Summer is a time to spend enjoying the great outdoors. Whether you hike, camp, swim, cycle or just sunbathe, this is when you finally break out of your living room and feel the sun on your face. But not everything about the summer months is fun, especially when it comes to your skin.
With summer just around the corner, here are the two most common complaints about the season we survive the winter for and some natural solutions to keep them from stomping on your good time:
Complaint One: Bugs Bugging You Solution: Summer is when all your least favorite little critters come out to ruin your outdoor time. They're attracted to your scent, the carbon dioxide you exhale and even certain colors, making you an enticing target. Bees, mosquitoes, flies and ticks can really put a damper on a day outside, leave you itching for days and can even make you sick. But traditional bug repellant can make you smell like chemicals. If you're looking for something to protect you from bites you also won't mind wearing for three months or so, there are some key ingredients to look for:
Essential oils -- Lemongrass is the big one to check for because it contains citronella, probably the most recognizable bug repellant. Peppermint, lavender and rosemary are also used.
Aloe vera -- Any product that contains aloe extract will help soothe skin and prevent irritation.
Camphor and menthol -- These two ingredients are analgesics, which are natural pain relievers. They're also found in balms and creams to relieve the discomfort of a bug bite.
Vitamin E -- A vitamin E oil not only soothes the skin and protects it but also acts as an emollient and is a common inactive ingredient. Soybean oil is also used for this purpose.
To stick with a natural formula, look for DEET-free products, which is a chemical insect repellant. Apply products carefully, following the manufacturer's instructions, reapplying if you'll be outside for an extended period of time.
Complaint Two: Sun Overload Solution: Everyone loves being out in the sun, especially if you're from an area with a long, tough winter (like us, at eVitamins). But safety always has to come first when you're basking in the rays. As Dr. Mehmet Oz explained on the April 8 episode of "Dr.Oz," exposing your skin to ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays allows them to penetrate deep into the skin's structure and trigger the production of melanin, which gives you a golden tan. But when you overdue it and end up looking like a crustacean, you're actually destroying important building blocks of the tissue, which can lead to visible signs of aging, like wrinkles. When shopping for sunscreen or sunblock, here are some tips from the American Melanoma Foundation:
Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher that protects against both UVB and UVA rays.
Key ingredients to look for are PABA and PABA esters like glycerol PABA, padimate A and padimate O for UVB rays as well as oxybensone, sulisobenzone and avobenzone for UVA rays.
Look for one free of parabens (preservatives) that is hypo-allergenic to prevent irritation.
Sunscreens contain ingredients that filter ultraviolet radiation to reduce penetration, while sunblocks contain ingredients that literally block out the rays, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Dr. Oz recommended using a shot glass to measure your sunscreen. Fill it up and you will have enough to cover your entire body.
Follow instructions for reapplication, especially if you are sweating or swimming.
Use sunscreen all year long to stay protected.
Ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E and essential oils soothe and moisturize skin, also protecting sensitive skin from dryness and irritation, and vegetarian formulas are also available. Sunglasses, beach umbrellas and hats add extra protection. Or, to get a glow without the rays, you can also try sunless tanning products, either at home or at a salon. Still get burned? Soothe the pain and help heal the burn with aloe vera gel.
An extra tip from Dr. Oz: Add lemongrass oil to your sunscreen for a two-in-one summer skin solution. Now you know how to protect your skin as summer approaches to make the most of the outdoors. So, why are you still inside?
Products you may like:
Now Foods 100% Pure Essential Oil Lemongrass Why you may like this product? As recommended on Dr. Oz, this
oil can be added to sunscreen,
sunblock or lotion to help
protect you from biting
insects. This oil has a fresh
lemon scent, so you won't
smell like bug spray.
Botanical Solutions Tick Guard Why you may like this product? Bugs like ticks can carry
dangerous illnesses like, like
Lyme Disease. Keep yourself
protected with the all
natural, non-toxic spray that
is formulated with essential
oils like peppermint and
Alba Botanica Aloe Vanilla Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Why you may like this product? This mineral sunscreen
contains aloe vera, chamomile
and green tea to protect and
soothe skin. This product
works on all skin types,
protecting you from both UVA
and UVB rays that can damage
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