Daylight Savings Time is fast approaching. This means that there’s going to be more sun, and a greater chance of getting sunburned. While you can just slap on some sunscreen, not everyone wants to lather on unknown chemicals in their search for healthy skin. Not to fear. Today we’re going to show you how to protect your skin, naturally.
The Effects of Sun Damage
The immediate effect of too much sun exposure is a sunburn. Though it’s painful and it’s ugly, it’s not the worst thing. There are longterm effects from too much sun exposure, even if you never get a sunburn. Repeated sun exposure can lead to a greater chance of developing skin cancer. It can also lead to looking older than you really are. This is because it accelerates the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven coloration of the skin.
The Ins and The Outs of Sun Protection
Protecting your skin naturally is as easy at 1-2-3:
- Limit sun exposure.
- Eat the right foods.
- Use sunscreen.
1. Limit Sun Exposure
No matter how well you eat, or how much you cover up with sunscreen, limiting the amount of sun you get is the most important step. To reduce your exposure, limit your time in the sun, especially between 10am and 2pm, when the suns rays are at their most intense. You should also wear clothing that covers skin exposed to the sun.
The darker your skin, the more time you can spend getting sun (duh!). While there is no official number for how much sun exposure you can handle, a good rule of thumb is that, without sunscreen, fair skinned people can only handle 10min of sun at noon, tan skinned people can handle 20min, and dark skinned people can handle up to 40min.
2. Eat The Right Foods
Sun damages the skin by creating free-radicals. Free-radicals are unstable molecules that can damage the DNA that controls cell growth and development. This can lead to disease. Antioxidants are compounds that protect us from the damage caused by free-radicals. Eating foods high in antioxidants is an important step in protecting your skin from the sun. So, what foods are high in antioxidants? Glad you asked.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids help to prevent the damage of free-radicals, and help protect against certain types of skin cancer. They are in many foods, especially shellfish and fatty fish.
Reds and Oranges
Fruits and vegetables that are red and orange contain carotenoids, which have been shown to protect the skin against UV-induced irritation.
Flavinoids found in dark chocolate can help protect against the UV damage of sunburns, keep the skin hydrated, increase oxygen saturation, and boost blood flow.
Broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals, and protects many organs, including the skin, from cancer.
If it’s green, it’s good. Herbs are packed full of the antioxidants, especially oregano. Dark leafy greens are also full of wonderful antioxidants.
Green tea prevents skin cancer by helping the body to repair damaged DNA.
3. Use Sunscreen
Using sunscreen is an important step in reducing the amount of UV damage that you get. However, covering your skin with titanium, copper, or parabens might not be what you’re looking for. Fortunately for you, there is a natural option.
Red Raspberry Oil
This oil has an SPF of 28 to 50, and it protects against both UVA & UVB rays. Even better, it contains antioxidants that help fight free-radical damage. It is not waterproof, and it needs to be re-applied often. However, if you’re looking for a natural alternative to synthetic chemicals, red raspberry oil shows the most promise.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.