Natural Ways to Protect Your Skin This Summer
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few decades, you’re aware of how damaging UV rays can be. After all, skin cancer is now the number one form of cancer in large portions of the world, including the United States and most developed nations.
We know we have to protect ourselves, and most of us are diligent about using sunscreens when we’re going to be outside for a good length of time. Unfortunately, there’s a big potential problem with that: research has shown that many mass-produced sunscreens contain chemical ingredients that may actually be harmful to our health!
Luckily, there are plenty of common sense things you can do to protect your skin from UV damage and a number of all-natural products. Here are some of the best ways to save your skin from the sun without using dangerous chemicals.
Seek out natural and organic sunscreens. Most of the sunscreens from big companies that we’re used to seeing contain at least some harmful chemicals, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t natural alternatives. Dr. Benkim’s All-Natural Sunscreen Lotion with Green Tea and Lavera Naturkosmetik’s Organic sunscreens are two great options. They use natural pigments, and plant-based ingredients such as jojoba, eucalyptus, sunflower, and coconut oils, as well as zinc and titanium oxide.
Eat a sunblock diet. No, not a diet of sunblock. Most people don’t know this, but a number of our foods actually contain natural skin protection. A number of fish, like salmon, halibut, and cod, are rich in omega-3s that work to reduce skin inflammation from UV damage. Getting the recommended amount of vitamins C and E will cause your skin to react better to sunburns, and vitamin E in conjunction with the carotenoids found in spinach, carrots, and other foods will pump up your body’s natural defenses against sunburns.
Dress for success. Don’t want to risk putting any more potentially harmful things in or on your body? Okay – then just dress better. One of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing the amount of UV damage to our skin is to cover our bodies when we go out and wear reflective clothing. Instead of tank tops, shorts, and sandals, opt for jeans, long sleeves, and close-toed shoes. Instead of blacks and blues, wear white.
Accessorize. Dressing smarter shouldn’t stop with clothes. Protect your delicate eyes by wearing sunglasses with UV protection. Wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim. You can even carry an umbrella if you want to for added protection against not just the rays, but the heat itself.
It’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t try to avoid sunlight altogether. All of us need at least a little bit or we risk getting a vitamin D deficiency. What’s harmful is exposing your skin to an excessive amount of sunlight so that it burns. The key is moderation and using a safe, natural method of protection.
About the Author: Debbie Sweet covers a dermatology expert in Chicagoland. In her free time, she’s cheering for USA in the Olympics!