Natural UV Protection Using Tamanu Oil: My Favorite Find at the Farmer's Market in Winter Garden Whenever I travel to a new place, I make an effort to slow down and try to experience my new environment like a local. Typically in the beginning, I avoid anything chain and seek out experiences that will help me get a good sense of where I am. I like to start local and then do whatever touristy things I find myself attracted to. This looks differently depending upon where I am. When I was in rural Mozambique, I simply had to sit back and enjoy the ride. Everything I did, everywhere I went was local and unique to where I was. In Buffalo, New York, I shopped at the local boutiques along the Elmwood strip, went to small hole in the wall food and drink establishments, took in the cafe culture, small theatres and parks before going to the mall and doing things that were identical to the things I could do at home.
There are places where this is easy and there are places where this is quite hard.
Orlando, Florida with its incessant chain stores, incurable Disney mania and at first glimpse monotone matte buildings identical in shape and size, appeared to me, completely devoid of character, until recently.
We visit Orlando at least once a year. My in-laws live there. My husband's siblings live there. We have two small Disney smitten children. It is a part of our narrative and our relationship with the city isn't fizzling anytime in the near future.
Every year, when it's time to trek southward I let out an "ugh (insert disgusted face)- Central Florida- blech (insert another disgusted face)...." groan.
Orlando has made me cringe for as long as I could remember. Even as a small child visiting Disney World, I couldn't get past the inferno of heat, the oddly timed monsoon rains, the long lines, the blah, blah, blah, short brown buildings everywhere. I wasn't a Central Florida enthusiast.
I planned to avoid the region entirely until the husband, with the in-laws and the Central Florida dwelling siblings set into motion my annual kicking and screaming match.
At first I was prepared to give Orlando another chance. Maybe it had changed since the 90's when I had visited the Magic Kingdom as a child.
Nope. Trips to see my husband's family were full of chain stores and malls, sweltering swampy heat, relatively bad restaurants and inexplicable traffic. Sure, I had pockets of fun, but getting to see Orlando as a unique city with character and culture was not happening!
Until this last visit that is.
Note: This is not an Orlando bashing post.
I actually had an amazing time! I had an amazing time outside of the time spent at Disney, getting to know some of the neighborhoods that make up the perplexing city of Orlando.
The two neighborhoods of Celebration and Winter Garden helped me see Orlando's light!
Celebration, where we spent our final four days is beautiful! Pastel colored Victorian styled multi level homes grace perfectly manicured lawns. Colorful bikes zipped along main street past the local shops, restaurants and boutiques that lined expansive palm tree studded streets. The stunning variety of green hues and textures make one feel vibrant and alive. Celebration is close to Disney, but thankfully removed. I will gladly return to Celebration.
Winter Garden made me smile. Another neighborhood in the Orlando area, Winter Garden had stretches of small shops, quirky local restaurants and cafes. Pedestrian friendly and extremely family friendly, people strolled the narrow sidewalks with their dogs, holding hands, pushing baby strollers. Winter Garden has character and so much charm.
Winter Garden is also home to a piece of gold! The Saturday afternoon farmer's market is superb!
The farmer's market at Winter Garden is less produce and artisanal food as it is local artisans and shops. There is a distinct holistic and metaphysical vibe as you stroll by white tents encircled by plumes of white sage and incense smoke, pink Himalayan salt lamps and crystals on celestial display. The aroma of herbs and spices waft everywhere.
There's a place for kids to run free. A small stage by the food trucks where you can enjoy live music and refreshment.
Toddler free and excited, I was walking with my sister-in-law Lori who recently relocated to the neighborhood when something caught my eye....
It was a sign that read "Ask me about Tamanu Oil!" The sign was on a table surrounded by lotions, oils and scrubs.
I like lotions, oils and scrubs!
I was intrigued. I hadn't heard of Tamanu oil. So I asked.
The thing I love most about farmer's markets is that you get to speak directly to farmers and artisans. Andrea, the woman behind the table was the creator of Barnse Bath Co. a line of body care products with the slogan "Take the natural bath." She and her husband developed and worked on the line together. Tamanu oil was the main ingredient in the products in her line and for good reason. Tamanu oil it turns out, is nature's sunscreen. Undiluted, it provides a person with an spf of around 20. I was sold!
I purchased a lovely bottle which came in handy later when we visited Disney World. The oil was infused with rose essential oil and smelled wonderful. Best of all, it absorbed directly into our skin and never left an oily trace on the surface. It dried perfectly matte.
This was a natural sunscreen I didn't feel hesitant about applying to my two toddlers. Have you ever read the ingredients on the back of a bottle of sunscreen? Yikes!
Tamanu oil I learned, originates in Malaysia and is known to be much more than a natural protector against the sun.
Tamanu is reported to:
-heal minor abrasions and burns on the skin
-heal acne and eczema
-seal moisture into the hair shaft
-have cellular regenerative properties making it great for aging skin
-protect against hyper-pigmentation
-heal nail fungus and foot odor due to its anti-fungal and anti microbial properties
-protect against stretch marks
-soothe diaper rash
-soothe insect bites and itching
In short, tamanu oil which can be applied directly to the skin is pretty darn miraculous.
I'm so happy I came upon the farmer's market in Winter Garden.
Not only do I plan to return, but I plan to pick up some more great products from Barnse Bath Co.
Have you tried Tamanu Oil?