Summer is a great time to let loose and have fun. We spend lots of time outside basking in the sun, splashing in the water, and exposing ourselves to the elements. As summer is starting to wind down and we are getting back to our usual routines, have you paid any attention to the condition of your skin? All that time spent in the sun, in swimming pools, and exposed to the heat and wind can do a number on your skin. Now is the time to rejuvenate your skin after a long summer of damage.

Your Skin is a Vital Organ

You may not think of it like this, but your skin is an organ—it’s the largest organ of your whole body, covering about 20 square feet of space. Your skin functions to protect you, regulate your body temperature, and permit you to feel sensations of touch, heat, and cold. It’s the first contact between you and, well, everything you come into contact with. In other words, it gets a lot of wear and tear. Here are some ways you can rejuvenate your skin to help keep it healthy.

Antioxidant Repair

UV-ray exposure damages the skin via free radicals—oxidizing particles that destroy skin cells. Sun and ozone exposure also reduce the amount of vitamin E found naturally in the skin. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals, and can be applied topically in a cream. Oral vitamin E takes much longer for the vitamin to reach the skin, whereas topical creams are absorbed into the skin quickly. It’s best to apply vitamin E cream after coming inside out of the sun, or nightly to maintain healthy skin.

Dry Skin Hydration

If your skin feels dried out after a long summer, you need a good hydrating lotion. I love Keys’ Tortuga Hand and Body Lotion for dry skin. It’s an all-natural product that contains avocado, black seed, carrot seed oil, and concentrated shea butter. It locks in moisture for even the driest and most sensitive skin. It’s featured on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Report as one of the safest, non-toxic lotions. Keys also has a Spot Healing Serum that’s great for quick application on dry spots, acne, scrapes, and burns.

Don’t Forget Your Scalp

Your scalp may be covered in hair, but that doesn’t mean it’s protected. In fact, your scalp may suffer even more than the rest of your skin because it’s directly in the sun’s path. A good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can do wonders for your hair and scalp. I love Aubrey Organics’ GPB Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s the first hair care product they ever created, and it’s still going strong.

Sunscreen, Everyday

If you don’t already apply sunscreen every day, you’re doing your skin a disservice. Unless you live in a cave, your skin is absorbing harmful UV rays on a daily basis. Find a good non-toxic skin cream than contains sunscreen. Get in the habit of putting it on every morning. And if you plan to be out in the sun for more than 15 minutes, apply a stronger sunscreen. Your older self will thank you.