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Uncover Your Bare-Worthy Body
By Kate Hanley
Ah, summer. For every delight the season promises—sundresses, outdoor activities, warm breezes—it presents a corresponding challenge—exposed skin, itchy ailments, frizz. But with a few thoughtful changes to your self-care routine, you can shed your dull winter skin, protect yourself from the hazards of heat, humidity, and sun exposure, and radiate with vitality from head to toe. Our field guide to your body shows you how.
Curly hair frizzes because it’s dry. “Healthy hair cuticles are like a tightly bundled bud still on the tree,” explains Lorraine Massey, author of Curly Girl (Workman Publishing, 2001). “But when hair lacks moisture, the cuticle opens like a pinecone drying on the forest floor.” In humidity, thirsty curls will likely go on a drinking binge unless you take steps to seal in moisture.
Shelve the sulfates. Most shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate—foaming agents that create the suds. “Sulfates are incredibly drying and the prime cause of frizz,” Massey says. To achieve a healthy clean, she advises looking for a shampoo with no ingredients that end with “sulfate.”
Try: Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash ($10.75, 8 oz; www.terressentials.com )
Throw in the towel. “A towel is so absorbent, it will remove too much moisture from your hair,” Massey says. And because a towel has uneven texture, rubbing your hair vigorously with it will also roughen up your cuticles and cause them to open (in other words, frizz). Instead, use a smooth fabric—such as a T-shirt or pillowcase—and gently squeeze your hair dry.
Although ultraviolet and blue light exist year-round, increased outdoor time boosts your exposure to these hazardous rays. Over time, UV exposure can lead to free radicals in the cells of the eye, a precondition for cataracts and macular degeneration.
Boost your defenses. Marc Grossman, OD, LAc, an optometrist in New Paltz, New York and author of Natural Eye Care (McGraw-Hill, 1999), recommends 6 mg of lutein, 3 mg of zeaxanthin, and at least 500 mg of vitamin C daily. “I call lutein and zeaxanthin nature’s sunglasses because of their ability to protect the photoreceptive cells of the macular from sun damage, while vitamin C protects the cells in the lens of the eye,” Grossman says. To get your allotment of these nutrients through food, he recommends you eat kale (for lutein) and orange peppers (zeaxanthin) three or four times a week.
Keep your eyes under wraps. Just as brown-eyed people are less sensitive to the sun than people with lighter-colored eyes, sunglasses with brown or amber lenses offer more protection from UV and blue light rays than lighter lenses. “Wear wraparound, brown-lensed sunglasses whenever you will be in the sun for prolonged periods of time,” Grossman advises. But since the eye needs light to function properly, he suggests taking those shades off when you’re indoors: “Sunglasses are a great protective tool, but they are only necessary when ...
Author: Kate Hanley