"Slip, Slop, Slap," a popular Australian ad campaign, aims to educate the public about skin cancer and prevention—slip on a shirt; slop on some sunscreen; and slap on a cap. It serves as a convenient reminder for gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere: Always protect your skin and hair from the sun.
If you do get a sunburn, you can turn to several simple home remedies to soothe the discomfort. To help your skin heal faster, keep your body well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and water-based iced herbal teas. Also remember that overexposure to the sun will dry out your skin. After treating your burn with the recipes below, hydrate your skin with a generous application of rich cream or natural oil such as sunflower, light sesame or almond oil.
Choose one of the following sunburn soothers:
• Plain yogurt or sour cream
• Tomato juice
• Witch hazel
• Aloe vera gel
• Chamomile tea
• Vinegar (1 tablespoon diluted in 1 cup water)
1. Use a clean cotton cloth or spray bottle to apply any one of the above ingredients directly to your skin; or add one of these soothers to a tepid bath.
2. If you use the yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk, be sure to rinse your skin after 20 minutes, as these milk-based soothers can spoil.
Janice Cox is the author of Natural Beauty from the Garden (Henry Holt and Company, 1999).
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Body & Soul: Garden Beauty Recipes.