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SUMMER SKIN CARE: SUN PROTECTION, SUNBURN AND HYDRATION
Tanned skin may look beautiful, but one of the main causes of aging is sun damage. If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, use a good natural based sunscreen to protect against the sun’s damaging rays. Reapply frequently and sit in the shade when you can. Choose a natural based sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, and that is formulated with ingredients high in antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are minerals that are approved by the FDA to provide adequate sun protection. Plant ingredients that are rich in antioxidants and nutrients include green tea, sea buckthorn berry and shea butter. (Please note: shea butter provides a low amount of natural SPF; however, it is not approved by the FDA for use as sun protection).
Most natural based sunscreens also double as moisturizers, so when you use natural based sunscreens, you may or may not have to use another moisturizer. If your skin is normal, oily or combination, a natural based sunscreen will probably be enough of a moisturizer. If your skin is on the dry side, you may need to use another moisturizer or a carrier oil with your natural based sunscreen.
A few natural remedies for sunburn: Aloe gel or juice soothes sunburned skin. Make sure you use pure aloe gel or juice, which does not contain any colorants or fillers. Many excellent brands can be found at your local health food store, or online at herbal vendors. Or use your aloe plant! Apply aloe to sunburned skin several times a day. Once opened, store the bottle in the fridge.
Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar is another home remedy that helps sunburn. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which helps reduce pain and also inflammation. Apply diluted vinegar to sun burned skin a few times a day (for use on sunburns use 1 part vinegar to 2 parts distilled or spring water. People with sensitive skin may want to dilute this more. Please note: usually for other skin and hair care uses, vinegar is diluted much more). Or add a cup or two of vinegar to your bath water.
Hot and humid weather can dry out the skin, making it look aged. Drink more water during the hot summer months to make sure you are adequately hydrated. Also hydrate your skin more: mist your skin a few times a day with hydrosols or infusions to add extra moisture. Some good choices: green tea (antioxidant rich), lavender and/or chamomile infusions (soothing) and rose hydrosol (very hydrating). If you are using infusions, store in the fridge. Also store hydrosols in the fridge when not in use (though you could keep a little bottle in a cool, non-humid room. Do not store in the bathroom).