It’s about that time! Time to get some color on our pale skin after the long brutal winter! But not so fast. Don’t forget to wear protection. But, where do you start? Which brand of sunblock do we buy? Even more importantly for some, is this stuff even good for us? What’s that fuss about sunblock being dangerous?
What if I told you that there’s a way out of the confusing mess? No sunblock AND no sunburn. Too good to be true? Maybe not. With the proper combination of steps, you can do it, and even better, you’ll be golden — literally!
Tip #1- Eat it
The most important tip I recommend to help protect and improve your skin is to increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. The logic behind this this tip is simple. Fruits and veggies have nutrients that aid in fighting off negative side effects from ultra violet radiation.
There’s one main antioxidant group that has been linked to the defense against UV radiation called Polyphenols. Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in fruits, vegetables and green tea. Studies suggest that long-term consumption of these polyphenols can boost our over-all longevity, while helping to prevent the development of diseases like cancers such as melanoma.
More specifically, what these nutrients do is combat the harmful free radicals from the sun, while allowing your body to absorb many of the benefits from the sun. You need sun in order to produce vitamin D3. The body needs vitamin D3 to carry out many daily functions, so it is extremely important that we get enough. I recommend spending at least 10 minutes in the sun daily, without sunblock or sunglasses, for sufficient vitamin D intake!
Tip #2 – Go Coconutz
My next tip to protect and care for your skin during the summer months is to apply raw and unpasteurized coconut oil. This oil has thousands of benefits including its UV-absorbing mechanism. Coconut oil only absorbs about one quarter of the UV Rays you will receive from the sun, but this seems to be the perfect amount for many of us.
For years, the Pacific Islanders only used coconut oil for their sunscreen, and many still do to this day! There are many sunscreens on the market that have been scientifically proven to be more cancer causing than the UV rays themselves, containing chemicals such para-aminobenzoic (PABA), benzophenones, cinnamates, oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate, among others, and have been shown to cause an increase in hormone disruptions, skin disease and dangerous skin reactions.
Think about it, your skin is always absorbing whatever you put on it. When you put on chemicals and toxins, the body has no idea what to do with them! It’s the same for ingesting. If you can’t eat it, why are you going to put it on your skin? So be mindful when applying!
Tip #3 – Apply Brains
My third tip to protecting your skin this summer may be a little obvious, but even I forget this important rule at times. Listening to your bodily intuitions when it comes to being outdoors and in the sun is so vital.
If you feel you have had enough sun for the day it is your responsibility to seek shade. Take your time in the sun. Ease into it with a base coat. The more time you spend in the sun the more your individual body will be able to handle it, so don’t over-do it!
Tip #4 – Rub Organically
Okay, okay. Even when we have the tips on how to be smart and have healthy sun exposure without sunscreen, there’s still something that is so comforting about applying protection. If it gives you more peace of mind to use sunscreen, use it! My advice here though, would be to stay smart when it comes to picking what brand.
Use the brands without all of those crazy chemicals I mentioned earlier. Find a brand that is completely organic. A brand that uses ingredients you can actually resonate with! One brand I have used in the past, and highly recommend is Dr. Mercola! He has dedicated his life to skin care and producing sunscreens that do not irritate the skin, or organs, and that offer protection against an overdose of harmful UVs.
Tip #5 – Be Aloe-licious
Last, but not least, is to touch base on the god of all healing plants, aloe vera. The gel like substance found within this plant’s leaves can treat many types of serious burns, including a painful sunburn. The aloe plant has been proven to heal and regenerate cells faster than any over-the-counter products found in today’s pharmaceutical isle.
These plants will grow most anywhere indoors and in warm climates outdoors. All you have to do is break off and squeeze the leaves of this plant until its gel is released. Be extremely generous with application of the gel! The aloe’s anti-inflammatory properties will be sure to smooth and sooth damaged, sunburnt skin!
In following these tips myself, I have not had a severe burn from the sun in years. I also have not used sunblock in over two years. I just moved to Hawaii from Montauk, so I’ve had only sunny days for quite some time now. I hope you found these tips resourceful and can use them to your de-paling efforts.
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