Has anyone else been counting down the days until summer? I know I certainly was through our cold and stormy winter (in South Australia). There are so many aspects of summer that I absolutely adore including the balmy warm nights, beach days, lunch time walks and the fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.
I had a beautiful taste of Summer last weekend as I enjoyed a weekend away at a house near the beach. Together with a group of good friends, I spend the days four wheel driving, exploring the stunning South East coastline and sun baking. And sun baking I certainly did… without really meaning to. It wasn’t a hot day, maybe low 20’s (the forecast was 18 degrees Celsius), but on Saturday I was lying out in the mid day sun on the beach chatting away and losing track of time. It wasn’t until that evening that my back started turning quite a bright shade of pink that was very painful to touch. Luckily I packed my trusty essential oils and was straight onto applying the following ‘too much sun’ solution. That helped to soothe the burn and so far (and hopefully I’m not jinxing it), it hasn’t blistered or started flaking.
While I intend to use this experience as a lesson to be a lot more sun smart through summer, I am grateful to have these DIY’s handy. No only are they so easy to whip up at home (or from wherever you are with a few simple ingredients) they will also save you money money compared with conventional sun care products. Lets do a little cost and ingredient comparison
Conventional bought After sun Aloe Vera spray 250ml, cost $9.00 ($3.61 per 100ml) and full of nasty toxins.. I don’t know about you but I don’t want that on my skin.
DIY After sun Aloe Vera spray (also great for burns). Ingredient cost $2.88 with no hidden toxins
Just what is needed for those days when you spend just a bit too long in the sun and end up a bit pinker (or red) then the bronze glow you were hoping for. This spray will help to get your skin back to looking healthy. The essential oils in this recipe have been chosen for their antiseptic, anti anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, lavender and tea tree are known to speed up skin recovery and reduce pain, while peppermint has cooling properties that reduce heat on the skin.
- 100ml glass bottle with spray top
- 2 tbsp. Aloe Vera juice (approx. 52 cents)
- 2 tbsp. Fractionated coconut oil (approx. $1.10)
- 6 drops Lavender essential oil (66 cents)
- 6 drops Peppermint essential oil (60 cents)
- Optional – can also add 6 drops of tea tree oil
I have worked the cost of the Aloe Vera and coconut oil out based on what I have bought from Coles, you can buy these cheaper online)
Simply combine the ingredients in the glass spray bottle and shake well before each use. Apply as needed to the affected skin. For an added cooling effect, store the bottle in the fridge or place in the freezer for 20mins before applying.
Quick ‘too much sun’ solution
There may be times when you don’t have your after sun spray with you, in which case, its handy to know that simply mixing coconut oil (solid or liquid is fine) with a few drops of lavender and/peppermint oil is better then nothing. I don’t measure when I make this but a good ratio would be 1 tbsp. coconut oil to 6 – 15 drops of essential oil for anyone over 15 years or 4 – 8 drops of essential oil (for 1tbsp coconut oil) for children between 6 and 15 years.
And finally because summer isn’t all about recovering from sunburn, here is a refreshing drink to enjoy while you are chilling out.
Refreshing summer lemonade, serves 8
Not only does this summer drink taste great, but it will also help to flush out some toxins if you end up overdoing the festive season celebrations. It contains lemon juice and lemon essential oil, which are both packed with antioxidants, supports the immune system and helps to flush toxins out of our liver and lymphatic system (good for detoxification) and can help to boost energy and focus. This recipe is sweetened with raw honey which is preferred over commercial brands of honey which may be highly processed. You can find raw honey at most farmers markets and/or health food shops. Feel free to leave out the peppermint essential oil if you don’t like peppermint but its a great addition especially if you suffer with digestive problems.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup raw honey dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water (reduce if you don’t want it so sweet)
- 8 cups of water (can be still or sparkling)
- 3 drops lemon essential oil*
- 3 drops peppermint essential oil* (optional)
- Slices of lemon, cucumber and/or mint leaves to garnish
- A large glass or stainless steel water jug or drink bottle (never use plastic with citrus oils as they can draw the petrochemicals out of the plastics and we don’t want to be drinking petrochemicals)
Add the essential oils to the honey mix and mix well (it helps the oils disperse through the water), mix all the ingredients together in a large jug and give it a stir. If using still water and combining the ingredients in a bottle you can shake it but I wouldn’t recommend this with sparkling water unless you want to clean up a sticky mess. Garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves and enjoy.
*A note on the essential oils, if you are using them for internal use, please be sure to use a high quality brand that is safe for internal use. Do your research and ensure the oils are pure therapeutic grade and claim that they are safe for ingestion.
For more information on the brand of essential oils that I use and recommend, click here.