Lovin’ the Summer Sun and Essential Oils…
Without Experiencing the Burn!
A few weeks ago, I was visiting my wonderful mom and, of course, the topic of essential oils was brought up.
Well, it was I that began the oils discussion. I proceeded to share with her a very unfortunate outcome to a very happy, sunshiny event. I am humble enough to admit that, at this occasion I was a bit of an unintentional hypocrite.
Let me explain and set the stage, admittingly with a little embellishment for entertainment.
It was a bright Saturday afternoon. I woke up to a happy text. One of my dear friends and fellow oilers had invited me to a day of fun in the sun! I couldn’t possibly pass by the opportunity to learn paddle boarding from an expert! “Heck ya!’” was my response.
As I was racing out the door, I smugly did a 180 and sprinted to my bathroom to grab my Mineral Sunscreen Lotion.
As I opened the cabinet, I instantly felt all the color drain from my face.
This was accompanied by a sudden warm and fuzzy empathy for good ol’ Mother Hubbard, a character in a very confusing nursey rhythm. If you aren’t familiar with it, she also experienced the sheer panic of waking up to a similar situation.
Like her, I found myself with a big’ ole bare cupboard when I opened its door. Although it wasn’t a dog bone I was searching for, there was an empty space where my favorite sunscreen had previously resided.
My beloved bottle of sun protection hadn’t arrived yet! (To my defense, I was slow on fulfillment considering that temperature highs were ranging from the 50s-80s°F in Upstate NY!)
After boosting profusely about all its benefits last year, here I was, “the naturopathic oily doc” caught empty-handed. Literally.
Now, here’s where my story of being chemical free, yet unprepared, took a turn for the worse.
I dug into my brain and remembered a study that demonstrated some in vitro evidence of volatile and non-volatile oils providing mild SPF protection. I also recalled reading from reputable sources that coconut oil may be somewhat effective in blocking the UV rays. I willfully ignored the nagging voice in my head saying, “Sarah, this shouldn’t be the only form of protection, especially with intentional sun exposure!” (source, source, source, source, source, source)
I thought to myself, “I’ll be fine, it’ll just be a few hours.” So, I applied some coconut oil with peppermint oil and hoped for the best.
The best did not come. These volatile and nonvolatile oils can be beneficial in prevention of cellular damage from radiation, but they were not be a solution to the fact that I had slathered on lemon essential oil the night before.
The result of my stubbornness is not good.
My leg and belly look like a work of art… a brown and white spotted Picasso piece!
The most embarrassing thing is this is a repeat incident from the Italy sunbathing event two years ago! You would’ve thought I’ve learned!
What happened to my skin?
I’ve discussed this concept previously, it’s called phototoxicity. (The hint was in the subtitle, right?)
Whatever we used to describe such a response, which I’ll get into the technicalities of later, it should be something all essential oil users are aware of.
Due to my incident, I’ve decided to dig deeper into this topic and give you an update. After all, if I forgot, maybe others can learn from my error!
Click here to read more.
Get an essential oils consult from me.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
Thanks Pixabay and iStock purchases.