Growing up on the east coast meant the summertime days would be spent at the beach applying suntan oil or lotion and squeezing fresh lemon juice onto my hair to get it even more sunkissed while listening to the radio on my boombox. I took the city bus to spend days at Savin Rock Beach in West Haven, Connecticut and then sometimes ended the day by eating a fried clams dinner at Jimmie’s of Savin Rock, a seafood restaurant on the Long Island Sound.
Wherever you are, there is your skin.
This largest organ of the body with its several layers housing nerve endings, small blood vessels, lymph vessels and immune cells, sweat glands and more, needs a large part of our attention to keep it healthy and in balance. A daily skin regimen is important to prevent any sun damage in the form of dark spots, lesions, growths that have changed in color or appearance, and skin cancer. Applying lotions and oils to the skin is one way to prevent sun damage. What a person eats and drinks is also important for skin health as is a balance of spending time in the sun. Living in the Sonoran desert with 300 days of sunshine a year, every desert dweller’s skin needs attention and the plants like aloe and jojoba grown in our desert are here to heal the skin along with cannabis.
The skin that you see, the epidermis, is made up of five layers of skin cells. These cells are constantly dying and shedding as new cells emerge from below and push their way up to the top layer. It is important to get some sun exposure daily. Generally, 20 minutes a day spent in the sun can aid the body in keeping Vitamin D at adequate levels. The UV of the sun actually triggers the skin to begin making vitamin D and then the process is finished in the liver and the kidneys where the vitamin D is made into an active form and then used in the body. Vitamin D is important for: calcium absorption and bone formation, muscle health, emotional health and reducing depression, acts as an anti-inflammatory, reduces the risk of cancer and is involved in the immune system.
A Daily Skin Regimen for the Desert Dweller
Wake up and drink a glass of water to get rehydrated
Make green tea sun tea (set your glass jar with a green tea bag and water in the sun for at least an hour and then enjoy.)
Dry skin brush or use a loofah before showering or taking a bath to remove dead skin cells (brush the skin starting from the feet and brushing toward the heart, then the neck and head toward the heart).
Shower and then apply jojoba oil to damp skin.
Apply sunscreen with natural ingredients like zinc oxide and an SPF of 30 or higher Apply fresh Aloe vera to skin if it gets sunburned to aid in healing
Spritz refrigerated rose water in a spray bottle on the face throughout the day to hydrate the face
Eat orange foods that contain beta carotene and vitamin A for healthy skin: sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin
Exfoliate your face before bedtime with equal parts of baking soda and coconut oil made into a paste and massaged into your face then rinsed
Take a probiotic before bedtime to maintain proper digestive health and skin health
One way to protect the skin from the desert sun, is to dress like a farmer wearing light colored long sleeved thin cotton shirts and pants, a big brimmed hat and shoes that cover the feet.
One form of cannabis is RSO, also known as Rick Simpson Oil. This oil can be applied topically to the skin to treat skin lesions. It is advised that a person be under the care of a dermatologist or oncologist if skin cancer is present. Cannabis topicals in the form of lotions can help treat eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. Bathing in a bath with a CBD and THC bath bomb is nourishing to the skin.
Love the skin you’re in.