We’re having such a beautiful summer here, with so much sunshine! I usually buy a bottle of sun lotion each year which gets used a couple of times and then put away in a drawer ready for the next sunny day which never seems to arrive, but not this year, I’m on my third bottle! Sunshine is so good for us – it feeds our cells and catalyses the production of Vitamin D which helps the body fight off infections and viruses. However, too much time in the sun can also be damaging to the skin, so it’s a bit of a balancing act.
Luckily, nature provides us with some beautiful bounty which which helps to soothe skin that has been in the sun. My toddler has very sensitive skin, and suffers with the heat almost as much as he suffers with the winter cold. There are a few natural remedies that I use to help him out.
Oat and chamomile bath
I shared how I made this chamomile bath tea in my post about my herbal first aid kit.
A few weeks ago, my son was sent home from nursery with suspected chicken pox. I grabbed one of my chamomile tea bags that I had ready made up, and added a large handful of oats to the chamomile flowers. I then ran him a cool bath, and squeezed the teabag into it so that the water turned a milky colour. I then used the bag of oats and chamomile flowers to gently sponge his skin. By the next morning, the spots had gone, which showed me that thankfully he didn’t have chicken pox at all, but was suffering with heat rash, and the chamomile and oat bath helped soothe his skin immensely. We had one every day of the heatwave and his skin was so lovely and soft. It even helped to soothe his excema.
Calendula Soothing Salve
Marigold, or calendula, is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and is great for sun burn, or again, excema or heat rash. I’ve made a soothing balm for my family which very easy to make, and is wonderful to use during the summer months on dry patches, or shoulders that have had a little too much sun. I’ve used lavender oil in this balm as it is also an anti-inflammatory and excellent for soothing skin. This also makes the balm lovely to apply at bedtime after our oat baths to help us get a restful sleep. The balm is made with cocoa butter, and I used Indigo Herb’s raw cacao butter in mine, which also gave it a lovely chocolatey scent!
You will need
1 1/2 tbsp candelilla wax (you could also use beeswax)
1 x Vitamin E capsule as a preservative
Heat the marigold oil, wax and cocoa butter in a double boiler just until liquified. I used a glass jug in a pan of hot water on the stove, which also made it easier to pour the finished balm into the pots.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, add the contents of the vitamin E capsule and the lavender oil, then pour into containers. I found some mini kilner jars in the supermarket which are great for home made remedies.
Allow to cool and apply to sore skin as necessary.
Aloe Vera is widely known as ‘the burn plant’ – you have probably seen many commercial aftersun remedies which contain aloe vera, as it is very good for treatment of sunburn and soothing sun damaged skin. It is better to directly use the aloe vera gel from the plant, and Indigo Herbs stock Organic Aloe Vera Gel Powder which consists only of the dried gel from the leaves of organically grown aloe vera.
To use on sunburnt skin, all you need to do is put a spoonful into a small jar, and stir in a little water until you have a paste, then apply directly to your skin.
Leave the paste on for about 10 minutes, then gently wipe off with a face cloth, like you would a face mask.
I hope these wonderful, natural remedies help you and your family whilst you’re enjoying the sunshine this summer. The ingredients I have mentioned, along with many other ingredients, superfoods and essential oils are available from Indigo Herbs of Glastonbury.
This is a collaborative post with Indigo Herbs