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Top 5 Ways to Naturally Protect your Skin

Sun Safety: Top 5 Ways to Naturally Protect your Skin

 

We all know the importance of the sun. It’s needed to provide life on this beautiful planet of ours. But as necessary as the sun can be, it can also be a little intimidating. Being outside for too long unprotected can be harmful to the human body. Here we’re going to go over different ways you can protect yourself, so you can keep having as much fun in the sun as you want.

 

Use a Safe Sunscreen

If you plan on being out in the sun all day, you will want to apply safe sunscreen. Believe it or not, but not all sunscreens are created the same. Many sunscreen products are unfortunately laced with harmful chemicals that may do more harm than good. Let’s go over some things you’ll want to make sure you’re looking for when choosing the right sunscreen for you.

 

  1. You’ll want to look for a sunscreen that has at least 30 SPF if you’re planning on being outdoors for an extended period. The critical thing to remember is to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and again every two hours - or immediately after swimming or sweating. [1]

 

  1. Chemical sunscreens come with a lot of baggage, such as not knowing the long-term effects of those chemicals inside the sunscreen itself. We recommend a mineral-based sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are great for sensitive skin, as the mineral sunscreen actually blocks the light from hitting your skin, instead of other sunscreens that use chemicals to absorb the UV rays from the sun.

 

  1. Broad-spectrum sunscreen is important to look for because it will protect you from UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are known for causing your skin to wrinkle prematurely and also cause age spots. UVB rays cause your skin to burn. Overexposure to either type of ray can cause skin cancer. A broad-spectrum sunscreen will help lower your risk of skin cancer. [2]

Foods that Protect Your Skin

 

Did you know you can eat your skin protection too? Like any part of your body, whether it be your heart or your kidneys, a healthy diet goes an incredibly long way. It’s the same with your skin. Let’s look at some foods that benefit the health of your skin, and in turn, also help protect it.

 

Blueberries

This delicious fruit is abundant in powerful antioxidants that can help your skin bounce back from a day in the sun by fighting off the development of wrinkles that your body would generally want to produce.[3]

Foods that contain Beta Carotene

Beta carotene is a yellow/orange pigment that gives vegetables and fruits their vibrant colors. It is essentially a precursor to vitamin A. Beta carotene has been shown to provide natural protection from the sun after ten weeks of regular supplementation [4]. So, what foods contain beta carotene? Here are a few you’ll recognize.

 

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Chives
  • Grapefruit
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Plums
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes

 

Green Tea

It’s been found that regular green tea consumption reduces skin damage from UVA light and protects from collagen loss. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and is responsible for skin elasticity and joint health.[5] Finding pleasant remedies you actually enjoy makes healthy habits easy to maintain.

Nuts and Seeds

Adding nuts and seeds regularly to your diet will ensure you are obtaining the necessary amount of omega-3. Your body does not naturally create omega-3, so it’s essential to get it in your diet or by supplementation. Omega-3 helps make your skin more resistant to sunburn by protecting it from ultraviolet rays.[6]

Wear a Hat

 

This one may sound like a no-brainer, but it never hurts to get a friendly reminder. Wearing a hat can sometimes seem like an afterthought, but it can play a crucial role in protecting you from harmful ultraviolet rays. Given the type of hat you’re wearing, it can protect your hair, eyes, ears, and neck. A typical baseball cap will not cover all these areas, but there are plenty of other options to look for.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light can be harmful to your eyelid, cornea, lens, and retina. One short-term effect of eye exposure to ultraviolet light can include sunburning your cornea - caused by UV rays eating away at the outer layer of cornea cells. This is called photokeratitis, which can be treated with oral painkillers eye ointments, which work to prevent further infection to the cornea that has been damaged.[8]

 

Avoid Peak Sun

 

Another way to avoid the sun’s harmful rays is to avoid when those rays are at their strongest. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, this is typically between 10 AM - 4 PM. If you are out during this time, it’s essential to wear sunscreen and incorporate the advice we talked about above. It’s also important to remember that you can still be harmed by the sun during cloudy or cool days.

 

Worried about Vitamin D Deficiency?

 

Most of us have probably heard the saying that says you need 10 minutes of sun a day to ensure that you’re receiving the appropriate amount of vitamin D. But that’s not always possible for all of us. Vitamin D helps distribute calcium and phosphorus in the body. This is important for the health of our bones, teeth, and muscles.

 

If you’re concerned you are not receiving the necessary amount of vitamin D, it is a good idea to take a supplement to ensure those minerals are being appropriately and abundantly sent through the body. We recommend a high-quality vitamin D supplement like Freeda.

 

 

[1] https://www.skincancer.org/blog/ask-the-expert-does-a-high-spf-protect-my-skin-better/

[2] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/best-sunscreen/art-20045110

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7346205/

[4] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1751-1097.2007.00253.x

[5] https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/56329

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21569104/

[7] https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/macular-degeneration/age-related-macular-degeneration-overview

[8] https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/are-sunglasses-necessary/

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