Skin Care: Natural Remedies for Summer Skin
Summer can be a rough time for your skin – bug bites, sunburn, poison ivy and other irritating skin problems are at their peak this time of the year. Unfortunately, sometimes the cure is just as bad as the problem. Many anti-itch creams and other lotions are full of chemicals and preservatives, which don’t do your skin or the rest of your body any good at all. [Read: The Dirt on Skin Care Products By Dr. Mariesette Zeyl] What’s more, since the skin is the body’s largest organ, anything you rub into your skin goes directly into your blood stream and can potentially have an effect on your entire body.
Here are a few natural remedies for some of summer’s most bothersome skin problems.
We’ve all been there. You spend the whole day in the pool relaxing, only to find later that your skin has dried out and is turning into a painful, orange, peeling mess. A chlorine burn is usually only on the top layer of skin, but it can be itchy and start to sting as it cracks. The quicker you nourish your skin, the faster your skin will heal.
Aloe Vera lotion is a great, chemical-free remedy for minor sunburns. Try a natural Aloe Vera lotion, or take a fresh Aloe leaf, slit it open and allow the juice to settle onto your sunburn. If your sunburn is more severe and lasts more than a few days, try coconut oil. Thanks to its hydrating lipids, coconut oil can be very helpful for healing and preventing itching, swelling and irritation. Wait a few days after you get a sunburn to use coconut oil – it also can create a protective barrier and trap heat. Mix it with a few drops of pure lavender essential oil or Aloe Vera for extra pain relief.
Mosquito and other insect bites can cause inflammation, redness, swelling, tenderness, and serious itching. Many anti-itch creams can provide relief, but they tend to be loaded with chemicals. Fresh basil leaves can be used to make a paste that will instantly soothe bug bites. Basil is a natural source of camphor and thymol, two compounds that relieve both itching and irritation. Take some basil (use organic basil to avoid pesticides), crush them into a paste and apply it directly to the bug bite.
Poison ivy comes along with swelling, blisters, itching and pain that lasts for several days. Try using baking soda to alleviate some of the bothersome itch. Add about ½ a cup of baking soda to a warm bath, or mix a small amount with water and apply to the affected area. To help pull out the toxins, mix up some apple cider vinegar with water, soak a thin towel in the mixture, and apply it to the affected areas. It’s believed that apple cider vinegar induces a toxin-releasing effect that helps your skin heal faster.