It’s been incredibly cold in Ohio for the past month. We were lucky this week to have a business trip scheduled that has brought us to Florida. After finishing up with our work, we decided to add in a bit of vacation.
When I checked in this afternoon, the woman at the front desk chuckled when I answered her request for our address. It seems most of the people she’d checked in today were from Ohio. Is it a coincidence that we’ve all just decided that the first part of March is the best time for vacation, or are we all just trying to flee the sub-zero temperatures at all cost? I’m going with the second option!
The first couple days down here were fairly chilly and overcast. I had to console myself by looking at the current weather up north. Tomorrow and the day after will be a stark contrast. It will be sunny and in the low 80’s. Those of us who have escaped Ohio will be quick to pull out the tank tops and head out to soak up the rays.
The inevitable result of this gluttony will be that some of us are bound to get a sunburn!
Prevent Burns: Natural Homemade Sunscreen
Vacation sunburns are inevitable when we travel to more tropical locales. Our skin is intended to “warm up” to sun exposure, starting gradually in the spring. It is jarring to take pale skin – whose melanin has gone into hibernation – out into the hot intense sun closer to the equator.
Sunscreen may be an option for some, but I have not been comfortable with most brands (except those with zinc oxide as the active ingredient) for some time.
Click here for DIY Natural’s Natural Homemade Sunscreen recipe, made with zinc oxide.
Natural Sunburn Relief
What can be done when we’ve overdone our time in the sun? There are a few plants that I truly love for sunburn remedies:
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
The blood red oil made from the flowers of this plant are my favorite for sunburn remedy. Ironically, it is accused of causing sun sensitivity. This came about because of a study that noted that cows grazing on the vegetation were more prone to sunburn. From a topical standpoint, it isn’t a good idea to lather up with any oil to go outside in the sun. Use St. John’s wort after a day at the beach and you will avoid blistering and peeling while also soothing the pain in your skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is another one that I never travel to the beach without. A splash of ACV over the burnt areas can stop the burn from going any deeper into your tissues. Be warned that you will smell like a salad for the evening though!
Aloe (Aloe barbadensis)
The best aloe is the juice taken directly from a freshly split leaf. Often the stuff you get from the drugstore in a bottle has other additives. If you must get it this way, try to buy some with the least adulteration.
(Matt and Betsy like this organic, pure aloe vera gel juice.)
Plantain (Plantago major or lanceolata)
This shy little weed is great for sunburn along with about a million other uses. Make a tea and chill it for best results. Soak a cloth in your tea and drape it over the burnt area. Plantain is known as a drawing agent and it will effectively draw the heat out of your sunburn.
(Find plantain in your yard, or buy dried plantain leaf here.)
More Natural Ways to Prevent Sunburn
If you spend time in the sun, prevention is key!
Wear sleeves or big hats. Start your day when the sun comes up and allow your skin to slowly increase its melanin as it slowly heats rather than entering the sun right at mid-day. Find a safe, natural sunscreen.
If you get burnt, be sure to have some of these easy remedies in your travel bag, you’ll be glad you do!
What do you use for sunburn relief? Do you have other ways to prevent sunburn?