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Sunburn: Relieve the heat naturally

Sunburn Blond GirlSummer is one of the most active outdoor seasons and the perfect time to damage your skin. Sunburn is more than just a pain it can lead to premature aging and skin cancer. Lets face it we aren’t going to stop enjoying the sun and over exposure sometimes happens.

What is sunburn?

Sunburn happens when your skin is over exposed to the suns UVA and UVB rays. Your skin literally gets ‘cooked’ and the time it takes to burn varies depending on the fairness of your skin,  the time of day and length of exposure.

How to avoid getting burned?

The best way to avoid sunburn is to cover up, but that’s not always practical especially when you’re on the beach and in and out of the water s
  • Use sunscreen Most commercial sunscreens are packed with chemicals choose natural sunscreens instead. Purchase an SPF factor between 30-50 for best protection.
  • Timing Avoid staying too long in the sun between10:00am – 4:00pm when the sun is the strongest. Typically 15-20 minutes of continuous exposure is considered a ‘safe’ time frame but it will depend on our skin type and with very fair skin it may only take a few minutes to begin to burn.
  • Use oil You can apply any of these oils to your skin before exposure. But note that natural oils such as: cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, ad jojoba only provide an SPF of 3-4. However they do help heal and moisturize your skin after sun exposure.

The Best Natural Remedies for Sunburn

  • Lavender essential oil Mix 10 –20 drops of Lavender  Essential Oil with 30mls of coconut oil and apply to your skin. If skin is very burned increase the Lavender to 30 drops. This mix can also be made using aloe vera instead of coconut oil. Lavender has been used in hospital burn units to treat and heal burns.
  • Apple Cider vinegar Mix half apple cider vinegar and half water in a spray bottle and spray on clean skin. The acetic acid in ACV can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Potato puree Sounds strange but potatoes have chemicals and vitamins that can help soothe and heal burns. Slice one potato, place in blender until it is pureed (add a bit of water, if needed). Using a clean piece of cotton or gauze lightly spply potato pulp to burned are. Allow to dry, then rinse off with cool water.
  • Aloe Vera Aloe has been used for centuries to heal skin conditions. Purchase a high quality aloe vera gel and apply to skin. You can also use the gel directly from the plant by breaking off a leaf, slicing it open and applying the gel to the sunburn.
  • Milk or Yoghurt Milk products contain enzymes that help heal burns. Soak a soft cloth in cool milk and apply to burn for 5 minutes. Apply yoghurt to skin, allow to dry, then rinse off with cool water.
  • Green or black tea Tea provides tannins, antioxidants and catechins to relieve the pain of burns. Boil 1 cup of water and add 6 teabags. Let tea steep for 10 minutes and cool to room temperature. Apply to skin with a soft cloth.
Safe sun exposure is beneficial for your body. It creates Vitamin D, eases muscle aches and even boosts your immune system. 'Ask a naturopath'  about more ways to protect your skin this summer.