With warmer weather, we normally gravitate to spending more time outdoors. Beaches, parks and trails are the places our body and spirit long to be, so it is natural that our skin will be exposed to the sun. Even though Florida is known as the “Sunshine State,” Arizona actually has, on average, more sunny days. We are constantly aware of the tremendous sun exposure we receive here, even during the winter months. For that reason, combined with our high elevation, we are always mindful of taking proper care for our skin.
Regardless of where you live, you should consider combating sun damage if you spend any amount of time outdoors (and hopefully you do!).
Essential oils as UV protectors?
People are always debating about the use of essential oils and carriers as UV protectors. Unfortunately, they cannot help us screen out the harmful rays of the sun. They can, however, help us to replenish and nourish our skin before and after our fun in the sun.
We like to make a Whipped Shea Butter and apply this before we go hiking here in Sedona. The nutty aroma just feels and smells nourishing and supportive, and creates a wonderful moisture barrier on the Red Rock trails. Shea Butter contains a significant percentage of Vitamin E which is known to help decrease the free radical damage from sun exposure. So even before starting out, we feel that we have already done something amazing for our skin.
Hydrosol skin care after sun exposure
After spending the day outdoors, there are some wonderful hydrosols that are not only cooling to the skin, but also therapeutically beneficial. Most people know and love Lavender, but did you know that Cucumber hydrosol contains Vitamin C which can help reduce swelling and puffiness? Another wonderfully healing hydrosol is Comfrey. Comfrey helps the skin regenerate, bringing new cells to the surface to repair from UV damage.
Essential oils with skin nourishing properties
Of course, there is nothing more comforting than having a blend ready to soothe your skin after a day in the sun. Some fabulous essential oils to blend with are:
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Carrot seed (Daucus carota)
- German chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
- Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
- Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
- Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinin)
- Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
- Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)