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Keep your skin healthy this summer with these natural moisturizers

While the summer lifestyle is healthier and more active, it also presents some unique skin care challenges. UV light is a necessity for health and wellness but over exposure can dry the skin and potentially cause damage if burned.

Instead of using traditional skin care products to nourish and protect the skin, try using some of these natural moisturizers as an antidote to free radical damage. Not only do they not have any chemical additives due to their pure and unadulterated form, they are like "food for the skin".

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is an excellent skin conditioner. It is solid at room temperature but easily melts once exposed to body heat. It makes an excellent addition to natural creams and lotions since it absorbs easily and even adds a slight natural sheen to the skin.

Coconut oil is rich in medium chain triglycerides. These are naturally occurring fats which act as deep penetrating moisturizers and protective barriers against environmental and free radical damage. It also provides a small amount of sun protection by screening about 20% of UV exposure.

It is rich in antioxidants and high in several naturally occurring acids including lauric, caprylic and capric acid, which are natural antimicrobial and antibacterial agents. This is what gives coconut oil a long shelf life. This quality also makes coconut oil the perfect anti-aging moisturizer due to its ability to smooth the skin while infusing it with antioxidants.

Coconut oil also contains vitamin E. Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant and is known for helping to hasten recovery from abrasions, burns and other trauma.

Macadamia nut oil

The "magic" ingredient in macadamia nut oil is palmitoleic acid. Palmitoleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is very similar in structure to the natural sebum (oil) excreted by our own skin.

The oil is unique in that it has a small enough molecular structure that it can absorb into the skin without actually clogging any of the pores. This means it moisturizes without causing a "masking" effect where the skin cannot breathe and debris may become trapped under the skin.

Macadamia nut oil also contains relatively high levels of vitamin E. It is also rich in the antioxidant squalene. Squalene is also found in our skin as a natural protectant against sun damage. The naturally antibacterial properties of the fatty acids also give this oil a longer shelf life.

Shea butter

Shea butter first gained notoriety as a treatment for stretch marks. Women would often apply this to their bellies during pregnancy as a natural remedy to prevent the formation of these purple and white marks.

Shea butter contains three vitamins that benefit the skin. These are vitamins A, E and F. The vitamin A accounts for this nut-based butter's ability to help smooth and blend stretch marks. It also helps to heal abrasions, burns and wounds more quickly thanks to the vitamin E and F content.

Due to the extremely thick and emollient consistency of raw shea butter, it has protective qualities which help maintain integrity and flexibility. This helps prevent the breakdown that leads to stretch marks and wrinkles.

It also contains high levels of cinnamic acid, which accounts for shea butter's UV filtering quality.It may work most efficiently when melted and blended with other more spreadable natural moisturizers.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Danna Norek contributes to several natural health blogs and websites. You can find information on herall natural citrus body soap and unscented body soap (both with macadamia nut oil), an all natural aluminum and chemical free deodorant (new, improved formula too), andnatural body lotions with shea butter and coconut oilatAura Sensory All Natural Skin Care(and very soon, natural, sulfate & chemical free hair care too!). You may also find information about general health, well being and beauty supplements atHerbal News Magazine.

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