Summertime is eagerly anticipated by all that love to bask in the sun. Overexposure to the sun's burning rays however is an ever-present danger which can lead to dry, sensitive, sunburned skin. Also over time prolonged sun exposure can cause wrinkles, spots and skin cancer. Both the elastin and the collagen, which are the key components of the skin's supportive matrix, can be permanently damaged. Because the skin may start to sag, a beneficial skin-care regiment including both sunscreen and after-sun lotion should be implemented.
Tip: Natural After-Sun Lotion is chemical free and contains no chemical preservative. Shelf life is about 4 weeks. Store in refrigerator to extend life to about 3 months.
After-Sun Lotion Recipe:
1 tbsp. dried or 2 tbsp. fresh
1 cup distilled water
3/4 cup sweet-almond oil
2 tbsp. liquid lecithin
1 tbsp. cocoa butter
4 vitamin-E capsules
2 tbsp. comfrey-root extract (above)
4 tbsp. aloe-vera gel
1 tsp. borax powder
Prepared lipid base (above)
15 drops lavender essential oil
Our summer here in the Pacific Northwest is turning out to be an early scorcher. With outdoor parties, festivals, and camping trips on the calendar, and temperatures already nearing 100 degrees, now is a good time to take extra precautions for your skin. Drinking lots of water and mucilaginous teas like this Hibiscus Berry Chia Tea to stay hydrated, slathering on some homemade sunscreen, and using a restorative skin serum to moisturize will help you keep a healthy glow. Of course, hats are helpful too! However, when the power of the sun stings your skin, you'll want to reach for cooling astringents first. The herbs in this recipe are great at drawing out the heat before using an oil or cream. Since oil acts as a protective barrier on the surface of your skin, it can actually hold in the heat that you want to cool. This is why using tannic astringents is an important first step! This recipe is really simple to make and can be used as a spray or compress. You can even keep it refrigerated for an extra refreshing sensation.
Soothing After Sun Spray Recipe
organic witch hazel extract
organic green tea leaves
organic calendula flowers
and/or organic lavender flowers
organic hydrosol of your choice
(try lavender, helichrysum, cucumber, rose, or peppermint)
organic aloe vera gel
Fill a mason jar 1/2 full with a mixture of equal parts green tea leaves and calendula flowers, lavender, and cleavers. Pour witch hazel extract over the herbs and fill to the top of the jar. Cap, shake well, and allow to infuse for 2-4 weeks before straining. Bottle and label.
When needed, mix 4oz of the herbal infused witch hazel extract with 2oz of hydrosol and 1oz of aloe vera gel in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray generously on over-sunned skin several times a day until the heat subsides. Keep refrigerated if possible.
NOTE: Need it now? You can also make a tea with the herbs, cool it down, and then mix it with witch hazel extract, hydrosol, and aloe. Use as a spray or compress. While this won't keep very long, it is perfect in a pinch!
Thoroughly rinse your skin and use a soft, clean towel to blot excess water until the skin is slightly damp. Apply the after-sun lotion, using gentle strokes to spread it evenly. If you are sunburned, pat - don't rub - lotion onto your skin.
Liquid lecithin to soften the skin: Made from pure soybean oil, this emulsifier is high in the B vitamins choline and inositol, which are vital for healthy skin. Lecithin also helps to soften and condition the skin.
Comfrey root for emollient benefits: Comfrey-root extract contains essential nutrients, such as allantoin, emollients and mucopolysaccharides. It also helps to minimize inflammation and counteract cellular aging.
Vitamin E to preserve lotions: Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, can help to heal damaged skin. In addition, it is a natural preservative, protecting after-sun lotions from fungal and bacterial growth.
Unrefined beeswax for nourishing and soothing the skin: Skin-nourishing propolis, a natural antibiotic, and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals are found in unrefined beeswax. Beeswax gives after-sun lotions a thick, creamy consistency. In addition, the beeswax prevents the loss of moisture from dehydrated skin.
Aloe-vera gel for healing: Aloe-vera gel is recognized as an effective aid in healing almost any type of burn or wound. It can help replenish the skin with moisture and foster cell regeneration.
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