Memorial Day has always felt like the first day of summer for me. We spend it around the pool, with the smell of barbecue wafting in the air. My children are giddy with excitement, knowing that school will be over in a week or two and then they will truly be free.
However, with the kick-off of summer comes summer worries. Back in the olden days when I was a kid, sunscreen was a novelty. Each year, my skin would burn, and then peel, before turning into an acceptable tan. I was still susceptible to sunburn as the summer wore on, especially on those days we spent sun up til sun down at the beach. My older sister, slathered in baby oil, would develop a deep, dark tan without my hazards. How I envied her.
Today we have lotions that tout 80+ SPF, and you'd think we were wearing invisible armor when out in the sun. Yet, skin cancer rates have not gone down. What's up with that? Perhaps the ingredients in many sunscreens are just as bad for us as the sunburns they are meant to prevent.
Sounds like a catch-22. What's a mom to do? This year, I'm going to try an all-natural, homemade sunscreen. Coconut oil naturally has sun-blocking properties, as well as several essential oils.
1 oz. Coconut oil (fractionated is fine)
5-10 drops helichrysum, myrrh, roman chamomile, or lavender essential oil
Use a little more essential oil per ounce at the beginning of summer, when you are not yet used to the sun, and a little less once your skin has become habituated.
Now, I have some very fair-skinned children who seem to get a sunburn no matter what I do. For them, I keep a spray bottle of distilled water and 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil on hand. I just spritz it on the burn, and it soothes and helps rapidly heal the skin.
Enjoy your Memorial Day, and remember to take a moment with your family to remember the real reason for this holiday, the men and women who serve our country and put their lives on the line to give us the freedoms that are uniquely ours.