Did you know that your skin absorbs 75% of what’s applied to it? The skin is the bodies largest organ and part of the integumentary system. The skin is comprised three layers, the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous layer. Your skin has a very important job, including keeping out pathogens and microbes and the regulation of body temperature, which is why it’s important that any skin care you apply, works with the body, not against it.
What to look out for when choosing sun protection
Although sun exposure is essential for maintaining healthy Vitamin D levels, too much sun can lead to ageing dry skin and sun spots. To ensure your family are protected this summer, look for a natural sunscreen containing SPF30+.
Hidden nasties can be found in traditional sunscreens, including the following:
The ingredients listed above can contribute to a range of symptoms such as endocrine disruption, and aggravation of skin disorders.
What are the benefits of choosing a natural alternative?
Natural Sunscreens contain nourishing, anti-inflammatory ingredients such as zinc as well as Vitamin E, soothing Calendula and hydrating cucumber. Natural sunscreens containing zinc act as a shield, preventing skin damage from harmful UVB and UVA rays. As well as shielding your skin from harmful rays, Zinc also has anti-inflammatory and anti -viral properties, making it perfect for sensitive skin.
What Ingredients will I find in Natural sunscreen alternatives?
- Zinc, Zinc oxide is often found in natural sunscreens as the zinc acts as a broad spectrum protectant, protecting from sunburn and damage from UVB and UVA rays.
- Cucumber, Cucumber is ofen used in natural skin care products for it’s ability to soothe and cool. Cucumber is also hydrating for the skin, keeping the skin moisturised after sun exposure, minimises peeling and flaking.
- Vitamin E, Vitamin E is an antioxidant which is often found in natural skincare products. Vitamin E acts as an anti- inflammatory and prevents free radical damage, reducing signs of aging and protecting skin from sun damage. Another benefit of Vitamin E is that it assists in the repair of damaged skin, by strengthening capillary walls, improving hydration and maintaining elasticity.
- Calendula, Calendula is a flower known for its soothing and healing properties. Calendula is often found in skin products as it’s soothing properties are excellent for sunburnt dry skin, prickly heat rash and swim rash.
What else can I do to protect my skin this summer?
While protecting your skin before exposure to the harsh summer sun is essential, soothing and nourishing your skin afterwards is equally important. Hydrating and nourishing your skin after sunburn is essential as dry skin can lead to premature aging and age spots.
Making sure you’re drinking enough water is important in this heat, especially if you want healthy looking skin. The cells in your body are made up of 70% water, when you’re dehydrated cellular shrinkage occurs making your skin appear dull and dry.
Nourishing your body with hydrating foods is another way to keep your skin glowing and youthful:
Delicious hydrating foods include:
- Stone fruit such as peaches and plums
Help? I’m already burnt
If you have spent a little too much time in the sun, soothing and cooling your skin may be your first thought. Great choices for soothing burnt skin include Aloe Vera which is an anti-inflammatory plant, available as a gel or juice that soothes burnt skin when applied, while cooling and soothing herbal teas and flowers such as calendula and chamomile can be applied by soaking the flowers in hot water, chilling and then applying to burnt skin.
Recipe by Maria Mitchell |Herbalist
- 150 ml of Life Stream Aloe + Vitamin E Mist (1 full bottle)
- 7.5ml (half a bottle) of Healing Essences Tasmanian Lavender Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Healing Essences Peppermint Essential Oil
Add the essential oils into the Aloe spray, and shake well to combine. Chill if wanted and spray onto sunburnt skin to refresh and soothe.
Ashley is a qualified Nutritionist ( Bachelor of Health Science (Nut Med) passionate about home cooking and healing through wholefoods. Her special interests include disorders of the skin and childrens health, including fussy eaters!