In a city famed for its artificial approaches to beauty, LA-based aesthetician Rebecca Razo is a rarity. This native Angelino knows best that radiant skin depends as much on what goes on the body as what goes in it. She approaches skin care holistically, pampering clients with organic, wild-crafted products, and leaving them with dietary pearls of wisdom to heal skin from the inside out. Here she’s shares her all-natural, expert skin care tips for summer.

What led you to this path of natural beauty?

I’d been struggling with personal health issues. The Western approach was just putting a bandage on these issues and never got to the root problem. When my issues started spreading to my skin and face I had had enough. The more I researched and educated myself, the more I realized organic holistic food, body and skin care was the answer to recovery. Working with a wild-crafted, organic skin care line on a daily basis really helps me to appreciate what the ground and earth offer. My body, mental, physical and skin’s health have really responded well.

Is there anything in daily routine or diet you recommend we change for healthy summer skin?

Gently exfoliate the skin with a mild exfoliant 3 to 4 times a week to prevent breakouts and dead skin cell buildup. I love ISUN’s Clarifying Serum and Clarifying Toning Mist to prevent breakouts and protect skin against smog, pollution, and environmental and free-radical damage.

As for diet, add in these vitamins and minerals:

– Flavonoids, which protect against sunburn inflammation and longer-term UV damage. Find them in green tea, black tea, dark chocolate, blueberries, cherries, hazelnuts and pecans.

– Beta-carotene, which guards the skin against redness. Find it in carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, butternut squash, cantaloupe and broccoli.

– Lycopene, which helps diminish sensitivity to UV light. Find it in tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers, grapefruit, carrots and mangoes.

– Omega-3 fatty acids (my favorite!) Research suggests the fatty acids help prevent skin cancer. Find them in walnuts, salmon, flax seeds and brussels sprouts.

– Polyphenols, which are a supplement for sunscreen protection. Find them in tea and most berries.

Beach lovers are often torn between a nice tan and fighting wrinkles. Does it have to be one or the other?

Not at all! Use chemical-free, natural sun protection products. ISUN makes serums and sun butters that contain phytoplankton extracts, anti-oxidants like SOD, and transparent zinc oxide. This combination helps prevent wrinkles and sun damage.
Also wear a large hat and sunglasses, and reapply chemical-free sunblock after swimming and perspiring.

Any tips to calm summer inflammation, like sunburns and heat rash?

Freezing a raw aloe vera leaf and applying on the skin will gives an instant relief. Aloe vera is a powerful anti-inflammatory and wonderful for anti-aging, too.

Breakouts (acne and bacne) are a problem in summer, especially with frequent sunscreen application. How can we keep skin clear?

Dry brushing or using a natural loofah helps slough off dead skin cells, which prevents the spreading of acne-causing oil and bacteria. I like to use Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Liquid Soap with a natural loofah for an invigorating and detoxing effect. Plus, it makes your body icy cool. Also stay away from chemical sunscreens to prevent breakouts and instead use products that are anti-microbial and anti-bacterial, like the ones from ISUN.

In LA, we’re hit with hot, dry summers and pollution. What can Angelinos do to compensate for the toll this takes on skin?

Drink plenty of water– more than the usual amount. 1 to 2 liters a day helps keep our bodies cool and skin hydrated.

Any other pearls of skin care wisdom?

I could go on and on! One little piece of information I found interesting is that if you consume an excessive amount of alcohol the night before it’s smart to stay out the sun the day after. Toxins from alcohol consumption released through the skin make it more prone to sunburn. I’m sure we all may be guilty of this with fun roof top pool parties in LA, haha.

Rebecca Razo is an expert aesthetician at Modem Salon & Spa in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, where she helps clients build self-esteem and confidence through healthy skin.

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