When it is time to hit the beach, we reach for the sunscreen which is already a dicey proposition because most typical sunscreens contain ingredients which hamper our health. Further, with all the information about spf (sun protection factor) and how some higher spfs may not really help us as much as we think, it is important to focus on the best products to help us prevent skin cancer in our families.
The latest trends, according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control) from 2003 to 2012, the rate of melanoma of the skin rose 1.4% per year for women and 1/7% per year for men. We can blame it on global warming or lifestyle, but the fact remains that we need to choose a good quality sunscreen in order to prevent skin cancer when we go outdoors. That just doubles when we are swimming in a pool or lounging at the beach.
Whether you choose to use the chemical-based sun blockers or the mineral-based sun blockers, the truth is, if we spend a day or two at the beach, we need double duty sunscreen protection. Using sunscreen to prevent help prevent skin cancer, and to avoid pain from a serious sunburn is the best choice. These are a few of my favorite mineral-based sunscreens.
Even then, if we spend extra time in the sun, we will end up getting sunburned, and there are some effective natural ways to heal a sunburn. We are a family with half being fair-skinned and the other half having darker skin. I can tell you from personal experience that sunburn for me means peeling, so using lotions and relief on the skin helps to stop the heat in the burn, thus reducing peeling. I have been this way my whole life.
Natural ways to heal a sunburn
You can use the following natural ingredients by mixing them in a base of aloe vera and water and spraying them directly on the burn, to cool off the skin. Also applying a compress to the skin with one of the liquids below will assist in healing and cooling the skin. After the skin cools, applying plenty of lotion (paraben-free) to help reduce peeling is necessary.
Aloe vera gel is generally known to reduce pain and is known to be anti-inflammatory, plus it speeds up the healing. You can purchase it at a health food store or on Amazon. Or, you can keep an aloe vera plant on hand and break the leaves open, smoothing it on the burn for relief.
You can purchase this at Dollar Tree, but water it down if it has alcohol. Otherwise, I also purchase this on Amazon. Witch hazel is an herb which is an astringent, decreases inflammation and soothes the skin.
My all-time favorite herb when it comes to many uses. I keep a tincture around, which I can add to water, and then dip a clean cloth for soothing application. You can also add it to coconut oil, making a salve so it does a double duty as a moisturizer on the skin. Calendula promotes healing of mild burns, and is also another anti-inflammatory.
Another herb, when made into a quick tea, is echinacea. This herb soothes burns, and improves healing of wounds as well. Dip a cloth in the tea and place as a compress on the skin for relief.
Black and green tea bags, such as you would find in grocery stores, also has a cooling and healing effect on sunburn. It is known that the antioxidants in the tea, help stop some of the effects of the sunburn.
Plantain is a weed, which grows in much of the country. If you break off and crush the leaves and apply them directly to the skin, it is known to have anti-inflammatory properties to help heal a burn.
St. John’s Wort
This herb, known for its anti-depressant properties is also an anti-inflammatory herb. Brew a tea of about 2 teaspoons of dried herb and dip a cloth into the liquid. Apply on sunburns for a soothing effect.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a well-known remedy for sunburn. Dilute it in water and apply onto sunburns. You can also add it to a tub of water for a cool water soak to help take the sting out.
Peppermint essential oil
I would be remiss in reminding you that peppermint essential oil (or tea) helps to naturally cool the skin. Adding several drops to your spray or compress will bring cooling relief.
Eucalyptus essential oil
Eucalyptus is another minty and cooling oil, which will help to treat inflammation of the skin. Add several drops of this to your natural remedy and find cooling relief!
Use whatever you have on hand to treat your sunburn. These are just a few ideas to get you started. Then share what works for you and your family in the comments below!