One of the best things that Summer brings is long days in the sun, soaking in the rays, and getting a fresh tan. And not only is this nourishing to our souls, but Vitamin D, when absorbed properly and in the right amount, is so nourishing to our bodies as well.
But the secret is out about sunscreen. It is loaded with negative ingredients that are getting absorbed into your skin while also absorbing the good ones that offer sun protection. Ingredients like oxybenzone and many other alike, which are found in 80% of commercial sunscreen the United States, has been linked to disrupt hormones and potentially damage cells that could cause skin cancer. But don’t get too worried – there are ways to enjoy a day outside while protecting yourself from sun damage and avoiding toxins and chemicals.
by Hannah Bater
Vitamin E: Applying Vitamin E like alpha-tocopherol or tocotrienol, contains a protecting agent against UV rays. Plus it has a major bonus of reducing wrinkles.
Foods can boost your body’s natural sun protection: Research has shown that there are key nutrients from your diet that can boost your skin’s natural sun protection. Here a few of them:
Citrus Fruits tend to be rich in Vitamin C, which combined with Vitamin E can reduce the potential risk of sunburn. Plus, Citrus fruits contain limonene which has been linked to 34% lower risk of skin cancer.
Green Tea contains Catechins which were found to have disease preventing properties that protect against sunburn inflammation and long-term UV radiation damage. Green tea also has tannic acid and antioxidants called EGCG’s which helps calm sunburn pain. So if you do get burned, green tea can be very soothing.
Tomatoes & watermelon both have large amounts of Lycopene. This is a carotenoid and an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals that are produced by too much sun. It also reduces inflammatory responses to UV damage.
Tumeric has been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, largely because it contains strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is considered to be a superfood because it has been found to aid in protection to the epidermal skin cells from the damage caused by ultraviolet B rays.
Make your own natural sunscreen out of simple ingredients. There are a lot of recipes on the internet for homemade sunscreen. Most include a variation of Zinc Oxide and coconut oil mixed with other natural oils. We found this awesome all natural, homemade sunscreen thanks to Coconut Mama.
1/2 Cup Virgin Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Non Nana Zinc Oxide
1 Tablespoon Red Raspberry Seed Oil
Optional: 10 Drops
Coconut Oil has a natural SPF of 4-5, which although is low, combined with Red Raspberry Seed Oil that has an SPF of 25 and Zinc Oxide that is known for its UV protection, you get the perfect natural sunscreen!
Studies have shown that certain colored clothing absorbs more UV rays than others. Dark or bright colors absorb more UV rays; for example, colors such as red, black or navy will take in more harmful UV rays than lighter colors like whites or pastels. So when you are getting ready for a long day in the sun, think about what you wear and stick to lighter colors!
These natural sun defenses are great alternatives to sunscreen, but there are a few brands out there who are making product with clean ingredients and allowing consumers to keep the ease of store bought sunscreen.
Made only of 6 ingredients, Surf Mud by Eir NYC is made with Zinc, which offers great sun protection. But it also is fused with chocolate that is deeply hydrating.
Raw Elements has an entire line that features body, face and lip balm. All their products are made with Non- Nano Zinc Oxide as their active ingredients and organic or natural inactive ingredients. They are committed to products that are good for our skin, but also certified reef safe and are made sustainably.
Beautycounter just recently produced a spray, lotion and face-stick sunscreen. All are made with sensitive skin in mind and abides by beautycounter’s strict ingredient standards. They are made with Non- Nano Oxide and specifically avoid Oxybenzone and Octinoxate.