After-sun skin soother

The hotter months are in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest. And with Fourth of July tomorrow, I figured I would save you some discomfort when you come back from your long weekend and are tending to your very red and sensitive skin! If you’re anything like me, you burn so very easily. I have red hair and very fair skin (goes without saying), so even with SPF 40 on, I sometimes still burn.

A cinemagraph made with my Nokia Lumia of the Grand Teton Mountains.

These are the Grand Teton Mountains, which are just south of Yellowstone. And this is a cinemagraph made with my Nokia Lumia!

This was very apparent when I went to Yellowstone National Park last week. It wasn’t even that sunny out for most of the day. But I guess with the higher altitude and overcast skies, my unprotected skin soaked up too many rays. On the way back to the cabin on Day 1 of our trip, I noticed my cheeks were just a little bit more pink than usual. I thought, “Oh, it’s not so bad!” Boy, was I wrong!

A few hours later, it all settled in and I was as red as a lobster. Luckily, I had on a long sleeve jacket all day, so it was just my face and upper chest that got most of the damage.

All I could purchase at the [severely overpriced] grocery store was aloe vera gel and witch hazel. It worked, but still my face was red and burning. So I decided to create something terrific, an after-sun skin soother! It combines everything that’s awesome for your skin and some other strange ingredients to make the perfect mask and/or [incredibly gentle] scrub. The latter use I was concerned about because sunburned skin peels, and that flakey skin is what is protecting the new skin underneath. But, trust me, this stuff is amazing!

Another photograph from Yellowstone taken by yours truly! This is Sunset Lake.

Another photograph from Yellowstone taken by yours truly! This is Sunset Lake.

The recipe below has been somewhat altered from what I originally made, and I haven’t actually made the one below, so you’ll have to tell me how it turns out! I added coconut oil and vitamin E oil because both are good for your skin and I felt that the one I made before made my face a tiny bit tight about an hour after getting out of the shower. It needed some more moisturizers.

Without further adieu…

This makes roughly enough mask/scrub to last until your sunburn goes away, depending on the size of the area of the sunburn. Mine was my face and upper chest, and I used it every night.

This is not the actual scrub, as I forgot to take pictures of it. But it looks exactly like this! source: realfoodswitch.com

This is not the actual scrub/mask, as I forgot to take pictures of it. But it looks exactly like this! source: realfoodswitch.com

Ingredients: 

  • 2 inches of cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 4 baby carrots, or one whole carrot, chopped into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup of witch hazel (can be found at most grocery stores near the sunscreen, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup of aloe
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vitamin E oil
  • 1 tbsp spirulina powder
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of cashews or peanuts (whichever you’re not allergic to, or I would prefer cashews)

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender except the aloe. You’ll need to blend for probably a minute or longer to get the bigger chunks of things very fine. After everything is a smooth consistency (but kind of gritty to the touch [cashews]), mix in the aloe with a spoon. Mixture should be refrigerated for about an hour prior to application, or use witch hazel and aloe that has been in the fridge for a while. Refrigerate mixture between uses as well to make it last longer.

Directions for use:

I highly recommend doing this in the shower, as the mixture is green and will get EVERYWHERE otherwise.

If using as a mask, run a luke-warm bath (or just stand in the bathtub/shower depending on where  your sunburn is on your body). If it’s on your lower body, don’t run a bath or put any water in the tub. Apply a nice and thick layer of the mask with your fingers or some thin cucumber slices if you’re feeling fancy. Let set for about 10 minutes. It will not dry up like an ordinary mask, but that’s the point. If it did, then you would have to wipe it off vigorously, which would hurt your sunburned skin.  Rinse with luke-warm or even cool water. Pat dry [VERY IMPORTANT, you do not want to wipe your skin when you have a sunburn.]

If using as a scrub, use in the shower like any face wash. Apply it with your fingers, GENTLY rubbing into your affected skin. I would rub it in for a good minute. Rinse with cool or luke-warm water. Pat dry [see above for statement about the importance of this step!]

Please let me know how this works for you! But remember, only use this if you have to. Wear natural sunscreen when going outdoors to prevent damage from the sun. I would recommend this one! I customized mine to 40 SPF because I’m a ginger that needs some extra oomph in her sunscreen.

Happy Fourth of July!

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