Heat, sun burns, humidity, dry weather, air conditioning ... all of these things can wreak havoc on our skin during summer months. It's crucial to really protect our delicate skin from the harsh rays of the golden sun while outside and the cold air blasting when indoors.
And while there are some wonderful nontoxic sunscreens out there (as well as stylish sun hats!), there are also easy home remedies you can turn to for quick relief. Here are six of my favorites:
1. Coconut oil
Though it's natural SPF isn't strong enough to act as your only form of sun protection, coconut oil is a wonderful base layer sunscreen. I like to use it on my skin and hair to add a protective layer, nutrients and moisture.
It also makes for a great post-sun moisturizer if you do happen to get a little burnt. I love a good body oil all over the body after a cool shower as well. If you're not a fan of coconut oil, I also like sesame, sunflower and almond oils to replenish and rehydrate the skin.
Ghee, clarified butter with all the toxins removed, is a healthy fat that has the power to nourish the body's tissues, cleanse toxins and generally boost the immune system. Eating a spoonful every day helps to keep skin and hair moisturized by adding an extra dose of "good" fat to your diet every day.
Though ghee is a great any time of year, it's especially useful in the summer as hot temperatures can sap your body of natural moisture, and its ability to reduce inflammation helps with skin that's been overexposed to the sun.
If you find yourself feeling a bit oilier than usual as a result of the ghee (or to combat humidity's effects on the skin), try adding a few drops of neroli or lavender essential oil to rosewater for a cooling, oil-fighting toner.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Yes, apple cider vinegar is great for treating problem skin, but it can also work miracles when it comes to sunburnt skin. To take the heat off sun-damaged areas, gently apply raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. The secret ingredient here is malic acid, an effective pain reducer.
4. Witch hazel
A good, old-fashioned way to treat bug bites, skin rash or sun burn, witch hazel is an anti-inflammatory that won't dry out your skin while it alleviates burns and irritation.
Not the most conventional of methods, but a potato's starchy compounds will help take the sting out of sunburn. Simply cut a raw potato and gently run the exposed flesh to the affected area. For a more intensive treatment, grate the potato into a paste and apply it like a salve.
6. Aloe vera
Aloe is the best friend of those prone to sunburn. You can make a wonderful skin mask by mixing two tablespoons of fresh aloe vera, one tablespoon of macadamia, calendula or avocado oil, and a few drops of an essential oil like chamomile. This soothing mixture will cool and treat the skin.