I've been hum-ing and ha-ing all week as to whether to write a blogpost on the arrival of summer because, after all, this is The Netherlands where the weather is so fickle that the one day you forget your umbrella, the heavens will open and it'll rain cats and dogs.
But I'm feeling optimistic....
.... Because this year I have been reliably informed by a friend in England that it did not rain on St Swithun's Day.
Huh???? I hear you ask.
Well in the UK we have a saying and it goes like this:
St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mare
In other words:
If it doesn't rain on St Withun's Day, it won't rain for another 40 days!
Do you know what that means?
Well.... a little bit of this......
And, perhaps, a little bit of that......
And, hopefully, a whole lot of this.
But while you may fancy a little bit of this
Please don't forget that you need to remember to do a lot of this
And (whilst I hope this doesn't happen) if you should miss a spot and end up like this....
.....Then here are some natural ideas to ease the pain and calm the burn
If you don't yet own an Aloe plant, pop down to the nearest gardening centre and buy yourself one
Aloe are excellent for treating burns, including sunburn
All you need to do is cut off a leaf and squeeze out the sticky gel which you apply directly onto the burned skin
Aloe provides instant relief, taking the throb and sting out of burns. It can also help avoid infection, accelerate healing, and prevent blistering and scarring.
If you treat sunburn with lemon, you’re using a natural treatment that’s inexpensive to make.
The acid in the lemon provides a natural disinfectant to help heal your skin. The Vitamin C reduces your body’s reaction to sunburn, helping to ease your symptoms.
Pour 2 cups of cool water into a large bowl and squeeze in the juice from one lemon. Immerse a cloth or sponge into the mixture and then squeeze out the excess water so it doesn't drip everywhere. Gently dab the cloth/sponge directly onto sunburnt areas
Oatmeal may be nature's perfect grain. Not only is oatmeal delicious as a meal, known to help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, but it can also soothe damaged or irritated skin
To treat sunburn with oatmeal, cook the oatmeal as directed on the package. Add a little more water than indicated to make a runnier consistency. Then allow the cooked oatmeal to cool completely. Apply the cooled oatmeal gently to damaged skin. Do not rub the mixture into the skin as oatmeal can also act as an exfoliant which could cause more damage to sunburnt skin. Leave oatmeal on the skin until desired level of relief is obtained, and rinse off with cool water.
Black tea is rich and full of antioxidants.
To treat sunburned skin, soak several black tea bags in cool water, allowing the tannin to release. When the water darkens, both the tea-infused water and the tea bags are ready to use.
To use the teabags, lay them on the sunburned skin for a period of ten to twenty minutes.
To use the tea-infused water, soak a cloth in the water and pat onto the sunburned skin.
Black tea will remove the heat, pain and sting of your skin.
These treatments are not 'one-stop-shops' - you need to repeat the treatment regularly until the burning dies down.
And remember, from a medical perspective, the most important thing you must do is to keep continuously and intensively moisturising your skin using a product which will not irritate the skin further. For example, the Simply Skin sandalwood & vanilla whipped body butter and citrus zing whipped body butter both contain shea butter, aloe butter and vitamin E which greatly moisturise and soothe skin, and may shorten the effects of sunburn, respectively.
But please don't forget: It is much more important to avoid getting sunburnt in the first place.
Sunburn can be repaired in a relatively short space of time. However, it is an indicator of invisible, long-term damage.
If you have been sunburnt, you have damaged the DNA in the skin, and it is this damage that it is thought goes on to create problems such as skin cancer.
Also: Sun exposure is very aging to skin.
Unprotected skin that is exposed to the sun becomes more mottled in appearance. Freckles can turn into brown sun spots, the skin takes on a dry, leathery appearance, and wrinkles and sagging increase.
So go out there and enjoy the summer sun.... but, please.... stay safe
Did you know that I am currently running a summer competition?
Here's what you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a Shower Ice Cream (well summer simply isn't summer without ice cream, is it?)
1) Take a holiday photo of your Simply Skin Travel Pack (e.g. relaxing by the pool)
2) Add a caption saying where you are, and
3) Send your photos to me, Viviennne, at [email protected]
Competition ends August 31st, 2013
Enjoy your summer everyone!