Skin Survival Guide in the Wilderness
Out camping with your family and friends this weekend? The point of camping is to let go of your everyday necessities to enjoy the nature, so you may have forgotten some of your vital skincare products. If a mysterious rash has appeared on your skin or you simply want to maintain your skin over the trip, here are natural ingredients that you can find in the wilderness that can help you!
Most commonly used as an oil for topical treatment, lavender is one of the most popular natural ingredients used for beauty today. Many people know that this purple flower has a calming and relaxing effect that is known to alleviate anxiety and tension. But did you know it can save your skin in the wild?
When you happen to find some wild lavender, there are a couple ways you can use it to treat your skin:
- Bug bites: It’s inevitable to get bug bites during your trip. Rubbing crushed lavender leaves on your bug bites can alleviate the itching and rashes. To make it into an oil, simply leave the crushed leaves in a jar of olive oil for a few weeks. Lavender oil in particular has many benefits such as antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-depressive properties.
- Burns: It’s never fun when you burn yourself while starting a fire. Lavender can heal burns with its antibacterial properties. Applying the oil directly after running the wound through with water can speed up the healing process.
There’s little explaining to do when it comes to an ingredient like aloe. As one of the best natural ingredients for the overall complexion of the skin, aloe can perform miracles on the skin. there are many benefits as to using aloe:
- Sunburn: Forgot to apply your sunscreen and horribly regretting it? No worries! As your mother might have done this when you were younger, simply cut off an aloe leaf in half and slather the sticky gel onto your burns. Aloe can increase collagen synthesis, which helps your wounds recover faster.
- Moisturizing: If the sun is drying out your skin during the day, rub the aloe gel on your face for a cooling and hydrating effect. Research has proven that aloe can help stimulate cell growth for anti-aging effects as well.
Native to the United States, this widely consumed plant is known for its fresh flavors. Mint is also very common in people’s’ backyard and even the wild. But guess what? It can also carry skin care benefits. Because mint has inflammatory and antibacterial properties, you can add it to your wilderness skin care routine:
- Bug bites: Mint can be used to treat insect bites by reducing inflammation. Like lavender, it can also help treat any wounds by alleviating itching and disinfecting bacteria.
- Mosquito Repellant: One of the biggest essentials when packing for the wilderness is insect repellant. If you find yourself needing some, mint is a great alternative. According to studies, the strong smell and flavor of mint acts as a mosquito repellant.
Do not be fooled! Although it shares its name with the banana-like fruit, plantains are actually weeds that you can find in the backyard or the wilderness. They are known as one of the most popular plants in the wilderness for its healing properties. In addition, its soft leaves allow people to apply it safely and directly on the skin. Here’s how you utilize plantains:
- Wounds: In case you get hurt, plantains are effective for treating minor wounds, cuts, and bruises when applied topically. Because they’re inflammatory and antibacterial, plantains can speed up the healing process for wounds as well.
- Dry Skin: Feeling extra dry over your trip? Plantains carries natural allantoin that helps stimulate new skin cells and tissue growth. It can stimulate healthy tissue growth and cell growth. Plantains can even treat eczema and other skin rashes as well.
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Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, alumnus UC Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation is about Digital Health and I have published 5 scientific articles in teledermatology and artificial intelligence.