[dcwsb inline=”true”]

sun_protectionHow to Naturally Reduce Sun Damage

It’s June…which officially means we are in full effect for summer time.  It also means we’re spending a lot more time in the sun (hopefully around the water!).

Aesthetics aside, sun burn is highly damaging to the skin, prematurely aging it and affecting your health and increasing the risk of skin cancer.  Unfortunately this usually means using harmful and often TOXIC sunscreens!  Here are a few things to consider:

1. First, Realize that you should get some sun without sunscreen!

When you first get out in the sun, start by exposing your skin to it for short time frames of just a few minutes. If you are dark skinned, you could start with 15-30 minutes. Then build up the amount of time you expose your skin to the sun over a period of a few weeks, increasing the time little by little.  This will allow your skin to gradually adjust rather than going from A to Z and shocking it and increasing the likelihood of burning. Once you have built up your sun exposure, aim to only directly expose your skin to the sun for 20 minutes a day for very fair skin away from the hottest part of the day, then use clothing and natural sun cream to protect your skin for any further time in the sun. The darker your skin, the more time you can spend in the sun without covering up or using sun cream. If you have very dark skin, you may not need to do anything at all but it’s best to err on the side of caution.

2. Wear sunscreen, but make sure it’s not toxic!

Wearing sunscreen is important and i’m not advising you to avoid it at all (especially if your fair skinned), however, many suncreens are super toxic!

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just published their 2012 guide to safe sunscreens. They reviewed over 1800 sunscreens and over 257 brands. They found more than 75% of the sunscreens contained toxic chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer and other health issues.

Toxic, chemical-laden sun creams that you find in any pharmacy or grocery store are harmful to your body.

According to the EWG: Our review…shows that some sunscreen ingredients absorb into the blood, and some have toxic effects. Some release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight, some act like estrogen and disrupt hormones, and several can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. The FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients. Sunscreens haven’t been regulated since 1978 in the USA, and the SPF factor only tells you how effective a sunscreen is against UVB rays which cause sunburn.

Here’s a list of Unsafe, Toxic Chemicals in Sunscreen:

  • Para amino benzoic acid
  • Octyl salicyclate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Phenylbenzimidazole
  • Homosalate
  • Menthyl anthranilate
  • Octocrylene
  • Methoxycinnamate
  • Parabens

3. The Sun doesn’t cause Cancer, SICK or UNHEALTHY People in the Sun get Cancer!

Truth is, the sun is essential for your health. If you think about it, we were genetically designed to be outside and developed because of the sun.  Without the sun, most plants couldn’t grow and we would perish from a lack of Vitamin D3.  Of course, you can have too much of a good thing. I don’t recommend letting your skin burn, and this is a common point people miss. Getting a moderate amount of sunshine daily can actually help decrease your risk of certain types of cancers.

If you do the  things that are necessary to be healthy, your body will use the suns energy to produce health, rather than being vulnerable to diseases like cancer.  Focus on as much of your diet as possible being fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables. They are rich in antioxidants and nutrients and each color provides a different profile of these health-protectors. The more antioxidants and nutrition your body absorbs, the more effective your body will be at combating any negative effects of too much sun exposure and sun burn. It will also help you to feel and look as amazing as possible!

4. Sunscreen and Sun Damage Protectants that I Use

Kiss My Face SPF 30

The best sunscreen is honestly a hat and a shirt.  No chemicals for the skin to absorb, no questions about whether the product works and no bogus claims like “sunblock.” (No conventional product blocks out all rays. Which is why the FDA is trying to ban the term.)

When buying sunscreen I’d first check the EWG database. Here are my top 3 recommended brands of the top natural sunscreens:
1. Kiss My Face SPF 30

2. 100% Pure Hydration Organic Pomegranate

3. Aubrey Organics SPF 30 Children’s Unscented Sensitive Skin

These healthier sunscreens contain Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as a more natural form of sunblock. However even these ingredients aren’t flawless as you’ll see in the EWG ratings system.

4. Foods and Supplements that I Use

According to the American Cancer Society, oxidative damage can increase your cancer risk, so I recommend eating a diet high in certain foods which can potentially decrease your risk.

Here’s a List of the best foods and supplements to protect your skin:

Antioxidants (red wine, blueberries, red grapes, mangosteen)
Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon and fish oil)
Catechins (green and white tea)
Vitamin E (pumpkin seeds, almonds, and asparagus)
Beta-carotene (carrots and red bell peppers)
Vitamin D3 (salmon, oysters, eggs, mushrooms)