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After Sun Treatment

Sun care means protecting your skin from the sun. No matter what color your skin, it's vital that you protect yourself in the sun. Even on a cool day or when there are clouds in the sky, the sun can still cause lasting damage.

Some sunlight is important because our skin uses it to produce vitamin D, which helps to build and maintain strong bones. Too much sun is harmful and can damage your skin.

The sun gives out ultraviolet (UV) radiation that is made up of three types of rays: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC rays from the sun can't get through the ozone layer but UVA and UVB rays can, and these rays have been linked to skin damage.

Short-term skin damage

Sun tan
A tan is actually a sign that your skin has been damaged and is trying to protect itself. UV radiation stimulates your skin to produce more pigment (color), which protects against damage. Your tan will fade, but the damage to your skin remains.

Short-term overexposure to the sun can cause your skin to burn, usually making it red, hot and painful. You can soothe your burnt skin with calamine lotion or after sun lotions. If your sunburn is severe, you may need medical treatment.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke
This is when your body becomes overheated after overexposure to the sun or by getting sunburn. You may have symptoms including vomiting, headaches and fever. If you think you have heat stroke, get to a cool place as soon as possible and drink plenty of water. If your temperature is higher than 39șC (you can measure your temperature using an oral thermometer), your skin has become dry and flushed or you feel very unwell, you should see a doctor immediately.

Long-term skin damage

Ageing and infection
Ageing of your skin is a result of the UVA rays penetrating it, causing wrinkles and sagging. UV rays can also cause damage to the eyes. It has been suggested that too much sun exposure may damage your immune system, increasing your risk of infection.

Skin cancer
Although the exact cause of skin cancer isn't known, some things make it more likely. Your risk of skin cancer increases if you're exposed to UV rays because of spending a lot of time in the sun.

Preventing sun damage

To protect your skin, you should stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when the sun's UV rays are strongest. Look for shady areas such as under trees, and use umbrellas or canopies.

Watch the UV index
The UV index describes the strength of the sun's UV radiation. It's usually shown as a number in a triangle on a weather map. The numbers range from one to 11+ and the higher the number, the stronger the UV radiation. If the UV index is higher than three you will need protection when you go outside.

In many countries, the UV index is reported alongside the weather forecast in newspapers, on TV and on the radio.

Cover up
You can protect your skin by wearing long-sleeved tops and trousers. Choose materials that have a close weave as these block out the most UV rays. Wet clothing stretches and lets more UV radiation through to your skin.

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can halve the amount of UV radiation reaching your face.

Sunglasses help to protect your eyes and eyelids. Wraparound sunglasses will also protect the skin around your eyes.

Whipped Shea Sunburn Salve

This salve uses shea butter and vitamin e which are known for their healing properties. Along with that we add rich, emollient jojoba and avocado oils, infused with chamomile and lavender (known for their skin soothing properties).

- 10 ounces of shea butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil
- 6 ounces of jojoba oil
- 6 ounces of avocado oil
- a 4x6 muslin bag
- lavender flowers
- chamomile flowers
- a 16 oz glass canning jar
- a stick blender
- 3 four ounce salve jars (clear jars should not be used for this salve in order to protect the vitamin e and the infused oil.)
- 1/4 tsp of lavender essential oil, if desired

First you'll need to do your oil infusion. Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Fill the muslin bag with equal parts lavender and chamomile flowers. Put the muslin bag with flowers in the jar. Pour the oils into the jar. Make sure they are covering the bag. You may need to squish it down a bit. Put it in the oven on a baking tray. Leave the oven on for 3 hours. At this point, turn the oven off but leave the oil mixture in there for another 5-6 hours. Weigh out 10 ounces of shea butter into a clean, microwave safe bowl. To soften, but not melt the shea, use your microwave's lowest setting. Heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute at a time.

When the shea is softened, stir in fragrance (if desired), vitamin e and 2 ounces of the infused oil. Whip with a stick blender until a nice fluffy consistency is achieved. Scoop into salve jars. This also can be used for a nice way to sooth skin after a day outdoors.

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