One of America’s most popular pastimes, gardening, has the potential to be quite hard on our bodies. All that digging, raking, planting and trimming in the outdoor elements can take their toll on more than our knees and joints. If we’re not careful all that effort to create a beautiful landscape can lead to dry skin, sunburn and wind damage.
If we exercise precautions before going out into the yard and follow gardening activities we can minimize the discomfort of the day’s work.
Consider these tips protective tips before heading out to weed, deadhead or transplant:
- Apply hand salve to protect your hands and make clean up easier when you’re finished.
- Wear protective clothing like gardening gloves, long sleeves and pants, a wide brimmed hat, sturdy shoes and a comfortable pad for your knees.
- For exposed areas choose a sunscreen with UVA protection, apply liberally and often. See the Environment Working Group’s website at ewg.org for the report and to see which sunscreens protect the best.
When you do overdo it:
- Apply a calming and soothing application after the work is done.
- Soak in a relaxing, and calming mineral bath.
- Incorporate a skin care oil into your regime via a bath oil or after shower body oil application.
- Occasionally exfoliate with a hand and body scrubs.
Here are two recipes featuring Lavender Essential Oil which is a go to for more than its relaxing fragrance. Its soothing properties also reduce inflammation (skin redness and scrapes, for instance). Lavender possess antimicrobial properties can be effective in fighting fungal and bacterial infections and might help stimulate new cell growth and regeneration.
Calendula Hand Salve with Lavender Essential Oil
- 5 Tbsp Apricot Kernel Skin Care Oil
- 1 Tbsp Fair Trade Certified Unrefined Coconut Oil
- 48 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 4 oz Amber Wide Mouth Jar
- 1 heaping tsp dried lavender flowers
- 1 heaping tsp dried calendula petals
- 1 Tbsp beeswax beads
In jar, combine calendula petals and lavender flowers. Cover with apricot kernel oil, replace lid and set in a warm place for up to 1 week, shaking the jar periodically.
Into a double boiler, strain apricot kernel oil, discarding petals and flowers. Add coconut oil and wax. Slowly heat mixture over simmering water until wax melts.
Remove from heat and set aside until mixture cools and becomes slightly hazy around the edges. Stir in essential oil, then pour into jar. Allow to set until firm.
To use, dip tips of fingers into salve and apply to hands, fingers, cuticles and nail beds.
Face Mist with Lavender Essential Oil
- A gentle, soothing DIY face mist recipe made with sweet almond oil and lavender essential oil.
- 1 tsp Sweet Almond Skin Care Oil
- 24 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 2 fl oz amber bottle
- 2 fl oz water
- In bottle, combine oils. Top off with water, replace lid and shake until well blended. To use, shake bottle, close eyes and mist face and neck.
Recipes developed by Aura Cacia (part of Frontier Co-op), an Iowa based company which sustainably sources it’s products