Summer is full throttle and all the sunny days are here!
Sun is amazing and can provide so many health benefits like helping our body manufacture Vitamin D. Our skin is our largest organ that protects our body so it’s very important to protect it well from too much sun! It’s healthy to sit for about 10 minutes each day without sun protection for good Vitamin D exposure but too much unprotected sun can pose health risks like sunburn or potential skin cancers and can accelerate skin aging! Avoiding the sun in high UV peak hours from 10am-4pm plus seeking shade is an easy way to protect your skin plus implementing 3 sun protective habits will keep your skin safer.
3 Ways for Safe Sun Protection:
Sun Protective Habit #1 Edible Sunscreen
Many foods have nutritional properties that can help nourish and protect our skin from UV damage. Ironically many of them are organically available in the summer months!
~Berries – High in antioxidants, studies have found that foods like berries high in antioxidants help fight free-radicals and protects our skin from sun damage.
~Dark Leafy Greens- Dark leafy green vegetables also have high antioxidants can help offset the damage from UV rays. Studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin specific antioxidants found in greens can help prevent skin wrinkles and protect us from the sun. Research also shows that eating dark leafy greens can decrease our risk of skin cancer.
~ Dark Chocolate or Cacao -the antioxidants found in cacao or dark chocolate called flavonoids help prevent sun damage plus studies have showed less UV sensitivity plus increased blood flow to the skin, as well as enhanced skin texture and structure when dark chocolate is regularly consumed.
~Nuts and Seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids are highly anti-inflammatory helping the skin heal if a sunburn does occur but Omega 3 fatty acids also help keep the skin strong and healthy! Wild caught salmon or fish would be a great omega-3 fatty acid source too that helps fight free radical sun damage plus may help fight certain skin cancers.
~ Red or Orange Fruits and vegetables (Tomatoes, watermelon, Carrots, Cantaloupe, Bell Peppers, Sweet Potatoes)- all high in beta carotene which our body converts to Vitamin A. Research shows that beta carotene can help shield our skin from sunburn. Watermelon and tomatoes studies have shown that the lycopene in both helps protect the skin from sunburns. Lycopene, beta carotene, and lutein are all key nutrients in red and orange produce that help protect our skin overall.
~ Green Tea- green tea contains beneficial polyphenols called catechins, which may help protect skin from sun damage and skin cancer, according to promising preliminary research.
Sun Protective Habit #2 Wear Safe Sunscreens
Not all sunscreens are created equal, we want to strive for sunscreens that are safe for our skin using safer ingredients plus safer for the environment. In fact Oxybenzone and octinoxate are two ingredients commonly found in mainstream sunscreens that are not healthy to put on our body and known to contribute to the collapse of coral reefs.
Recent research has found that chemicals in sunscreens hit the bloodstream within a day at high enough questionable levels. My recommendation is to to wear a safe, broad spectrum (UBA/UVB) spf 30-50 everyday which blocks approximately 97-88% of the UVB rays. Always strive to re-apply every 2 hours or immediately after being in the water. Try going for mineral, non nano zinc oxide based sunscreen. This type of sunscreen sits on top of the skin surface creating a barrier to reflect the sun’s rays. Personally I love the Beautycounter brand which is mineral based, full of clean ingredients, contains UVA, UVB, plus Blue light protection, reef friendly, and uses non-nano zinc oxide. The sunscreen comes in lotion, spray or stick form and uses non-aerosol technology. The non nano zinc oxide is made of larger particles that will not be as likely inhaled or cross the blood/brain barrier. If interested in learning more about safer sunscreens the EWG has a great list of the safest 2019 sunscreens.
Sun Protective Habit #3 Wear Sun Protective gear
Again, avoiding the sun in peek UV hours between 10am-4pm plus seeking shade will help protect your skin from too much sun but also wearing broad rimmed hats, sun protective clothing, and sun protective sunglasses with UVB and UVA protection is important when in the sun for lengthy periods of time.
Sun is wonderful and it does the body good in small doses but a healthy respect for the sun implementing these three habits will always help keep our skin safer from potential skin cancers, burns, and aging along the way. If interested in trying the Beautycounter sunscreen just click on the the Beautycounter tab under menu and shop away or contact me with any questions. Cheers to safer sun practices!