Natural After-Sun Care

Even when using sun protection, a day in the bright sunlight can often leave the skin feeling tight, dry or burnt. While many after-sun products are available, many contain petroleum-derived chemicals, alcohols, preservatives and artificial fragrances. Choosing an organic after-sun moisturiser containing plant-derived ingredients, or using home remedies reduces the level of chemicals exposed to … Read more

natural after sun care

Even when using sun protection, a day in the bright sunlight can often leave the skin feeling tight, dry or burnt. While many after-sun products are available, many contain petroleum-derived chemicals, alcohols, preservatives and artificial fragrances. Choosing an organic after-sun moisturiser containing plant-derived ingredients, or using home remedies reduces the level of chemicals exposed to your sun damaged skin, allowing it to heal naturally.

What to avoid:

Synthetic after-sun products contain a variety of chemicals which can cause skin problems as well as posing an environmental risk when washed down the drain. Key ingredients to avoid are:

  • Parabens- artificial preservatives (usually methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butyl) which can have an effect on the body’s hormone levels, aggravating conditions such as eczema.

  • Petroleum-derived ingredients- by-products of the heavily polluting fossil fuel industry. The extraction and production of these ingredients can cause air and water pollution, as well as triggering inflammation in sensitive skin.

  • Synthetic fragrances- defined as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and air and water pollutants. Can be responsible for triggering allergic reactions such as eczema and asthma.

Natural home remedies

By choosing a natural home remedy for sunburnt skin, you can avoid the use of harsh chemicals whilst also minimizing the need for the packaging and transport of manufactured products. Home treatments for dry or sunburnt skin include:

  • Aloe vera- a naturally healing plant which can be used on a variety of skin ailments. Break off a leaf from the plant itself and squeeze the gel onto the affected area. Alternatively, 100% aloe vera gel is available from most natural health shops.

  • Oatmeal- Taking a cool bath containing raw oatmeal can sooth the burning sensation of sun damaged skin, whilst the oatmeal itself uses its moisturising properties to nourish the skin all over.

  • Cold compress- applying cold pressure to the affected area reduces sweating and draws heat away from the skin. To make an extra nourishing compress, brew a pot of green tea, allow to cool and soak a cloth in it to apply to the skin. Antioxidants in the tea work to fight the damage caused by UV exposure as well as calming the inflammation.

What to look for

When shopping for a new after-sun products, certain natural ingredients are worth looking for due to their nourishing, healing properties:

  • Shea butter- one of nature’s most effective moisturisers. Shea butter is rich and soothing. By applying it to the affected area, intense moisture can be absorbed into the skin, speeding up the healing process. Shea butter contains vitamin A which helps maintain the skin’s elasticity and fatty acids which reduce inflammation.

  • Aloe vera- as mentioned above, this natural healing plant can be used on a variety of skin ailments and works to cool and moisturise damaged skin.

  • Vitamin E- an antioxidant which fights the damage of free radicals which can potentially lead to cancerous growths.

  • Vitamin C- helps to boost the skin’s collagen levels, improving elasticity and reducing the signs of premature ageing which can be brought on by sun exposure.

Image sourced: Biology Big Brother

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