Let’s start with a basic fact: sun damage is by far the most significant cause of wrinkling, skin aging and skin cancers. That said, most of will spend time outdoors and we're all likely to experience sun damage at some point.
Remember that skin damage from the sun begins within the first minute your skin is exposed to sunlight. So slather on the sunblock, grab a hat and invest in some light, breezy clothes that will keep you covered and cool at the same time.
And if you do find yourself dealing with some common sun-related skin issues, here's how to treat them naturally:
A burn is an inflammatory response by the body, so if you have a sunburn, you'll want to treat it with an anti-inflammatory. The best topical anti-inflammatory is fresh Aloe: it has both anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.
Make sure to avoid alcohols, witch hazel, menthol, peppermint ... basically anything that could further irritate the skin. I've also heard people say to apply a compress soaked in milk, but you actually want to avoid milk as the lactic acid will act as an exfoliant. Even cool water will evaporate and further dehydrate your skin.
Instead, you'll want to sooth with emollients like shea butter or olive oil and other anti-inflammatory ingredients such as cucumber, aloe and allantoin (from the comfrey plant). Once you're beyond the burn period, a cooling spritz of chilled green tea will feel nice and provide your sun-damaged skin with antioxidants to speed cellular repair.
2. Peeling skin
Skin is such a complex organ but it has the truly amazing ability to renew itself within two weeks. That said, there are simple things you can do to speed the process and also to prevent marking/scars. If the skin is peeling, don’t’ pick! You can (very carefully!) trim away excess with a small pair of medical scissors or lightly exfoliate with a gentle cloth before showering.
It's also beneficial to incorporate healing foods into your diet, especially ones that contain carotenoids, vitamin C, Lycopene and other essentials that help you heal.
3. Sticky, shiny skin
Sweating is the body’s natural way of detoxing, so as much as you want to avoid feeling sticky, remember that it's necessary to maintain your healthy glow. Antiperspirants are a big no no, but a natural deodorant will help you feel fresh. There are so many great, effective brands out there now that there's no need to use toxic substances to keep the funk at bay.
Did you know your sweat isn’t what stinks? It’s actually the bacteria produced that causes you to smell funky, so look for ingredients that will neutralize the bacteria, like baking soda. If it’s shine on your face you're looking to avoid, a mineral pressed powder will help keep gleam at bay and the minerals will also provide you with some additional SPF protection!
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