Sunburns and Bug Bites: How to Soothe Summer Skin
Ahhhh, summer. The much anticipated time of year when you can soak up the sun and enjoy the heat while relaxing poolside, hitting the beach, enjoying a backyard bbq or canoeing across a pristine lake.
Like every season, though, summer has its downsides. Sunburns and bug bites can really put a damper on the festivities. Sometimes there can even be serious consequences.
Dark Side of the Sun
There is nothing quite like feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin and feeling your mood improve as you soak up some natural vitamin D. When you’re out there this summer enjoying the beautiful weather, be sure to take precautions.
Sunshine can be great for your health, but too much of it on unprotected skin can have critical consequences.
A sunburn is a common enough occurrence, but they can get pretty severe. A first-degree sunburn is easy enough to treat at home, but second and third-degree sunburns may necessitate a trip to the ER.
Not only that, but your skin doesn’t even have to get burned to suffer long-term damage from the sun. In an article on sun safety, HealthCommunities.com notes that “Sunburn is an inflammation of the skin caused by overexposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun—in particular UVB, or ultraviolet B, radiation. UVA, or ultraviolet A, penetrates more deeply than UVB but is less likely to cause an immediate burn. Rather, it causes wrinkling and leathering, damages connective tissue, and may be crucial in the development of melanoma, the most deadly of skin cancers.”
You can see why protecting your skin with sunscreens (or natural protection like coconut oil) is extremely important. Sunburns do happen, though; sometimes we forget to put our sunscreen on or don’t reapply often enough. So what can you do to get relief from your burns?
Some treatments include the use of cold water or ice, salves and lotions. Many people use the gel-like substance inside of aloe stalks to soothe a sunburn, with great results. As with anything you put on or in your body, you should check to see what’s inside any lotions or creams. After-sun products may contain harmful chemicals and fragrances.
As with anything you put on or in your body, you should check to see what’s inside any lotions or creams. After-sun products may contain harmful chemicals and fragrances.
A simple, natural way to get relief is with topical magnesium. EASE Magnesium is a pure magnesium solution that you spray onto your skin. It takes about 90 seconds to be absorbed and then it travels through your bloodstream to where it’s needed.
When applied to sunburned skin, EASE has an instant cooling effect, which is very soothing. Plus, because you can’t overdose on magnesium, you can keep reapplying it as often as you want. What we like most is that it isn’t sticky or greasy, unlike a lot of after-sun lotions and gels.
Topical magnesium won’t just help alleviate your initial pain symptoms, though, it can also help your skin to heal. As CureJoy.com notes, “Magnesium is necessary for the enzymes that regulate DNA replication and repair. Without it, the skin is subject to a host of harmful free radical damage and inflammation….skin cells grown without magnesium [a]re twice as likely to suffer attacks from free radicals [according to a study].”
Spraying EASE on your skin after a sunburn will help your skin cells to regenerate properly, preventing dryness and wrinkles and ensuring healthy skin growth.
In addition, vitamin D, which our bodies make when our skin is exposed to the sun, helps us to properly absorb and utilize magnesium.
Lori, of LaurelofLeaves.com, writes that: “Studies have even shown that vitamin D containing supplements like cod liver oil, while they are fantastic supplements to take on a regular basis, won’t help you nearly as much as sunlight will in the area of magnesium absorption.”
If you’ll be spending time in the sun and increasing your vitamin D stores, what a great time to also ensure your body is getting plenty of magnesium.
To discover the many benefits of magnesium, check out this recent blog post.
More natural sunburn soothers
Magnesium isn’t the only natural source that can help heal those nasty burns and protect the long-term health of your skin.
NutraIngredients tells us that silibinin, an active compound found in milk thistle, can protect you against skin cancer induced by UV rays by boosting your skin cells defenses against UV radiation.
A study published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology showed that when milk thistle was applied to a sunburn, the rate at which damaged cells died increased, eliminating mutated cells that could cause some skin cancers.
Not only can milk thistle heal the damaged cells, but it may actually prevent skin damage from UV rays when applied topically.
This is due to the presence of silymarin, a flavonoid, in milk thistle. In a review of a study published in the International Journal of Oncology, it was suggested that silymarin may supplement sunscreen protection, protecting the skin from UV damage.
Another study published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology tested this theory on mice. One group of mice had silymarin applied topically while another group didn’t. The mice were then exposed to UV rays. The researchers found that the silymarin inhibited UV-induced oxidative stress.
Just like magnesium, milk thistle can do more for your body than just protect you from harmful sun exposure. Check out our Top 10 Benefits of Milk Thistle Seeds to learn more about what these small seeds can do for you.
Interested in getting some milk thistle oil to apply topically? Check out our Perfectly Pressed Milk Thistle Oil, pressed from organically grown, non-GMO seeds and ensure you’re putting the best quality oil on your skin.
Bug Bite Smackdown
Mosquito bites are one of the worst things about summer. You want to enjoy the campfire with friends, the bbq with your family or your day out on the lake, but you’re constantly swatting at tiny, blood-thirsty pests buzzing by your ears.
You can try deterring them with repellents (we recommend a chemical-free variety…see below for a free recipe) but at some point in the season, you’re likely to be dealing with a bite or two.
We generally know what to do to prevent getting bitten, but what do you when you inevitably feel the itch?
EASE to the rescue, again! When you spray EASE Magnesium on a bug bite you will likely feel some stinging at first. This is because the magnesium is killing off any bacteria from the bite itself or from scratching it.
The stinging sensation, short-lived as it is, usually replaces the itch, which is the most frustrating part of a bug bite. The itch is basically your body having an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva, which is injected into your skin when you get bitten.
Shruti Goenka, at StyleCraze.com, notes that “Magnesium has the capacity to detoxify the epidermis and cleanse the skin. It is all the more effective in treating or relieving those areas of the skin that are prone to allergic reactions.”
After dealing with the itch, your body will then absorb the magnesium and benefit from the healing effects of this powerful mineral.
Other than magnesium, there are a few other natural remedies to relieve that itch. Unfortunately, some of the options, like garlic, vinegar and onion can leave your skin with a not-so-welcoming smell.
If you’re in a pinch desperate to get rid of an itch, other home remedies like aloe, raw honey, a dab of toothpaste and lemon can bring you some relief, according to the Global Healing Center.
The word on ticks
Aside from mosquitos, there’s another pesky bug threatening to ruin your summer. You’ve probably been hearing about these bugs in the news as a real threat to be aware of in long grass and forested areas.
We’re talking about ticks.
It’s important to protect yourself and your pet from these pesky blood-suckers that try to burrow into your skin. According to an article in The Guardian, the tick population is booming due to climate change and can spread serious diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
The summer months, in particular, are when these creepy-crawlies are on the move, so make sure you protect yourself.
In terms of natural remedies, one of the more popular options is to use a carrier oil mixed with geranium essential oil to ward off burrowing ticks.
Green Healthy Life recommends essential oils of rose geranium, coriander seeds, peppermint, cajeput, citronella and lavender mixed with a vegetable or seed oil to drop on your clothing and skin.
Our Perfectly Pressed Coriander Oil is a great seed oil to use in this mix. It works as both a carrier oil that is gentle on skin and also has volatile oils from the coriander seeds that will enhance the repelling effects. It’s pressed from organic, non-GMO seeds, which means you’re putting only the best ingredients onto your body.
If you don’t want to make your own protective products, though, there are some natural sprays you can buy on the market. It’s important to do your research before putting anything on your skin. Many of these products have harmful toxins and are not safe for children or pregnant and breastfeeding women.
While out in nature, CBC News recommends staying on hiking paths, covering your body with clothing, using a repellent and putting your clothing in the dryer for 60 minutes post hike.
Of course, it’s also important to always check your body after hikes or spending time in outdoor areas to make sure you’re not taking any friends home with you. Be sure to check between toes, in armpits and around the groin. Ticks love these dark and humid areas especially.
If you do find a tick has managed to attach itself to you, remove it immediately with tweezers or a tick removal tool. Be careful not to crush the body and be sure that the whole head is removed. Save the tick so that it can be tested for Lyme disease and other pathogens. Check online for where to take ticks in your area.
It’s also a good idea to visit your doctor, to make sure the tick didn’t do any damage. If you notice a bulls-eye type rash around the bite area, get to an ER as soon as possible — that’s a symptom of Lyme disease and early treatment is imperative.
Don’t forget, your pets can suffer from bug bites and ticks too. Do your research before putting anything on your pet, to make sure they won’t react negatively to any natural treatments. There are also oral medications available from veterinarians that don’t involve topical pesticides.
Before You Go
Protect yourself! Make sure you are taking precautionary measures to protect from sunburns and bug bites.
Bug bites and sunburns are bound to happen. When they do, be prepared to soothe your skin and heal from them fast. Always aim for natural relief and only put the best products, like our EASE Magnesium, Milk Thistle Oil and Coriander Oil on your skin.
We’ve even got a travel-size version of EASE Magnesium to add to your beach bag, your road trip kit or your camping gear.
Get a DIY recipe to keep the bugs off
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Get a DIY recipe to keep the bugs off