Among the organs of the body, the skin is among the first to bear the brunt of the harsh summer sun and irritants, which lead to problems like suntan, sunburn, skin-sensitivity, rashes, eruptions, etc. The harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun also have several long-term effects, like early formation of lines and wrinkles on the skin. Undue sun-exposure can also lead to dark spots or patches.
So, what is the answer? At the moment, physical protection is the answer. This can be done by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which provides protection from both UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun. Sun-exposure can also cause loss of moisture from the skin. However, most sunscreens have built-in moisturisers. So, it is not necessary to apply both moisturiser and sunscreen, unless the skin is very dry.
For oily skin, look for an “oil-free” product or apply a sunscreen lotion, rather than a sunscreen cream.
Add a drop of water to it, to provide a lighter coverage. It is essential to apply sunscreen, not only on the face, but also on all exposed areas. The back of the neck and arms are extremely vulnerable to sun damage too. The sunscreen should be applied about 20 minutes before sun-exposure. If you happen to be in the sun for more than an hour, re-apply the sunscreen. A sunscreen with SPF 20 is adequate for
most skins, but if the skin is more sensitive and tends to burn easily, one should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF.
Remember to apply sunscreen while swimming, holidaying by the sea or in the hills. Reflective surfaces, like water and snow
actually increase the effects of UV rays.
- Sandalwood paste can be applied on the eruptions. Or mix sandalwood with a little rosewater and apply on the entire area.
- Rosewater is a natural coolant. Wash off with plain water after 20 to 30 minutes.
- Sandalwood essential oil can also be used. Add 2 to 3 drops sandalwood essential oil to 50 ml rosewater and apply on the area.
- Add 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil to two tablespoons of water or rosewater. Apply this on rashes and eruptions.
- For itchy skin, add one tablespoon vinegar to a mug of water and pour it on the affected body area. It helps to relieve skin
- Simmer a handful of neem leaves on a very low fire in 4 cups of water for one hour. Leave it overnight. Next morning, strain thewater and make a paste of the leaves. Apply it on inflamed and areas with rashes. The water can be used for rinsing the area.Neem contains organic sulphur compounds, with versatile healing actions that are of particular benefit to the skin.
- Add a little turmeric paste to milk and apply on rashes.
- Clays like fuller’s earth (multani mitti) have a cooling and soothing effect. Mix one tablespoon Fuller’s Earth with rosewater.
Apply the paste on affected areas and wash it off after 15 to 20 minutes. Bicarbonate of soda relieves itching. Add it to multani mitti and rosewater to make a pack. Apply on itchy areas, rashes and eruptions. Wash it off after 10 minutes.