Summer is one of my favorite times of year. Swimming, cookouts, and vacations always top the list of things I look forward to during the hot summer months. I am definitely a warm-weather gal, and I dream of the summer heat every winter.
Along with summer fun, however, comes the need for summer safety.
There are a number of issues that can come up during the summer, and today we’re going to talk about sunburns – how to avoid them and how to treat them naturally if you get one.
It’s true that we can have too much of a good thing…and that includes the sun. It does not take long for the sun’s powerful rays to begin damaging our skin cells. That’s why prevention with a good sunscreen is key. If you plan on spending time outdoors for any length of time, it’s always a good idea to apply sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15 – 30. If you will be swimming, make sure it is waterproof and reapply after 80 minutes of water activity. It’s also a good idea to wear a broad rimmed hat. This will give you additional protection and will provide a physical barrier from the sun’s rays.
Another great option if you are going to be at the beach or pool is wearing a rash guard. These shirts are made with a protective material that provide an SPF 50+. Our whole family has one, and it really cuts down on the amount of time that we are applying sunscreen. We love the O’Neill rash guards.
I learned these lessons the hard way. During my freshman year of college, I went with a large group of friends to a lake house for a weekend. Not thinking (and I mean really not thinking), I went out on the boat all day without applying sunscreen. I ended up with second degree burns all over me! I now have the forehead wrinkles to prove it 😉 And I’ve also had several pre-cancerous moles removed.
So, needless to say, protecting your skin from the sun is very important!
Aloe Vera Gel
If you do end up getting a sunburn, one of the best topical applications for it is 100% pure aloe vera gel. I love this one made by Aloe Life. Pure aloe vera gel has skin soothing and healing properties, particularly for sunburned skin.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is also great for skin health. Try adding several drops of lavender oil to distilled water and spritzing onto skin. This will also help keep bugs away!
It’s a great idea to drink green tea (iced is perfect for the summer months). More and more studies are being done on the benefits of green tea for the skin. Green tea contains EGCg and polyphenols, which are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous. Studies also show that it’s very beneficial to the skin when it is applied topically as well. Try brewing several tea bags in 2 cups of water, leaving them in until the tea has cooled. Pour into a spray bottle, and spray over sunburned skin. Try adding the lavender oil to this for even greater benefit.
You don’t have to bypass fun in the sun during the summer. Be proactive by protecting your skin. Then you can enjoy the great outdoors…minus the sunburn.