Summer’s gorgeous sunshine, soft breezes, and blooming flowers can make you want to linger outside for hours, but all the time outdoors can also make summer a bummer for your skin. Remedies for bug bites, sunburn, heat rashes, and other common summertime ailments are a dime at dozen at the pharmacy, but most are laced with chemicals and preservatives. Remember, your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs whatever you put on it. Most holistic experts agree – don’t rub into your skin what you wouldn’t be willing to eat! The good news is there are plenty of holistic ingredients that can effectively treat common summer skin ailments.
Aloe Vera Gel
What it treats: Sunburn
The gel of an aloe vera plant is soothing and cool, making it a natural burn remedy. To treat a sunburn, simply slit a leaf of the plant the long way and gently apply the leaf’s juice directly to your burned skin. Repeat the application several times a day until your sunburn is less painful and stops peeling.
What it treats: Bug bites
Basil is a natural source of both camphor and thymol, compounds that help relieve itching and irritation. Buy a bundle of basil leaves at the farmers market and then use a mortar and pestle (or your food processor!) to crush them into a fine paste and then rub directly onto itchy bites. No fresh leaves available? Basil essential oil will also work.
Baking Soda Paste
What it treats: Poison ivy
Baking soda is a natural soother for the itchy, inflamed skin that comes with a poison ivy rash. Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with two teaspoons of water and stir until you get a thick paste. Spread the paste directly on your rash, wait a few moments, then rinse it off with cool water. Mix up a new paste and apply it two or three times daily until the rash improves.
What it treats: Heat rash
Heat rashes are rarely serious, but they can be seriously uncomfortable. Your mother may have told you not to play with your food, but using oatmeal at bath time can quickly clear up a nasty heat rash. First, soak a cup or two of quick or rolled oats in cool water for an hour or two. Then run a shallow bath with lukewarm water. Add the soaked oats, massage gently onto your rash, and rinse off completely.
What it treats: Bee stings
Bee stings are a pain – literally. A stung area can swell up, turn red, and remain uncomfortable for several days if left untreated, so remove the stinger and clean the area as soon as possible. Then go back to the source by applying a small amount of honey directly over the sting. Bees may have some irritating compounds in their stingers, but the honey they produce is a great natural treatment due to its antibacterial properties.
How do you keep your skin healthy in the summer?