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4 Must Have Herbs for Summer Skin
By Meagan - July 14, 2012
There's a lot of talk these days about the sun, your skin, and protecting it. Your skin is your body's largest organ, and it's been said that it's the window to your health. What does that mean? It means that the state of your overall health is reflected by your skin. We all want to have fresh, young, healthy looking skin. What does your skin look like? Take it's condition as a clue to your health. Take care of your skin so it will stay beautiful and healthy. The Purpose Of Skin One of the many purposes of your skin is to protect you from the outside environment. Sunburn, dark tans, freckles, and age spots are all a result of overexposure to UV rays. UV rays are always present, even during the winter or on cloudy days, but they do the most damage during warmer months since people are outside more often, resulting in a longer exposure time. Repeated skin damage can result in skin cancers which are one of the most common forms of cancer in the US and can be deadly. Overexposure to the sun can also lead to damaged DNA, premature aging, and eye damage. Yikes! That Time Of The Year So now that summer's on it's way, everyone's ready to get out and about, go for walks, work in the garden, or play with the kids in the creek. Now is the time to learn how much sun is good for your skin as well as how much is too much. Learn how to naturally protect your skin from overexposure to UV rays and learn how to heal it in case it happens. Today I'm going to share 4 different herbs with you that you can use on your skin to help heal it, just in case you or a family member happens to get a little too much sun. Remember, your skin is the window to your health and it protects your body. Let's work to keep it nice and healthy this summer! 1. Aloe Aloe has skin soothing properties, and is one of the best herbs for your skin. Why this is important: Aloe is great to use when you've been out in the sun too long and have a slight burn. It's known to heal wounds by increasing collagen production by up to 90%, and collagen is a very important structural element of the skin... one that disappears as you get older. How to use it: Break a piece off of a fresh aloe plant, slice it open, and scrap out the insides. Rub it on your skin several times a day. You can also buy aloe gel or juice from many grocery stores, pharmacies, or markets and apply it the same way. 2. Comfrey Comfrey is a connective tissue herb, and it will help heal your skin if it's damaged in any way. It's known as a "cell proliferate" which means it stimulates cell regeneration (new cell growth). Why this is important: This is an excellent herb to use if you have a bad sunburn with blistering. A sunburn means that you've been exposed to such a high amount of UV rays that you've burned and killed your top layer of skin cells... sometimes even further down into the second layer of skin cells, if blistering occurs. How to use it: Make a strong tea (infusion) of comfrey and use a cotton ball to gently swab your sunburn several times a day. 3. Horsetail Horsetail is an herb that contains a high nutrient content (specifically silica), it builds body tissues, and is an excellent wound healer. Why is this important: Silica is a mineral that the body needs in order to produce collagen. Collagen, put simply, holds the body together. It give elasticity and suppleness to the skin and contributes flexibility and strength to the bones, hair, and nails. Besides being a wound healer, it's an excellent beauty herb! How to use it: You can take horsetail in capsules, you can powder it and mix it into your smoothies or food, or you can make teas and tinctures with it. No matter how you choose to take it, the point is to get it inside your body so it can help your skin be strong and beautiful! 4. Calendula Calendula is a beautiful flower. It has medicinal properties that not only are anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, but it's also known to heal damaged skin and thought to help the body produce collagen. Why this is important: If you get a very bad sunburn, one that causes blistered skin, you have broken down your first line of defense against infection... your skin. So not only are you going to have to heal your skin from the burn, you're going to have to protect if from infection as well. How to use it: Infuse an oil that's good for your skin (sweet almond or jajoba) with calendula flower. Add some beeswax to make it into a salve. Let it harden and then blend your hardened salve with some aloe juice to create a cream that you can apply to your blistered, sunburned skin. Psst... it wouldn't hurt to infuse your oil with comfrey too while you're at it. In The End... Having healthy skin essentially comes down to what goes into your body. Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water will do wonders for you! Limiting your exposure to the sun and doing what you can to minimize the amount of harmful UV rays you're exposed to is another step to healthy skin. In reality though, we're all likely to get too much sun at some point during the warm, summer months. What we do to help our skin recover can make a world of difference in how it will look years down the road. Learn how you can help your body. Live well and be beautiful! Return to all articles