Natural Sunscreen Tips to Protect Skin From Sun Damage (Part I)

Summer is here; are you ready to go to the beach to get a safe suntan to look fabulous . As a matter of fact, there is no such a thing as safe tan, and unfortunately, more and more studies show that there is no such a thing as safe sunscreen either.

You might think that sunscreens protect against skin cancer. Well, they do protect against sunburn, as for cancer…It depends.
Everything we eat goes to our bloodstream, everything we apply to our skin will be also absorbed into our bloodstream. Did you notice how many chemicals regular sunscreens contain? Studies show that the longer sunscreen chemicals are left on the skin, the more they will be absorbed into the body, and it means we’ll get more toxins, which is very dangerous for our health.
If we have a good immune and eliminative system, we can handle the extra exposure to toxins. Otherwise, we need to detox from time to time not to become a toxic dump. But what about our young children who have less well-developed processes of elimination, and have a larger surface area per body weight than adults? Do they need more chemicals in their bodies?
As for me, I don’t use sunscreens because I try to stay out of sun from 11:00am till 4:00 pm. and wear a hat or try to be in the shade. When my son was young, I didn’t let him be out in the middle of the day in the direct summer sun. People don’t realize that even if they use sunscreen, they still should avoid too much sun -everything in moderation is the best policy.
Here are some healthy tips on how to protect our skin from sun damage:

1. If we do need sunscreen, we have to look for better and healthier alternatives. Two nontoxic solutions are the sun blocking minerals zinc oxide (studies show that only clothing and zinc oxide totally block UVB and UVA rays) and titanium dioxide. They are supposed to be safer products. You might be interested in sunscreen products with micronized zinc oxide as the only active ingredient.
2. We can use oils from our kitchen such as Sesame Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive and Peanut oils as well as rich in cinnamic acid, Walnut Oil, Raspberry Oil, Avocado Oil, Pomegranate Oil, Jojoba Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Aloe Vera Oil, Coffee Butter, Shea Butter. All of them have UV protection and damage repair properties and provide natural protection from the sun. You can find a lot of modern sunscreen products which incorporate many of these oils and butters.
3. We shouldn’t eat carrots, celery, parsley, parsnips and limes before we go to the beach. Studies show that these vegetables contain psoralens, chemicals that may make you unusually sensitive to the sun.
4. We shouldn’t use skin-care products that contain citrus essential oils, especially bergamot (Citrus bergamia). They might increase the skin’s sensitivity to light and cause skin discoloration or rashes.
5. We should apply a thin coat of yogurt, sour cream, kefir or aloe-vera gel to reddened areas to help reduce inflammation and cool and moisturize our skin if we did get sunburn.

Studies show that even if you use a sunscreen and don’t get burned, ultraviolet rays and light can still suppress your immune system. Choose the right sunscreen product using common sense and exploring your options – the one that offers least harm is the best.

And don’t forget that the old fashioned way- a big hat, sun glasses and a shade from perhaps a nice large tree can be used in a pinch for protection from sun damage.

Irina Wardas HHC, Holistic Counselor and Lifestyle, Nutrition, and Wellness Coach