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I remember my first trip to Mexico with family and friends a couple years ago. We went to Puerto Vallarta in October, which is the end of the rainy season. One of the members in our group had very fair skin. We packed sunscreen with SPF 50 all the way up to 80. I remember on the last day of our trip we weren’t as vigilant with our sunscreen. We returned home with fabulous tans and a little pink in some areas where we didn’t reapply the sunscreen.

Sunburns can range from mildly uncomfortable to extremely painful. Not only can sunburns put a damper on summer fun, but the damage from UV rays is permanent.Why do you feel warm with a sunburn even when you are out of the sun? The affected tissues are still full of UV radiation and so the skin continues to cook. Similar concept when cooking eggs; even after you remove the eggs from the heat, they still continue to cook.

When you get a sunburn several things happen; collagen, melanin, and elastin cells are damaged and usually permanently killed off. These cells are responsible for keeping the skin toned and firm. Once they are gone they do not regenerate (which is one of the few things our body does not rebuild or regenerate). Which is why those that do not take care of their skin in their younger years and continue to let the sun do it’s damage end up having looser, almost leather looking skin. YIKES! You also increase your chances for skin cancer the more you expose your skin to the sun.

What can be done? Limit your time in direct sunlight. I’ve found that cooler showers to help the tissue cool down and stop the “cooking” process of the skin. Aloe plants are pretty easy to maintain and if you have fair skin they can be your best friend during the sunny season. If you’re wanting a tan, find a bronzer that suits your needs. There are so many options for skin protection against the harmful rays of the sun including more organic and eco friendly protections (as in sunscreen that won’t damage the coral reef should you decide to go for a swim in the ocean).

My top favs include: raspberry oil, Goddess Garden, Badger Organic , and All Terrain Aquasport.

Remember, sunburns are also a contraindication for massage. So please use sunscreen this summer and protect your skin! Skin is the largest organ of the human body, treat it with care and it will take care of you.

Don’t take my word for it, here are some sources to help you with your decision making process:

Want to make your own? Here’s a useful website: