I am one of those people who seeks out shade. On a camping day or a lazy afternoon at the river, as the sun crosses the sky, I will be the one moving my camp chair to stay out of its way. And yet, somehow, I still find myself dealing with the effects of too much sun. It’s easy to underestimate the sun’s power when we’re busy playing, gardening, swimming, hiking, and enjoying other summertime activities. That’s why I prepare ahead by keeping the necessary components around for simple botanical formulations that help alleviate the symptoms of prolonged sun exposure. When you have the ingredients, the recipes below take just minutes to put together, so you’re only a couple steps away from sweet relief.
Before we get to the recipes—remember:
- Your first step should be to cool off the affected area of your skin with a cool shower or compresses before applying anything else.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
- Avoid moisturizers with alcohol or perfumes.
- If you have a severe burn or blistering, consult with a doctor before using any homemade remedies.
- None of these recipes are intended to replace sun protection methods, nor are they able to reverse the longer-term effects of over-exposure to the sun. Keep your skin protected as much as possible!
Peppermint & Green Tea Cooling Mist
Makes about 1/2 cup.
Peppermint is very cooling and helps provide fast relief for skin discomfort and heat. Incorporating green tea into this wonderfully cooling spray also helps alleviate the redness associated with prolonged sun exposure. If you know you’re going to be out in the summer sun, make the peppermint & green tea infusion ahead of time so you’re ready whenever you need it.
- 6 oz. filtered water
- 2 Tbsp. dried organic peppermint leaf
- 1 tsp. organic green tea leaves
- 1-2 drops organic peppermint essential oil (optional)
- Bring water to a low boil.
- Meanwhile, combine peppermint leaves and green tea in a heat proof vessel.
- Pour hot water over the peppermint and green tea leaves, cover, and infuse until cool. Strain out leaves, press to get as much infusion as possible.
- Pour cooled infusion into a glass spray bottle.
- Add optional peppermint essential oil. Shake to combine all ingredients.
- Mist directly on affected skin for cooling relief.
- Use within 1-2 days, or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Pro Tip: Sipping the green tea and peppermint tea will give you additional hydrating benefits, but don’t drink the tea if you’ve added essential oil.
Green Tea Cooling Compress
Green tea contains tannic acid, theobromine, and polyphenols, all of which help ease skin discomfort and redness. A cool compress is a comforting, lasting way to bring relief to specific areas of over-sunned skin. I find a compress to be especially helpful in places like the back of the neck, armpits, back of the knees, etc. and you can also drape a soaked cloth over your face.
- Organic green tea leaves
- Bring water to a light boil.
- Pour over loose-leaf green tea, cover, and allow to infuse until cool. Strain out leaves.
- Soak a clean cloth in the infusion.
- Place on skin for 5-10 minutes at a time. Repeat as desired.
- Store infusion in refrigerator for up to 1 week for added cooling support.
Yogurt & Aloe Vera After-Sun Relief
Makes about 1/2 cup.
Yogurt contains enzymes and acids that soothe, cool, and reduce irritation. Adding aloe vera gel and lavender essential oil exponentially increases these soothing properties.
- 4 oz. plain organic or homemade yogurt
- 1 oz. non-GMO aloe vera gel
- 15 drops organic lavender essential oil
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Gently apply directly to affected areas and allow to dry.
- Rinse off with cool water.
- Repeat as necessary.
Baking Soda & Lavender Paste for Peeling Skin
Makes about 1/4 cup paste.
A baking soda paste is helpful in soothing itchy, uncomfortable skin and restoring your skin’s natural pH, especially when you’re experiencing the peeling that comes after prolonged sun exposure. You can use water to make the paste, but your skin will thank you for adding the lavender.
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp. organic lavender hydrosol
- 5 drops organic lavender essential oil
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl to form a medium-thick paste.
- Apply gently to the affected skin and allow to dry.
- Rinse off carefully with clean water so as not to further irritate skin.
- Pat skin dry.
Oatmeal Herbal Bath for After-Sun Relief
Makes one full bath.
Oatmeal shows up in all kinds of over-the-counter formulas for skin issues because oats are well documented in helping to protect and moisturize the skin. A cool bath with oats and baking soda, along with other soothing botanicals, can make a world of difference in your comfort levels. Try this before heading to bed for an improved night’s rest.
- 2 cups organic oatmeal
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup organic chamomile flowers (fresh or dried)
- 1/2 cup organic lavender flowers (fresh or dried)
- 1/2 cup organic calendula flowers (fresh or dried)
- 2-4 Tbsp. organic green tea leaves
- If you have time, run the oats through a blender or food processor to grind them. This is not imperative, but it does help the oats do their job better. If you don’t have the time, that’s fine.
- Place all ingredients together in a muslin bag or piece of cheesecloth tied tightly so as not to open in your bath. Drop into tub.
- Draw a lukewarm bath, agitating the bag in the water with your hands. The oats may make the water cloudy.
- Soak for 15-20 minutes, allowing the bag to float freely around the tub.
- Pat yourself dry rather than rubbing with a towel.
WANT TO BRING THE POWER OF CALENDULA TO THE AFTER-PARTY?
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