Do you want to naturally protect yourself from the sun?
We’ve got you covered with tips to soak up the benefits of the sun without adding chemicals to your skin or getting a sunburn.
Whether vacationing at the beach, hiking with friends, or walking the dog, it’s good to know how to enjoy your time outside AND get a healthy dose of vitamin D, without damaging your skin. First, there’s no need to shun the sun or cover your body with sunblock from head to toe every time you go outside. In fact, it’s better that you don’t so you can increase your vitamin D levels.
Over 25% of Americans have low levels of vitamin D.
We’ll go over how to naturally protect yourself from the sun. You’ll even discover the best mineral sunscreen options. Now you can benefit your body and get a nice tan without having a painful sunburn that increases your risk of skin cancer.
Healthy Sun Tips
The sun is healthy for you, but you want to be smart and avoid over-exposure. How does the sun benefit you? Sunshine feels good, boosts your mood, and increases vitamin D levels. It’s the best source of natural vitamin D. This helps improve calcium and phosphate levels. It supports mental health, mood, and wellbeing. It can also reduce inflammation, strengthen bones, boost immunity, and fight cancer. How much sun exposure is healthy? It depends on your skin tone, age, diet, susceptibility to sunburn, and the intensity of light. Typically, a healthy dose of “D” is 15-60 minutes daily. Make sure you change positions frequently for more even exposure. Once you start to feel the burn, consider the reinforcements below, such as a mineral sunscreen.
Naturally Protect Yourself From The Sun — Tip #1…
Avoid a Sunburn
Although it’s good to be pro-sunlight, you want to avoid getting a sunburn. Set yourself up to naturally protect yourself from the sun. First, seek morning or late afternoon light and avoid midday, peak UV radiation. The sun is typically the strongest between noon and 3 pm. If you have fair skin, then seek sun in the morning or after 3 pm to avoid burning. Before you go out, check out the Sunwise UV Index mobile app to check UV radiation levels in your area. Second, bring an umbrella or find shade. Third, wear protective clothing such as hats, long sleeve shirts, pants, and sunglasses. Lastly, apply a non-toxic, mineral sunscreen.
Naturally Protect Yourself From The Sun — Tip #2
Ditch Chemical Sunscreen
It can be challenging to find a healthy sunscreen. Most are full of hazardous chemicals and other toxic ingredients. What’s the difference between mineral sunscreen vs. chemical sunscreen? Everything! Natural, mineral sunscreen reflects the sun’s rays away from your skin. In contrast, chemical sunscreen absorbs the sun’s rays. Also, many conventional chemical sunscreens contain harmful toxins and hormone disruptors that release free radicals in sunlight. You absorb these chemicals through your skin. As a result, they can create hormonal imbalances and cause skin irritations or allergies. If you want to naturally protect yourself from the sun, then ditch all conventional, toxic sunscreens.
Naturally Protect Yourself From The Sun — Tip #3
Read Product Labels
The first step to choosing a safer sunscreen is to always read product labels. Manufacturers use clever and misleading claims to sell products. Don’t be fooled by savvy sunscreen marketing. Avoid chemical ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, methoxycinnamate, PABA, retinol, and retinal palmitate. These chemicals are linked to skin damage, hormone imbalances, and even cancer. Also, avoid spray sunscreens as they don’t coat the skin evenly and they contain harmful inhalants. Opt for lotions instead of sprays. Another gimmick is a super high SPF. Most SPF protection tops out at 30-50 SPF, so disregard any marketing ploys that promise a higher SPF.
Naturally Protect Yourself From The Sun — Tip #4
Select Mineral Sunscreen
Is mineral sunscreen better? Not all mineral sunscreen is equal, but it’s definitely a better option than chemical options. Look for mineral sunscreen ingredients and non-toxic ingredients. To find the best sunscreen options, check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The EWG tests, analyzes, and rates products to help you find healthier choices. You can choose from a variety of products that work well and are free of harmful chemicals. Look at EWG sunscreen reviews to find the best non-toxic sunscreen for you. I like Badger all-natural sunscreens and Devita is a good brand too. But, always check the ingredients because they’re subject to change.
Want more natural sunscreen alternatives? Depending on how long you’re in the sun, unrefined coconut oil can provide great short-term protection. It can be a good alternative to sunscreen and it’s safe to put on your skin or in your mouth. Coconut oil ranges from 5-10 SPF, so don’t rely on it for all-day exposure.
Naturally Protect Yourself From The Sun — Tip #5
Eat Sun-Protective Foods
Want to boost your skin’s natural sun protection? Eat more sun-protective foods to naturally protect yourself from the sun. Healthy foods high in antioxidants provide skin protection from the inside out. First, you want to hydrate and eat a healthy daily diet. The foods you eat influence how easily you tan or burn. Based on research, there are specific nutrients you can eat to naturally boost your sun protection.
Note: you should still implement the tips above such as wearing a mineral sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. But, adding these foods will greatly support your efforts.
Eat these foods to boost your intake of sun-protective nutrients…
- Beta-carotene — carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, red peppers
- Lycopene — tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon
- Vitamin C — lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, and strawberries
- Vitamin E — almonds, asparagus, pumpkin seeds
- Catechins and polyphenols — white tea, green tea, and chocolate
- Ellagic acid — pomegranates
- Omega-3s — salmon, fish oil, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds
- Astaxanthin — wild Alaskan salmon
- Resveratrol — red grapes, blueberries
- Natural saturated fats — coconut, avocado, nuts, and seeds
- Proanthocyanidins — blueberries, grape seeds, hazelnuts, pistachios
In addition to eating foods that support your skin health, you also want to avoid foods that are harmful. Avoid foods that are highly processed, high in refined sugars, or filled with bad fats (canola, soy, vegetable oil), and highly inflammatory foods (wheat, gluten, corn, etc.). These foods can speed up the aging process and even promote the development of skin cancer.
Sun Smart Menu
- Breakfast: steel-cut oatmeal with wild blueberries
- Beverage: organic pomegranate green tea
- Snack: watermelon slices or pink grapefruit
- Lunch: wild salmon salad with spinach, strawberries, and walnuts
- Snack: cherry banana smoothie
- Dinner: meatballs with asparagus, tomatoes, and avocado
- Beverage: watermelon kombucha
- Dessert: frozen red grapes
What happens if you don’t naturally protect yourself from the sun? Here are some natural sunburn relief options…
What’s the best sunburn relief?
The best sunburn relief is aloe. Aloe vera is a great, cooling remedy for a sunburn. A fresh aloe plant works best, but a high-quality gel or lotion works well too. Look for options with vitamin E oil to support your skin’s healing. Essential oils are another great option for sunburn relief. Lavender, peppermint, and helichrysum can soothe the burn and boost recovery time. For easy application, add your essential oils to a spray bottle and fill with water. Spritz on your skin throughout the day for immediate relief. Check out more DIY Holistic Beauty Recipes. Lastly, avoid anything that can aggravate your sunburn. Don’t go outside, apply make-up, or wear tight clothes. Give your skin room to breathe and time to heal.