Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beach Time! - What You Need for the Beach and the Sun

Our family  went down to Corpus Christi yesterday to see our oldest son run in the regional final of Track and Field. We decided to leave early so that we could spend some time on the beach before the meet started. I decided to make body spray real quick to be prepared for minor things that might happen. I wanted a spray that would cover everything from a sunburn to an insect bite.

I choose Lavender, Peppermint, Geranium and Tea tree.  A blend of lavender and peppermint, or lavender and tea tree, would have done fine also. Lavender calms the skin, and it is also beneficial for healing burns and cleansing wounds and cuts. Peppermint is cooling, soothes pain, anti-infectious and supports digestion.
Tea tree was added for its antiseptic properties as well as for potential insect bites. Geranium has inflammatory properties, is hemostatic (stops bleeding) and revitalizes skin tissues. It is also an insect repellent.

Super Duper Beach Spray
Lavender  4 drops
Peppermint  3 drops
Tea tree  3 drops
Geranium 2 drops
2 oz. distilled water
1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel

I mix the essential oils with the aloe vera before I add it to the water in the spray bottle.  Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory, and will provide some soothing to a skin after sin exposure.

If the skin is very sore after a day in the sun you might want to pour a cooling bath and add some essential oils as well. Suitable carriers are honey, milk, aloe vera, honey and cream. Mix the essential oils with the carrier, and add to the bath water once its filled. The adult dose is 8-10 drops of essential oils to a full bath. I add half the amount to my 9 and 10 year old, dilute it even more for smaller children. 

Super Duper After Sun Healing Spray
Distilled water 1/2 cup
Witch hazel 1/4 cup
Aloe vera 1/4 cup
Lavender  8 drops
R. Chamomile 2 drops
Geranium  1 drop
Honey 1 tsp.
Mix water, witch hazel and aloe vera. Combine honey and essential oils and mix well. Add the essential oil mixture to the water. Make sure you use at least an 8 oz. spray bottle. Use several times during the day.

Other useful things to have at home in case the skin gets sunburned.
Extra virgin olive oil - has traditionally been used to treat and heal burns for centuries. The cold pressed oil is high in vitamins and minerals.

Calendula - is a staple in our house. I make infused oils and I always keep an bottle in the fridge. It can be used as a stand alone, or added to other blends, or essential oils can be added for extra healing. It is powerful on its own. I also use it as an ingredient when I make ointments

Wheat germ oil - Is high in antioxidants and is useful for burns and damaged skin.

Honey - Is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and can be used as a healing agent for dressings. Essential oils increase its effect, lavender and chamomile are especially useful.

Peppermint tea - Is cooling and a good choice when it is hot and someone needs to cooled down.

Spray bottles - Make a simple spray of Lavender  and use as a cooling and soothing spray.

We joke in our family and say that we eat our sunscreen. We hydrate, eat extra antioxidants, especially beta carotene, omega essential fatty acids (not cod liver), and plenty or raw fruit and vegetables to protect our skin as well. 

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