Sweet summer time! A time of fishing, boating, creek-splashing, and sweet tea. That sun is powerful, and while it’s the easiest way to get natural Vitamin D, it was also damage our skin if we get too much.
Naturally Prevent Sunburns
Conventional sunscreens may do more harm than good. Some of the ingredients used in these sunscreen are toxic to our system (and remember, everything we put ON our body gets absorbed INTO our body). I recommend looking into more natural options, we’ve been using this Badger sunscreen for a few years along with a DIY sunscreen. Aside from the lotions though there are natural ways to prevent sunburns.
Wear long sleeves and a hat. One of the easiest ways to keep the sun from burning your skin is to use a physical blocker. Depending on what you’re doing, it’s likely that the most vulnerable areas are your shoulders and face, so intermittently wearing a hat and long sleeves while you’re out will help.
Eat clean. You think I’m kidding, I know. But eating whole foods, rich in fat can help prevent sunburns.
Naturally moisturize. I know lots of people who apply coconut oil to their skin just before going outside, they use it as a sunscreen. I’ve done it a few times and found that I didn’t burn. Nothing like being able to eat your sunscreen!
Avoid peak hours. The sun is strongest from 10AM to 2PM, so try to limit your time outside during those hours or use the other tips mentioned here during that time.
Hydrate. This seems too easy, but staying hydrated (from water!) while we’re in the sun and probably more importantly after sun exposure, allows our bodies to retain moisture and can act as a barrier to sun damage.
Essential Oils to Treat Sunburn
The first burn I successfully treated with essential oils was fierce. It was the kind that you don’t want to wear a bra with, the straps hurt too bad. The second, which I just got last weekend was a burn primarily on my face and a little on the chest. My forehead and nose were bright red and sore to touch. I was a little nervous.
Both times, I got immediate relief from the burn, and shortened it to 2 days. After one day of application the burns no longer hurt, but were still visible. By day two, the burn nearly looked like a tan.
So what oils did I use to treat my sunburn?
Peppermint and lavender.
Peppermint has analgesic and anesthetic properties which makes it work as a pain reliever. The oil’s antiphlogistic properties act as an anti-inflammatory which will help with the swelling and painful feeling of a sunburn as well. At application you’ll feel a quick tingly sensation, but it goes away shortly and will take the burn with it.
Lavender has nervine properties which can help settle the nerves in the affected area. The oil’s cicatrisant properties help heal which is exactly what a sunburn needs, a sunburn is like any other wound.
When combining peppermint’s stimulating effects with lavender’s soothing, one is able to properly treat and heal a sunburn.
You can get these two oils along with lemon (which is great added to water!) for less than $30 when you buy the Intro Kit.
How often do I apply?
That depends on how severe the burn is. Once you feel the heat coming back after application, apply more. For mild burns I may only apply these oils once or twice a day for two days. Listen to your body.
Use a carrier!
This is important because peppermint is very strong! While I do not recommend using peppermint on a child’s face for a sunburn, or any other ailment, I use it on my own face. Be very careful not to touch your eyes when applying. I have successfully applied to my forehead, nose, and cheeks, but special care needs to be made. Coconut oil is a great carrier oil to use with essential oils. It will help dilute the oils and “carry” them further.
Open the coconut oil and EO’s. Dip a couple fingers into the coconut oil (if it’s not melted already, it will be once it hits your skin). Add one drop of each to the palm of your hand, and rub all oils together. Apply to affected areas. Repeat every 3-4 hours until the sunburn is gone.