Natural Remedies for Sun Damaged Skin – Herbal Sunblocks

The damage caused by Ultra violet A and B rays are vast in its implications and may even induce skin cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet rays causes premature aging, tanning of the skin, pigmentation and dark patches. Premature wrinkles are also caused due to exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. Sunscreens and sun blocks are essential as part of skin care regimen because they either absorb or block the UV rays of the sun and also exhibit numerous immune suppressive effects of sunlight.

herbal ingredients

Herbal skin care products
The answer to the problem of sun affected skin damage is the use of skin care products which has several herbal agents which work towards reducing the photo aging induced by ultraviolet rays of the sun. Oils extracted from fruit and vegetable seeds such as almond, avocado, coconut, cottonseed, olive, peanut, sesame, and soya bean have been proven to be effective as sunscreen lotions. The chemicals such as tocopherols, carotenoids and essential fatty acids present in these herbal ingredients are very valuable in formulation of these sunscreen lotions. Tomato paste, frankincense essential oil, olive oil, caffeine and resveratrol from grape skin are also effective natural sunscreens which reverse melanoma and photoaging of the skin.

The essential oils which are beneficial as sunscreen act by exhibiting physiological, psychological and cosmetic effects. They are endowed with anti-inflammatory, aromatic and preservative or antimicrobial effects which makes them useful as sunscreen or sunblock agents. The SPF i.e. Sun Protection Factor of the herbal sunscreen is a measure of the protective power of the skin care product. The type of formulation, the use of different solvents, the herbal ingredients used and the interaction of the vehicle with the skin are a few factors which determine the efficacy of the herbal sunscreen.

Diet for protection against sun damage
It has been proven in research that a diet comprising of fresh and organic greens, yellows, reds, oranges, blues and purples including kale, cabbage, broccoli, mustard seeds, collard greens, yams, salmon, tomatoes, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, yellow, and green or red peppers are known to be effective protectant against sun induced skin damage. The nutrient supplements such as alpha lipoic acid, concentrated or isolated antioxidants are good for supplementation for a healthy diet.

Herbs used for formulating sun screen
There are a number of herbal sun care remedies which have been known to be associated with accelerated healing, repair mild sun damage and function as natural sunscreens.

As per various research studies it has been reported that herbal extracts with high level of antioxidants are effective in protecting sun damage. Essential oils and herbs which are known to have positive skin benefit sin the form of protection from and reversal of the sun damage on skin are frankincense, geranium, lavender, cape chamomile, hydro distilled vetiver, clove and thyme etc. The top 5 herbs used in the formulation of a sunscreen are Aloe Vera gel, Green tea, and Calendula, olive oil and coconut oil.

Research on Aloe Vera has proven that this skin care herb protects the skin cells from the damaging effects of the skin. Aloe Vera also has anti-inflammatory, moisturizing emollient and antimicrobial actions make it extremely useful in preventing sunburn damage. As a very commonly used ingredient of herbal sun blocks, it can help in protecting and soothing the skin. When it is applied directly on skin after shower and then reapplied it a few more times until the sunburn pain delivered to him.

The application of green tea or daily intake of green tea as dietary supplements known to protect against direct damage to the skin cells and hence alleviates the inflammation. Studies have also shown that chemicals present in green tea such as catechins are very beneficial in skin care. These impart antioxidant powers to the sun care cream and make it an effective sun screen. The green tea has tannic acid and theobromin which is effective in case of repairing skin damage.

Calendula has been in clinical use for the treatment of many skin conditions such as sunburn. It has also been showed in studies that oils such as sesame oil, coconut oil, olive oil and Aloe Vera reduce the burning due to sun rays. Sea weeds are also utilized in the treatment of sun damage. Carrot –seed essential oil has been found to treat sun damaged skin and is even beneficial in threading and treating pre-cancerous skin conditions. β-carotene present in the carrot seed oil is an effective remedy for protecting damages due to exposure of ultraviolet rays such as skin cancer.

Coconut oil provides protection to the body from sunburn and skin cancer. Lavender oil has many properties due to which it exhibits antiseptic, anti-stress and pain relieving properties which make it a good choice for skin care products.

Helichrysum essential oil has remarkable properties in healing the sun damaged skin and skin aging. It is commonly used in skin treatments as it has the ability to stimulate the production of new cells of the skin. It is also an effective ingredient of many skin care products because it can treat acne scars, dry and weathered skin as well as mature skin. It is also an excellent remedy for sensitive, inflamed skin and many other physical disorders of the skin.

Herbal home remedies for sun controlled damage
Use a mixture of Aloe Vera gel, sesame oil, Vitamin E; and lavender essential oils as a lotion. Apply this lotion for sun protection.

Harrison, J. (2011, June 12). Natural sunscree: Foods, herbs and essential oil. Retrieved from Jim Harrison physiotherapy institute: 2011
Kaur, C. D., & Saraf, S. (2010, January-February). In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics. Pharmacognosy research, 2(1), 22-25.

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