Sunburns. Bug Bites and Bees. Poison Ivy.
Summer brings a host of problems for skin. But you don’t need dozens of herbs, ointments and oils to fix them. You probably have everything already!
Here’s all you’ll need this summer
- Vitamin E – This thick liquid vitamin absorbs quick & easy into skin. It’s a powerful antioxidant, regulates other skin friendly vitamins & speeds healing. *use high grade vitamin E with no fillers. Test before using on burns as it is strong & may cause rashes on sensitive kiddos (my 5 mo old had no problems)
- Aloe plant – Don’t buy liquid aloe! Aloe plants are super easy to keep alive and they clean your air.
- Coconut Oil – Use food-grade extra virgin oil. It is full of lauric acid which is both antiviral and antifungal. And it’s pretty much completely fat which gives moisture to your skin and keeps natural moisture from leaving. Commercial moisturizers have water in them that quickly evaporate.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – amazing astringent, detoxifyer (pulls impurities from skin), and anti-inflammatory. Get one that comes with the mother.
- Baking soda – you know, the stuff never actually bake with.
- Frankincense Essential Oil – Possibly the most under-rated oil for skin. As always, use only 100% therapeutic grade oil
- Lavender Essential Oil – The classic skin do-it-all oil.
My baby got a sunburn at the derby… WORST MOTHER EVER. We were so careful. She had on a hat. I had on a huge hat that completely covered both of us. I stuck to the shade all day. But I hadn’t had alcohol in 18 months and it was a horse race! I figured I’d pump and dump one feeding and we’d give her some frozen milk. Eating from a bottle her face was up towards the sun… Hadn’t thought of that. And my 5 month old had a serious *blistered* sun burn across her nose and cheeks. I cried. A lot. But after several hours of obsessive researching (and the fact that one of my husband’s best friends is a plastic surgeon resident) I had a plan. She healed in just a few days. Here she is on day 2.
Immediately after sun exposure
- Pat/spray skin with apple cider vinegar (ACV) every 4-6 hours to help stop the burning process and reduce pain and inflammation.
If the skin is pink and warm
- Continue ACV spray for up to 24 hours
- For babies/toddlers – Mix 1-2 tbsp coconut oil with 1-2 drops Lavender Oil + 1 drop Frankincense Oil Big kids /adults – Mix tsp coconut oil with 1 drop Lavender and 1 drop Frankincense
- Apply after showers, morning and night until healed
If the skin is very red or has small blisters
- Continue ACV spray
- Make coconut and essential oil mix as above. Add pea sized drop of Vitamin E
- If the skin has large fluid filled blisters or there are any blisters on children under 1 year seek medical attention. This can indicate 2nd degree burns and can lead to dehydration. In babies this can be very serious. Breastfeed more often / offer more water for any child after sun exposure.
Take the itch out and heal it up.
- Leave thick baking soda paste on the bite until it dries to pull of the toxins and soothe the itch
- Mix 1 tbsp coconut oil with 1 drop lavender, apply as needed (big kids and adults can apply lavender neat)
If you see a red ring around a bite seek medical attention as this could indicate a tick-borne illness. B
Bees, wasps and hornets are all out in force.
- Use a credit card or other thin, hard edge to gently push the stinger out the way it came in.
- Mix baking soda and water to make a thick paste. It pulls out and dries up the remaining venom.
- Use coconut oil and lavender oil (ratio per above) several times daily
Leaves of three, let it be. That’s so helpful unless you’re me and think “all these plants look like they have 3 leaves…” Once you or you kid (or husband) has found those leaves of three here’s what you do.
Wash it off
- The ‘poison’ part of poison ivy is an oil produced by the leaves. Use small amount of coconut oil to break up the oil then rinse with soap and water – using just soap and water can drive oil into skin or just push it around.
Dry it up
- Mix a thick baking soda paste and spread it over the rash to dry up the rash an draw out the toxins.
Reduce the burn and kill the itch
- ACV is wonderful at reducing the information and soothing the skin.
- Witch hazel will help pull out toxins and sooth the area
- Apply aloe (straight from the plant) every few hours to help kill the itch and heal the skin.