The summer sun is starting to take it’s toll. Both myself and my children have overdone it rather in the great outdoors; there’s only so much sunscreen can do. I’ve been taking a look at the best ways to remedy the effects of the sun and this is what I have found:
The most popular essential oils for sun damaged skin are lavender, sea buckthorn, helichrysum, blue chamomile, sandalwood, calendula, myrrh and frankincense. Mix these with a carrier oil of choice eg. avacado oil; wheat germ oil; rosehip oil or jojoba oil. For 100ml of blended oil you’ll need around 100 drops of essential oil. Most professionals recommend sticking to just lavender oil for children and dropping down the ratio of essential oil to around 25 drops per 100ml. You can also add a few drops of these essential oils directly to your bath water or buy a pre-made blend for the bath. Vitamin E is also great for your skin. There are a number of online shops that sell oil capsules which you can snip open and apply straight to the skin, or add to your essential oil mix.
In the case of sunburn the most important thing to remember is this is just like a regular burn. You have to cool your skin, keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water and stay well out of the sun. Add lavender, chamomile and/or helichrysum to water to spray onto your skin as soon as you are indoors. Smooth on aloe vera gel, or cover with cooled teabags. Lukewarm herbal baths can be very soothing too and adding oatmeal will help with any itchiness.
Diet is also very important to the health of your skin. To help prevent long term damage I’m also making sure we’re eating plenty of foods high in anti-oxidants. Happily this is pretty easy. There are three basic categories of anti-oxidant foods:
Beta carotene/carotenoid rich : Apricots, beets, broccoli, carrots, mangoes, dark, leafy greens, kabocha, sweet potato, tomatoes, watermelon
High in Vit. C: Berries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, grapefruit, dark, leafy greens, kiwi, mangoes, orange, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, strawberries and tomatoes.
High in Vit. E: Broccoli, carrots, dark, leafy greens, mangoes, nuts, kabocha, sunflower seeds.
Throw in some apples, raisins, grapes, sprouts, eggplant and beans and you’ll ensure you’re well stocked up in anti-oxidants.
If you’ve having trouble finding essential oils The Tree of Life (Japanese only) has a wide range of oils. Neal’s Yard also sells organic oils in Japan (Japanese only but you can research the products on their English site) or there is the American online store iHerb which can ship to Japan.