 75% of our skin. And while the body’s production of collagen reduces as we age, it can be supplemented through diet. Tori recommends choosing marine collagen for this pink, summer-y mocktail, that’s sure to add a little ‘Oh là là’ to any occasion.
4 cups of water
2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers
1 tablespoon Schisandra berries
2 tablespoons marine collagen
1 ½ tablespoons of raw honey, or to taste
Himalayan salt to taste
Bulgarian rose water (optional)
Quart-size jar with airtight lid
The thing we love most about Tori’s philosophy is that drinking water is already a daily ritual. We’re not building a new habit here, just optimizing one...
“An elixir is the water that you know, but made better with plant medicine.” - Tori Holmes, author of Beauty Water
Needing only an hour to cool, this elixir can be prepared in the AM while you’re making breakfast, and be ready to take to the park, beach, or pool later in the day. Simply add the hibiscus and schisandra berries to your French press. Fill it with boiling water, then cover, and let steep for 20 minutes before pressing down on the filter.
Next, place the collagen in the quart-size jar and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the liquid from your French press. Use a fork or whisk to combine the collagen until smooth, adding more liquid as needed.
Pour the remaining liquid from the French press into the jar, adding honey and salt before sealing with the lid. Leave it to cool in the fridge for an hour - and voilà!
When ready to drink, shake gently to recombine the collagen, which will naturally separate whenever the drink settles. For additional skin-healthy benefits, add a couple tablespoons of rose water per cup! Lovers of our Rose Water Toner can attest to the benefits of the centuries-old practice of using rose water both internally and externally for beautiful, glowing skin!
Next up, an all-natural bug repellent...
Every good party has a few crashers, and in the summer, it’s often the tiniest of critters that turn up uninvited. While we love nature in all its forms, we’re not particularly keen on being bitten. Luckily, we in the PNW aren’t as plagued by mosquitoes as some other parts of the world are, but that doesn’t mean that a good, all-natural bug repellent shouldn’t be an integral part of your summer toolkit.
The aromatic wood of Palo Santo is an excellent way to repel mosquitoes, ants and other insects. This all-natural alternative to chemical-laden sprays is a convenient thing to pack in your beach bag or to grab when heading out of town for a long-weekend camping trip. Simply light a stick and let the flame live for 30-60 seconds (the longer you keep the flame, the longer the wood will smoke) and then blow it out, and then slowly walk in a circle around the area you’ll be sitting, letting the smoke trail behind you, creating somewhat of a barrier.
Alternatively, you may choose to contribute to the ambiance of an outdoor meal or gathering by lighting candles and eating by candlelight. The peppermint essential oil in our Recharge Candle will deter mosquitoes from joining in on your fun, while lightly scenting the air with its uplifting aroma, keeping guests feeling energized and social.
Lavender is also a well-known bug repellent. Choose our Flora Candle, or better yet, our Flora Mist, which you can spray on your face and body for more personalized protection. Lavender may also help reduce itchiness in bug bites, so having the Flora Mist or Lotion on hand can be doubly beneficial to the cause.
And third, a weekly mask ritual!
Sunscreen, sweat, and summer air pollutants such as smoke from nearby forest fires can all lead to more frequent breakouts during the hotter months. Choosing a clay mask can help absorb any pollutants your skin has held onto throughout the week, beyond what you may have washed away with your daily cleanser.
Woodlot’s Rejuvenating Green Tea Mask is made with BC Glacial Clay, which is generally less drying than other clays, and green tea is rich in vitamin E - which acts as a hydrator for dry or imbalanced skin. Green tea is also a powerful antibacterial agent, making this mask especially helpful for acne-prone skin.
How to Use:
1) Start with equal amounts of mask and water
2) Add more water incrementally until a desired consistency is reached
3) Blend in raw honey to add more hydration (honey is humectant, which means it draw moisture from the air into the skin)
4) Include 2-3 drops of Flora Essential Oil to reap the benefits of lavender (if this is your first time using this blend topically, do a patch test on your wrist before applying the mask to your face)
For body acne, we recommend our Wildwoods Charcoal Soap Bar. Similar to clay, charcoal is extremely absorbent and can assist with drawing out impurities from the skin. You can also apply the Green Tea Mask to these areas, but we recommend giving them some daily attention by using a detoxifying soap bar.
Want to share something with us? Show us your rituals by using the hashtag #ourwoodlot or by tagging @woodlot in your posts or stories. We love to see what you’re up to, and we always receive our favourite tips and tricks from our community - you!
For questions, suggestions, or anything else, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Wishing you a beautiful summer!
All images by Sheena Zilinski (@sheenazilinski)