Not too long ago I wrote a post on sunscreens. I investigated their ingredients, the effectiveness of those ingredients and any known hazards presented by their use. You can read that post HERE . And, from that, you can decide whether sunscreens are for you and whether the benefits outweigh the risks in your situation. But there is a wide range of needs in the area of sun care for your skin, from the professional tanner who spends endless hours in the sun to the weekend tourist who is exposing tender white skin for the first time. I have been on both ends of this spectrum, living in Florida and growing up in the 1960s when every girl on TV was blond and tan. Even the English ladies had tans! So I wanted to be dark, blond and thin, of course.
Young girls have every reason to want a tan. It is considered a form of beauty in white culture and girls who are “too white” are laughed at. And although suntanning can be dangerous to the skin, especially if you have a history of cancer or a family history of skin cancer, most people do it anyways. So I want to offer some projects to make your own homemade skin products for suntanning that will be natural, sustainable, safe, non toxic and good for your skin. If you read my post on sunscreens, you will realize that most sun products are made of chemicals. Why expose yourself to that, as well as whatever danger and / or damage the sun might do to your skin. Here are my recipes:
TO SOOTHE SUNBURN
Lavender Sunburn Oil
6 tbsp Olive Oil
3 tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Iodine
10 drops Lavender Oil
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Apply to the sunburn as needed.
Simple Aloe for Sunburn
Several Aloe Leaves, cut fresh
Cut the Aloe leaves with the knife right down the center and peel back. Using the cotton swabs, dab up the fresh Aloe juice and apply directly to the skin. In a pinch, you can strip the leaves and simply smash the open side against your skin. This is very soothing and should work rapidly.
1 cup of fresh, strong black or green tea
1 rag, gauze pad or cotton ball
Let the hot tea cool enough to be safe on your skin. Dip the rag, cotton ball or gauze into the tea and soak it thoroughly. Place over the burned skin and attach with the tape. Leave until dried out and then refresh.
Feverfew Complexion Milk
1 large handful of fresh Feverfew leaves
1 1/4 cups of Milk
You can make as much of this as you need, using more Feverfew and as much Milk as you like. This is intended to be spread all over the body. Feverfew will reduce the heat on the skin and bring down the overall body temperature. You can apply this as much and as often as you like. To make it, simply put the Feverfew and Milk in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Be careful about the temperature or you will scald the Milk. After about 20 minutes, you should have a full infusion so the Milk will be ready to use. Allow to cool first, of course, and then strain into a container. A bottle is a great idea. Once cold, apply it as often as you like. You will love the feel of this on burned skin.
4 tbsp double strength Ivy Decoction
8 drops Oil of Comfrey
1 tsp Avocado Oil
3 tsp Almond Oil
2 tsp Beeswax
1 tsp Emulsifying Wax
Ivy is famous for relieving sunburns. It has the action of releasing the fluids that are trapped under the skin. It will also release toxins and can be used in cellulite rubs. To make this, you must first make a decoction with Ivy. You make a decoction by adding large amounts of fresh Ivy (any type will do) to water and boiling it down. You let the water boil down to a dark color, add more water and more Ivy and do it again. Do it several times until you have very dark colored water. You can just toss the Ivy when you’re done.
Now, melt the waxes in a double boiler until they are liquid. Add the Ivy decoction and beat until thick. Allow the mix to cool completely and then add the oils, including the Oil of Comfrey. Spoon into a jar, label and keep in the refrigerator. Use as needed for burned or chapped skin.
Sesame Suntan Lotion
This lotion takes advantage of Bergamot, which has the action of increasing melanin in the skin, making it darker. There is some danger inherent in using Bergamot, so do not exceed the amount given in the recipe.
1 tbsp Lanolin
4 tbsp Sesame Oil
6 tbsp Rosewater
1 tsp Cider Vinegar
2 drops Essential Oil of Bergamot
Melt the Lanolin in one pot and warm the Sesame Oil in another. Once they are melted and warm, throw them in together and stir. Stir until well blended and then add in the Rosewater and Vinegar, stepping up to a beating. Beat the mix continuously as you add the Rosewater and Vinegar, whipping it into a lotion. After reaching a thick consistency, allow the mix to cool. After cooling to room temperature, add the Oil of Bergamot. Stir in thoroughly and then bottle for use when tanning.
Avocado Oil & Iodine
2 oz Organic Avocado Oil
1 oz Organic Oil of Hazelnut
1/4 oz Iodine
1 200 mg Gel Vitamin E
Add the Oils and Iodine to a clean bottle and shake. Squeeze the contents of the Vitamin E Capsule into the bottle and shake again. Use sparingly while tanning.
Almond and Brandy Tanner
4 oz Almond Oil
1 tsp Oil of Bergamot
1/2 oz Brandy
Add all the ingredients to a bottle and shake. Apply while tanning.
Herbal Dark Tanning Oil
4 oz Coconut Oil
1 tsp Oil of Bergamot
1 tsp Oil of Comfrey
1 tsp Oil of Calendula
1/4 tsp Witch Hazel
1/4 tsp Iodine
Mix all the ingredients together in a bottle or jar and shake. Use sparingly while tanning. This will get the skin dark.
This concoction will get the skin red. It will give a reddish tone to the tan. Lovely with auburn hair and redheads.
2 oz Carrot Oil
2 oz Grapeseed Oil
1 tsp Wheatgerm Oil
1 tsp Iodine
1/2 tsp liquid Henna
Yes, you are supposed to use liquid Henna hair dye. You use only the tiny amount given and you can use any color you like. This will add a bronzing or redding to the skin and along with the iodine, will create a rich tan even in those who do not tan easily. The Wheatgerm Oil provides an antioxidant that protects the skin and the Carrot Oil is rich in vitamins. This is a very nourishing tanning oil that will make your skin feel silky when you’re done.
Healing Bath Water
You can use this recipe any time you have skin problems. It will help heal just about anything, from lesions to sun burns and is a great overall tonic when you are exposing your skin to the sun. After you tan and after you use your lotions, you can then get into a bath and really give your skin a treat!
4 parts Comfrey Root
3 parts Mint
1 part bruised Houseleek Leaves
You can find Houseleek growing in your yard. It is considered to be a weed. Mint can be purchased fresh in the produce section of most supermarkets or you can buy fresh plants, which are great to have around anyways. You start making this recipe by creating a decoction of Comfrey. You do this by boiling the Comfrey in enough water to cover it until the water is darker. You can then add more Comfrey and more water if you like and boil it down again. If you want a stronger decoction, you can do both steps. Otherwise, boiling it once for about 20 minutes should do it.
While the Comfrey is boiling, put the Houseleek Leaves into a bowl with the Mint and crush it all with a spoon. What you want is to bruise it, not mash it, so a simple press or two will do. Once the Comfrey has boiled down, strain the liquid and add it to the bruised Houseleek and Mint. Let stand and infuse for another 30 minutes or so. Strain out the Houseleeks and Mint and add the remaining liquid to the bath.
Chamomile and Cucumber Lotion
2 1/2 oz strong Chamomile infusion
12 oz fresh Cucumber
6 tsp Vegetable Glycerin
Chop the Cucumber finely and squeeze out the juice. Make the Chamomile infusion in the same manner you make Chamomile Tea. Make it as strong as you like. Once the tea is ready, keep it on low heat and add the Glycerin. Leaving on low heat, wait until the liquid is amalgated. Once thickened, add the Cucumber juice. Allow to cool and then bottle and label and leave in the refrigerator for use as needed.
Cream of Marigold
2 1/2 oz strong Marigold infusion
6 tsp melted Beeswax
6 tsp Lanolin
6 tbsp Almond Oil
1/2 tsp Borax
2 liquid capsules of Wheatgerm Oil
Warm the the wax, Lanolin and oil in the top of a double boiler. Make the Marigold tea in a separate pan and then dissolve the Borax in the tea. Take both pans from the heat and gradually combine. Once combined, start beating or whisking the mix as it cools. As it cools, it will thicken. After the mix is creamy and thick, stir in the Wheatgerm Oil. Bottle and use as needed.
Witch Hazel and Rosewater
This is a quicky splash that anyone can use anytime to help clean and freshen the skin. It is cooling and refreshing after a day in the sun and can be applied as desired.
3/4 cup Rosewater
6 drops Glycerin
2/3 cup Witch Hazel
Mix all the ingredients in a bottle and shake. Apply to the skin as needed. Remember to shake before using each time.