Guest Author Eve from Eve Organics is back, and today she is sharing five tips on how to get your skin and hair ready for summer! If you'd like to see more from Eve and other guest authors, you can find those posts here.

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Summer is just around the corner – and with it, the festive season! If you’re anything like me, December is a really busy month (I’m not an early or particularly organised Christmas shopper!), and at this time of year it’s easy to be so focussed on family and friends that we neglect to take care of ourselves. Honestly, it’s easy to neglect taking care of ourselves at any time of year (I’ll be writing a post on self-care, and why it can be so hard, very shortly!).

But with months of cool-weather hibernation behind us, it pays to get our skin and hair ready for the warmer weather, and November is a great month to do this. Read on for my five tips on getting our skin and hair summer-ready!

1. Give your digestive system a kick start (and take advantage of the blooming citrus trees) by incorporating a daily lemon water into your routine

Lemon water has a plethora of health benefits. My parents have been drinking it for as long as I can remember, although it’s only recently made its way onto the health & wellness scene in a big way.

Lemons are a huge source of vitamin C and complex B vitamins, essential for a healthy immune system. Lemon juice also helps to reduce inflammation by lowering the level of uric acid in the joints, and boosts digestion and metabolism by stimulating the liver (this is why it’s best to enjoy it in the mornings before breakfast). As if that wasn’t enough, lemon has mood-boosting aromatherapeutic benefits, increases energy and detoxifies the blood.

Are you ready to give it a go? Always try to use organic lemons, and wash your lemon before use. Then, cut it in half, squeeze out the juice into a mug then pop the half in, and cover with warm-to-hot (not boiling!) water. Enjoy!

2. Start using a weekly deep-conditioning hair treatment

The changing season can wreak havoc on our tresses. I tend to suffer with dandruff when the temperature starts to change, and in the summer my hair can get quite dry (stress can also contribute to both of these things). To combat it, I use a weekly hair & scalp oil to keep my hair healthy. When it feels like it needs a bit more TLC, I increase this to twice a week. Try Captain Blankenship’s Mermaid Hair Oil, or Innersense’s Harmonic Healing Oil. I apply mine to damp hair, and I distribute it onto the scalp then run it through to the ends and leave on for around 30 minutes. If you want an even deeper treatment, you can leave it on overnight and rinse off in the morning. Voila!

3. Switch your daily coffee for a juice or iced tea

I’ll admit that I’m a coffee lover. Before I started university, I couldn’t stand the stuff – then eventually the 8am lectures got the better of me and I started popping in to the campus café to get my morning caffeine fix. It wasn’t long before I loved the taste (funny how that works!), and I still do. The problem is, caffeine is addictive, and in large amounts, it’s not-so-great for our health either. Caffeine increases the level of cortisol in our systems, via its stimulating effect on the central nervous system and adrenal glands. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone, and caffeine can cause some people to feel anxious as well as alert.

A healthier option (and easier to do in the summer time!) would be an antioxidant-rich green juice or an iced green tea (as long as there isn’t too much caffeine or sugar in it – tea contains caffeine too). Another thing you can do to reduce your caffeine consumption is to simply drink decaffeinated coffee – or at least, less caffeinated coffee. Now when I buy my latte, I ask for it half-decaf – and most cafes will happily do this for you.

4. Invest in a good body scrub

The cool weather can dry skin out just as much as warm weather can – except that when the weather is cool, we usually cover our skin up and skin cells aren’t shed as easily. This can result in dry patches and flakiness (not nice!). We also tend to drink less water in winter, leaving our skin dehydrated and further increasing dryness.

When the weather starts to warm up (and you can stand a few minutes out of the shower!), start using a weekly body scrub to help skin renew itself. My favourites are Black Robin’s Tingly Bits Mint Body Scrub and Romeo + Madden’s Manuka Honey Brown Sugar Scrub.

5. Lighten up your face routine (and make sure you’re taking your makeup off!)

We can get a bit lazy with our skin care in winter – the routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising seems all that much harder when the water (and the bathroom floor!) are freezing. But during the warmer months when we’re sweating more, it’s more important than ever to keep up with your regime to keep the skin clear and avoid clogged pores. Another thing you can do is to start thinking about transitioning to a lighter moisturiser for day-time (not least because you’ll probably be wearing sunscreen with it.) My favourite lightweight moisturisers are Black Robin’s Hippy Hippy Shake Rosehip Moisturiser and Tata Harper’s Rebuilding Moisturiser (particularly good for combination skin that's dehydrated). If you prefer a serum, I love Leahlani’s Champagne Serum for a light finish.

And finally, get out there and enjoy it! There’s nothing better than sunshine to brighten our spirits (and give us a much-needed dose of vitamin D after a cloudy few months!) – so lose the layers and practice some safe sun worship.

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