Summer is a beautiful season, but it can also bring challenges for our skin. As you enjoy the sunny days, soothe and protect your skin with the easy-to-make recipes to follow using foraged wild weeds.
Summer Skincare and Sun Protection
One of the biggest summer skin issues is sunburns. If possible, avoid direct sunlight during the middle of the day. If you plan to be out in sunny weather, make this simple sunblock to protect skin without the harmful chemicals found in many commercial brands.
Natural Sun Block
6 tablespoons olive oil (Or other liquid carrier oil of your choice. If desired, you may infuse the oil with an herb such as calendula first for additional benefits.)
7 tablespoons beeswax (buy beeswax)
3 tablespoons shea butter (get shea butter here)
7 tablespoons (40 Grams) zinc oxide
- Mix the coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax, and shea butter over medium heat in a double boiler until melted.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and add the zinc oxide, whisking to combine.
- Pour the completed mixture into a small jar or tin and allow it to cool. As the mixture cools, you may wish to stir it a few more times to ensure that the zinc oxide does not settle to the bottom of the container.
- To use, spread a generous layer over exposed skin, reapplying each hour.
A note on zinc oxide:
Be sure to purchase uncoated, non-nano, unmicronized zinc, zinc oxide. Buying the right kind of zinc oxide is essential, since the skin can absorb harmful nano-particles. The zinc oxide should create a thin layer over the skin, rather than absorbing into it. Non-nano zinc oxide does cost a bit more, but it’s worth the extra money; choosing an inferior product will defeat the purpose of making your own sunblock in the first place.
While working with zinc oxide, wear a mask or cover your mouth and nose with a cloth so you do not inhale any of the powder. Once the zinc is mixed in, this is no longer a concern, but be careful not to breathe it in while it is still in powder form.
Effective Sunburn Relief
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we end up getting a sunburn. Thankfully, apple cider vinegar can quickly cool sunburned skin. Keep a little vinegar in a spray bottle for easy application, and spritz it on sunburns as needed. After applying the vinegar, spread a little coconut oil onto the burn to moisturize and soothe the skin. An herbal salve can be helpful, too. My favorite salve for sunburns is made with comfrey and calendula. To learn more about making your own herbal salves, see this post.
Bites & Rashes
Insect bites and itchy rashes are another challenge for summer skin. For insect stings and bites, plantain is a much-loved remedy. You can use it to make a poultice or a salve. To help keep the bugs from biting in the first place, try this DIY repellent.
If you have the misfortune of coming into contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac, see this post for natural remedies that may help.
If heat rash is a problem, a simple body powder can work wonders. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a small jar of cornstarch or arrowroot powder and apply the mixture to affected areas. This will help keep skin dry in humid weather.
With a few natural summer skincare remedies on hand, you can keep our skin healthy all season long!