Boost Antioxidant Defenses. Antioxidants for kids? Yes! These protective compounds are needed by everyone. A good antioxidant status inside your body can help protect your skin against damage from outside forces, like the sun and pollution. Make sure to keep plenty of fruits, berries, nuts and seeds on hand to nourish skin from the inside. Unsulfured trail mix, dehydrated fruits or freeze dried fruits make great portable snacks for a day in the sun.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Kids need consistent reminders to drink fluid. This is especially true when they are swimming. They tend to forget that being surrounded by water does not mean you can forget about drinking water. A hydrated body will help nourish skin, protect against dehydration and prevent cramping. And remember that water is truly the best option when it comes to fluids. Avoid drinking too many sports drinks, which are often loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Save those for sports camps when they can be used as intended. As an alternative, try a natural recovery drink like coconut water, which can be used anytime.
Protect Skin on the Outside. If you or your kids will be outside for any length of time, protect skin from the sun’s harsh rays with a sunscreen. Look for a natural mineral-based formula that offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. All the better if it has beneficial additional ingredients, such as protective green tea, soothing aloe, or natural essential oils. And if bugs are a concern, protect yourself and your family from biting, stinging pests with natural insect repellents. Several essential oils, including lemon eucalyptus, citronella, and geranium, work effectively to repel insects. This allows you to avoid chemicals like DEET, a chemical repellent that concerns many parents.
Recover After a Day Outdoors. Spending more time outside means the potential for sunburn, insect bites, and other common issues related to the great outdoors. Here’s how to help your skin recover from those common summer problems.
- Sunburn occurs from over exposure to the sun. Aloe vera gel used topically is cooling, soothing and speeds healing. You can find it in a variety of natural products. For even more cooling, add a couple of drops of pure peppermint oil to the aloe gel. Not only does it cool, but it’s analgesic effect can help reduce some of the pain from sunburn.
- Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac is a common warm weather malady in many parts of the country. Immediately after exposure, use poison ivy soap and an herbal spray made with jewelweed, which can help naturally relieve itching and inflammation. Homeopathic remedies can also help with symptoms.