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Well and Good: Natural Summer Skin Relief

Especially if you spend much time outdoors, summer brings its own special challenges to skin care. Sunburn, windburn, poison ivy, poison oak, chlorine over-exposure and bug bites of all kinds can leave your skin irritated, dry, red and swollen. Which, in turn, might leave you irritable and looking for relief wherever you can find it.

That doesn’t mean you need to look to harsh, chemical-heavy products to soothe your summer-damaged skin. Some of my favorite natural recommendations:

Aloe vera gel:  A traditional, inexpensive choice for sunburn relief, this gel cools and soothes hot summer skin, without clogging pores or irritating most skin. Look for formulations that list aloe vera as the first ingredient, and that do not contain alcohol, because alcohol dries the skin.

Aura Cacia’s Soothing Organic Milk and Oat Bath: Certified organic, this fragrant bath potion contains milk powder to nourish and soothe, and oat powder, which has a calming effect on the skin. A key ingredient is lavender oil, which helps fight inflammation, so it helps reduce the swelling and hot-to-the-touch skin that accompanies sunburn and bug bites.

Itch Relief Lotion by Derma E: A natural, cooling moisturizer that’s good for allergies, sunburns, rashes and bites, this is free of the cortisone and other steroids that are present in many commercial anti-itch lotions. Instead, it gets its healing power from natural ingredients including chamomile, which calms and soothes skin; Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant and moisturizer; and tea tree oil, which heals and protects from infection.

Olivella pure olive oil soap: This Italian-made soap is free of parabens, animal fat, and artificial colorants; the green color comes from the 100% virgin olive oil that’s the primary ingredient. Moisturizing and healing, this is also a great year-round soap, as it also provides the benefits of the antioxidants, Vitamin A and Vitamin C present in the olive oil.