As we engage in our inexorable march through summer we tend to spend more and more time in the sun. As the season wears on most people lament that they haven’t taken full advantage yet of the hot, sunny days and try to cram as much outdoor time as possible into their schedule, knowing full well that the season is waning and fall lies just around the corner.
Of course the sun is necessary for all life but when days get longer and temps soar into the high 80’s and 90’s unseen solar products are attacking your skin in the form of harmful UV rays. Over time these rays can cause dark spots, blotchiness and wrinkles that can add years to your looks. It’s a certainty now that 80% of the cause of damaged looking skin is caused by UV rays. There are products on the market today, however, that can reverse or remedy the “lizard effect.” Advances in understanding the effects of natural products on skin damage have skyrocketed in the last decade or so, with essential oils being used more and more as a safe, effective alternative to chemical based topical solutions.
What essential oils are the most effective on sun damaged skin? I’m glad you asked. Helichrysum, a rather expensive oil, contains an anti-inflammatory substance called arzanol, which plays a part in healing wounds, relieves skin rashes and increases collagen production. Frankincense reduces the appearance of scars, tightens the skin and evens out skin tone, important in the fight against sun damage. Lavender, considered the Babe Ruth of essential oils because of its power, has wound healing properties and helps repair damaged skin tissue. Lemon and lemon blossom give your skin a fresh, healthy glow and are seminal in the war against age spots. These are just a few of the myriad number of oils and how they can help damaged skin.
There are a host of essential oil based skin care products on the market now. But be careful. Make sure what you are buying contains 100% therapeutic grade oils. If they are not therapeutic grade they may contain additives that can compromise the effectiveness of the product. Making sure the product contains high quality oils will limit any adverse response and is more likely to generate a more desired result. If you are purchasing a cream based solution be very careful about what’s contained in the cream. Most desirable would be a jojoba and beeswax base. Jojoba is a perfect “carrier” for essential oils. This ensures the oil will mix properly. Creams that contain vitamin E and aloe vera are also desirable.
So, enjoy the summer, use plenty of sunscreen, stay in the shade as much as possible and moisturize and rehydrate your skin using therapeutic grade essential oil based products.