The tropics are places of abundant sun and warmth. The native flora, endowed with life supporting compounds helps nurture people living in those conditions. Similarly, when our local weather turns summer intense we can draw on the same plants and oils for our protection during the heat of the season. Temperate regions also produce highly nourishing compounds that protect and nourish the skin.
These oils are NOT sun screens which block the sun’s rays from the skin’s surface. Because our health depends on a variety of interactions between sunlight and clean skin, I recommend protecting the health of the skin with nourishing compounds instead. This ancient practice by indigenous peoples of the tropics is still in use today. Most importantly, enjoy the sun but protect your skin from burning.
Shea butter a solid oil from Africa comes in a variety of forms and refinements.
Mango butter produced from the pit of the mango fruit is another solid butter containing highly nutritions compounds to both protect and feed the skin.
Cocoa butters one of the hardest and most saturated of the tropical butters, its stiffness makes it necessary to melt it with lighter oils for easy application.
Coconut oil will liquify in any summer temperatures. Its medium chained fatty acids are solid in temperate climates melting in temperatures above 76 degrees.
Sesame oil long used in India and Ayurvedic traditions, urban legends gives the oil an SPF of 15. It’s high in two antioxidant compounds unique to sesame that protect the skin.
Raspberry seed oil while not of the tropics is generously endowed with a high degree of antioxidants that protect the skin and have some sun protective properties.
Meadowfoam seed oil’s very long chain fatty acids protect the skin surface from weather extremes and mitigate the sun’s negative effects. Silky feeling and absorbs well this temperate native is exceptional for skincare.
Other oils produced in hot weather climates that also protect and nourish; moringa, watermelon seed, baobab, marula, jojoba, red palm, and sacha inchi oil.
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