It's the longest day of the year and marks the beginning of our summer season. The solstice itself is actually determined by the sun's exact presence over the Tropic of Cancer. In ancient Greece, this day marked the beginning of the new year. In Egypt, it corresponded with the flooding of the Nile River delta, and so was celebrated as a time of fertility. China considers this day to be the peak of "yin", or feminine force. Pagans of yore lit bonfires to stimulate the growing of crops and to banish evil spirits.
In the United States, we still engage in several gentle celebrations. In New York, you can head to the Solstice in Times Square to do free yoga. In California, the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration holds a three-day festival and a parade. In Anchorage, Alaska--where the sun is only briefly absent on this longest of days--participants get out under the midnight sun to hike, bike, and sample the city's art and music.
Up in Montana, we are busy getting out into the summer that to us, seems too short. This is the time of year when skin starts to ramp up its sun defenses, but often to the detriment of its other health. Summer sun protection starts on the inside with lycopene- and beta carotene-rich foods. Consuming things like watermelon, tomatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes daily give your body the tools it needs to combat the initial irritation from the sun.
After your internal defenses have been built up, it's time to remember to moisturize. Often, we only think of being SunSmart on the edges. While it is certainly vital to cover up and block your skin from direct sun, make sure that you've applied serum before doing so. The ingredients in our serum are specifically formulated to let your skin rest and do what it does best: protect and hydrate itself. When your skin can take care of itself, and you then provide it additional protection, the healing can begin!