Beating the Burn: ACV Life Hack + After Sun Soothing Spray
'Tis the season to be careful when outdoors.
Summer is definitely my soul-season. So much good happens in the summer. In my opinion, none of the other seasons compare with the freedom and independence of the warm weather months, full of in-season produce and long days of ample sunlight.
But obviously, too much time in the sun requires a little bit of skin-help. Maybe a lot of it.
Like when you fall asleep on the beach or at the pool and fail to re-apply, and are left bright red and tender to the touch. There's an all-natural solution for that!
Apple Cider Vinegar Skin-Tonic
I have tried this life hack several times on myself and others with fairer skin than mine, and am very impressed with its efficacy. It totally curbs the pain and redness. I don't know why it works - but it does!
(If your back is burned, this will be easiest if you've got a compassionate spouse or roommate who's willing to help you out.)
- Lay on a large towel.
- Fill a bowl with a 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar and about 1/4 cup of water.
- Submerge 4-5 paper towels in the bowl. Wring each one out lightly, and place gently on the affected areas. It will feel shockingly COLD, so go slow.
- Let it soak into the skin for 10 minutes, and put back into the ACV solution and repeat to treat the other red areas.
- You will smell sour for a little while- but it will be worth it! It should evaporate and leave very little smell on your skin (you can shower afterward too, but wait half an hour.) And avoid getting it on the carpet or sheets, unless you want them to smell like pickles.
This is miraculous for reducing pain, swelling, and redness! I've tried it on multiple skin types already with excellent, pain-free results the next day.
Tips for Post-Sun Care
A few things to remember when treating your super sensitive skin after a super sunny day:
- Don't use greasy oils (carrier oils) or greasy lotions on your skin before the burning has been stopped, as this will trap the heat. (Your skin has latent heat in it from the sun that continues to irritate your skin for the first day, so the first thing to do is stop the burn by using the ACV treatment or a lukewarm-cool shower, or both.) The DIY spray below is mostly water and aloe as a base, so your skin will be able to cool and breathe. The peppermint oil adds an AWESOME cooling effect!
- Don't shock your skin. Both hot water and super cold water cause more trauma to traumatized skin. Shower with lukewarm-coolish water, and DON'T exfoliate. Only use a very, very soft cloth, sponge or just your hands. And don't stress it by drying it out with harsh soaps.
- Be sure to moisturize with some sort of lotion or oil once the heat has been released and as it heals. I've found that most plain aloe vera gel will tend to the burn somewhat - but though it's known for being "moisturizing," it absorbs very quickly, leaving the upper layer of my skin taut and dry. This actually encourages peeling... #counterproductive. This spray has the perfect balance of aloe vera gel with a small amount of deeply-moisturizing and replenishing coconut oil and wonderful essential oils to soothe, smooth, and restore.
After-Sun Soothing Spray
(Note: I use this after a lukewarm-cool shower and ACV treatment, and then several times a day for the next few days to nourish my skin back to health. And - like ALL OILY THINGS, it's a multi-tasker with a great return on your investment... I use it as a facial moisturizer, and as an after-shave treatment for my legs, too!)
Up until last month, Young Living had been out of their LavaDerm cooling mist (a favorite for post-sun exposure) for a long time. So, I made this! LavaDerm is now back in stock, so if DIYing isn't your thing, this is apparently an amazing product worth trying. But whatever you do, ditch those nasty green colored "aloe" gels with a bunch of other chemical ingredients added. Why add insult to your injured skin?
If you have Young Living's Starter Kit, you've already got the oils for the basic version of this spray! There are some other boosters listed below that are worth adding, though, if you have them.
- Pure aloe vera gel - 1/4 c
- Fractionated coconut oil (liquid) - 1 Tbsp
- Lavender essential oil - 10 drops (YL's is the strongest, most concentrated I've ever experienced!)
- Peppermint essential oil - 10 drops
- Distilled water
- 2 Vitamin E capsules, pierced/squeezed
- Tea Tree essential oil - 10 drops
- Helichrysum essential oil - 5 drops (feel free to Google it to find out why! It's an ingredient in the original LavaDerm and my favorite first aid essential oil.)
I find 8 oz. glass trigger-spray bottles for cheap here. Or, you can use a 4 oz. or 2 oz. glass spritz bottle and adjust the recipe accordingly.
To make: Mix the oils in the spray bottle with the coconut oil first (add Vitamin E if using). Then add the aloe vera gel and shake. Lastly, fill with distilled water. Shake well before using.
Enjoy that summer sun and love your skin well!