Natural Skin Care for Prevention and Healing Sun Damage

Last week I wrote some quick tips for caring for your skin within a whole food - whole health lifestyle:   (yes, go back and read it if you missed it. Skin care begins on the inside my friends!)

This week: Natural Sun Screen & After Sun Skin Repair Recipe

I avoid commercial sunscreens as they are loaded with chemicals; the chemicals in the base lotion as well as the chemicals used for the sun screen affects. Any chemical put onto the skin that can alter cellular function in a way to stop sun burning... hmm, sounds like a chemical I do not want on my skin changing the way my skin cells function.

Natural sunscreens with zinc and titanium dioxide you ask? Nah, I will pass on them as well. First of all the base lotions, again, are loaded with chemicals I do not want on my skin. The zinc and titanium are sticky and white filmy on the skin. Yes, they make nano particle zinc and titanium sunscreens but I will pass on them as well.  Read on for my sun protective recipe.


My Natural Sunscreen Recipe

To make a natural sunscreen I start with Dr. Mercola's organic, unscented lotion (no chemicals in this base lotion) and fill a 2 oz glass cosmetic jar almost to top... leaving room for:

1 tsp. organic instant coffee powder and  1 tsp. organic cocoa powder. Mix both into lotion very well. 


1 tsp. Wild Pansy extract powder and 2 droppers of wild pansy extract tincture. Again, mix in well. 

I use this sun protective lotion on my face, neck, and hands. I am very aware that I can not slather this on, head to toe, and think for a second that I can spend all day in the sun and not burn my skin. Life and sun exposure just does not work that way. This is my preventative for any more sun damage to my face and neck. I figure my teen years, living in the sun all day, have done enough damage. Now I do damage control.

I also try to do these things most of the time:

  1. limit my sun exposure during the high, hot time of the sun 11 AM to 2-3 PM
  2. Wear a wide brim hat when I am out in the sun
  3. slather my face with my aging and sun damaged skin lotions.

Aging & Sun Damaged Skin Lotion

Summer Base: Aubrey's Aloe

Winter Base: Aloe plus 1-2 tsp. organic, unrefined, extra virgin olive oil (if you can find a comfrey infused olive oil... even better)

Using a 2 oz. glass cosmetic jar, fill it up leaving head space for olive oil in winter and drops of essential oils.

Anti-aging essential oils to add 8-10 drops of each (as per the Male Herbal by James Green)

  • Lavender
  • Frankincense
  • Carrot Seed
  • Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum)
The Anti-Aging Team of essential oils

The Anti-Aging Team of essential oils

Use on your face and neck after washing with water only in AM & PM. Apply generously around eye area to crows feet.

The aging skin remedy can also be made by adding the drops of essential oils to 2 oz. of Dr. Mercola's unscented, organic lotion.

I sometimes add essential oils of rosemary, oregano, and/or peppermint as they all increase circulation to the skin. Increased circulation means more oxygen and nutrients to skin cells and better removal of cellular wastes.

The finished sunscreen and sun repair remedy.

The finished sunscreen and sun repair remedy.

Update on last weeks underarm deodorant: PRIMAL PIT PASTE so you do not have to make it yourself:

Ice Cream's Purpose

So you are asking me, what real purpose could ice cream possibly have?  Ready for a story? Sit down, let me tell you a story. Stories are the fibers that weave us together as community!

The recent Indian Summer has been a joy. I love warm fall days with bright blue skies. 75 degrees is about as perfect as it gets. This is still good swimming weather!

The sudden Autumn heat made me think some ice cream would be a good idea. Now I confess, I am not a big ice cream eater, maybe once or twice a summer. Ice cream was just appealing to me. My sister was visiting during this fine summery fall weather. After a hike in Stone Valley, I threw out a "Hey, let's get some ice cream" to her and my kids.

Mistake #1, I opened my big mouth before I thought about it and they (my 2 boys and my sister) were not going to let me off the hook on this one.

So, off to the Potsdam Food Coop a shopping we will go! (I had my way and organic, quality ice cream was on the shopping list!)

I suggested we try a pint of The Three Twin's Dad's Cardamom flavor ice cream. Somehow we left with that, the Sea Salt Caramel, AND the 3 pint container of the Alden's Organic Vanilla ice cream. My sister wanted to get the Three Twins Milk Coffee ice cream as well.

Someone had to be the voice of reason... 5 pints of ice cream for 4 people? Seriously? They listened, we skipped the coffee ice cream!

So, are you wondering about the whole "ice cream's purpose" thing here? Let me just say this:

Ice cream in your freezer is like the canary in the coal mine. It is the perfect way to gauge the correct temperature setting of your freezer. Ice cream too hard to eat? The freezer needs to be turned down, meaning the temperature inside the freezer needs to be raised a bit. Ice cream too mushy and runny? Time to set the temperature in your freezer a tad bit lower.

I recommend any freezer temperature changes be carried out in tiny, little increments and tested frequently. It is totally acceptable to leave a spoon right on top of the freezer, you know, just in case an emergency check is required.

Caution: Do not ever hide the spoon inside the freezer. Way too cold in the mouth!

Action to take:  Head on over to the Potsdam Coop or your local natural food store that carries quality, organic ice cream and get some now... before the Indian Summer escapes us!

PS  By the way, I do recommend the Milk Coffee ice cream. It is divine! The cardamom was exquisite! Vanilla is simply scrumptious and the Sea Salted Caramel is a must try. You decide!

Tell me your ice cream story!

PPS Remember to join the Local Living Venture and I as we rock your world (no, not with ice cream) with vibrant health and healing messages!  Whole Health & Healing Academy continues this Thursday evening with Natural Foods Know How. See you there!

Stalking the Wild Nettle

Nettles are my favorite healing herb. This fact about me is something I do not hide. Now I have plenty of other herb friends, both cultivated and wild, that run a semi-close second in my favorite herb department. Nettles are #1!

Nettle seeds

Nettle seeds

In the above picture you are looking at the beautiful tiny seeds that dangle in strands from the nettle plant. These seeds are powerhouses of nutrition for nourishing thyroid health.  The dose is 1/4 teaspoon daily. I would take this as 1/8 teaspoon, twice daily.

To dry nettle seeds I cut the entire stalk at the base and hang them upside down in a warm and dry space. Make certain you have a screen or something similar underneath the hanging plants to catch any falling seeds. When they start to dry, I carefully cut each strand from the stalks. I put them in a paper bag, poked with a knife to make many air holes, and hang the bag to completely dry the seeds. Leave the top of the bag wide open for better air flow. You can also use a very fine mesh bag to hang and dry the seeds.

The remaining stalks can be left to dry out the leaves. Again, trim the completely dried leaves off the stalks and store them in an air tight container. You now have dried nettle leaves for adding to soups, stews, sauces, and for making healing tea.

The beautiful nettle plant displaying her seed strands.

The beautiful nettle plant displaying her seed strands.

Looking straight down at the nettle plant. The seeds strands form a whorled pattern about this beautiful, healing plant.

Looking straight down at the nettle plant. The seeds strands form a whorled pattern about this beautiful, healing plant.

Nettle's many healing gifts to your body:

  • strengthens the kidneys and adrenal glands
  • builds natural energy from the inside of the body (which is the opposite of coffee's effects in the body, coffee wears out the adrenal glands, nettles builds and heals the adrenals
  • nourishes the hair and skin making you shine with vibrant health
  • is an adaptogenic herb, helps a living organism adapt to stress (adrenal health!)
  • rebuilds and restores the body cells as nettles is a powerhouse of nutrition
  • great for reducing allergies on its own or make an herb honey with raw, local honey and nettle puree, take 1/4 teaspoon twice daily (This is basically making a tincture using honey as the base.)
  • great for nourishing the male and female reproductive tracts
  • nourishes thyroid health and contributes to body weight balancing

This is but a partial list of all the benefits nettles has in the human body. I suggest you become friends with nettles and learn all you can about her healing ways.

What you are observing, below, is a chicken nettle salad sitting on top of a romaine lettuce, carrot, and cucumber salad. In the upper left corner is a big dose of my late spring, wild leek infused sauerkraut. I got carried away and made 8 quarts! 5 quarts down, 3 quarts left to enjoy!

Chicken Nettle Herb Salad

  • left over chicken breast from dinner at the ADK Cafe in Keene, NY. If you are ever passing through here, stop and eat. The food is divine, the meat is local and pasture raised!
  • sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • fresh chives
  • nettle top leaves
  • homemade mayonnaise made with 3 tablespoons whipped heavy cream, 1 small egg's yolk, and a dash of yellow mustard. I whipped the cream well, added in yolk and whipped some more, then added mustard. The cream and eggs were both from local, pasture raised animals cared for with love.

The chicken was chopped up, mayo blended in, added in the chopped herbs and nettles, and stirred all together. I plopped this decadent chicken salad on top of my veggie salad (all local veggies from Martin's Farm Stand) that was dressed with my homemade herb vinegar dressing. The finishing touch: wild leek sauerkraut!

Eat healthy, eat whole... your body cells with thrive with vibrant, radiant health!