Whoa – summer is officially here and my clients have the sunburns to prove it… So you’ve over indulged your “fun in the sun” … now what?
Here’s how to manage sun over exposure in order to limit the damage:
Stay Hydrated – Drink lots of clean water (about 1.5 – 3 liters daily, depending on caffeine intake, stress levels and overall health). I also recently read an article touting the benefits of coconut water. Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is found in most health food store and contains more potassium that a banana and sodium to re-mineralize your body after lots of sweating in the sun!
Also make sure that your skin is properly hydrated. The best way to do this is with ingredient like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, nut oils like jojoba and shea, and plant oils like evening primrose and squalane from olives. After every shower, keep your skin a bit damp and apply your favorite oil or lotion containing some of these preferred ingredients. Massage in until skin is soft, not sticky or slick. For your face and neck, check to make sure that your daily moisturizer or serum contains some of the above mentioned ingredients. For oily skins, look for light weight products containing hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate, for dry skins, look for heavier ingredients like shea nut oil and borage oil.
Re-fuel Your Antioxidant Tank – eating lots of fresh, raw, locally grown or organic fruits and veggies is still the very best way to get your daily dose of antioxidants. Simply making one of your meals a big veggie filled salad and adding in fruit as a snack can help tremendously! If you are not able to make these a part of every day, look for supplements to help out: food based capsules are usually the best way to go, so check with your local health food store. There are also a lot of options for antioxidant-filled drinks and smoothies – but make sure you are getting a variety of ingredients and keeping sugar low. Wheat grass shots are also a great way to get antioxidants while aiding your digestive system in the elimination of toxins. Be sure not to follow the wheatgrass with citrus fruits – instead opt for apple or grape juice as a chaser. Can’t get to the juice shop? Here’s a great website for wheatgrass tablets: www.wheatgrass.com
Gently Scrub in the Shower – when your burn turns into a tan and then starts to peel, opt for a gentle scrub so that you are not tempted to pick. Peeling skin needs to be removed gently as not all surfaces will be ready to go at the same time. This gentle exfoliation will help to encourage new cell growth and provide a smooth surface for better penetration of hydrating ingredients.
Befriend Aloe – Aloe Vera is a great naturally plant remedy for soothing itchy, dry or inflamed skin. However, natural aloe vera is not fluorescent green. Be a label reader! Just because the product claims to be 100% pure aloe, does not mean that the entire container is 100% aloe…those bright green impostors contain a teeny tiny amount of pure aloe, but are mostly artificially colored goop. An example of pure aloe is the Super Aloe Gelly brand.
What about some of the other side effects of summer?
Bug Bites – lavender and tea tree essential oils have both been found to calm the itch and irritation associated with bug bites. Try not to scratch as that can spread any bug poisons, causing further discomfort. For next time, prepare yourself with a DEET free, natural bug repellant, like Bug Off.
Skin Rash – many synthetic sunscreens can cause skin irritation, so look for natural options using titanium and zinc oxides instead. For skin rashes sue to chlorine, synthetic sunscreens, or any other summer irritant, add some of these essentials to your bath: lavender or chamomile for calming, eucalyptus or thyme for itch and rash relief. Also try adding organic oatmeal can to your bath: put 1/3 cup of instant or rolled oats (organic) in the blender or food processor, mince and add to the warm bath.
One Too Many Margaritas – alcohol turns into sugar in the body, and too much sugar can lead to breakouts. Not to mention that alcohol dehydrates the skin.