4 Options to Protect Your Skin Using Natural Sunscreens
Protecting your skin from sun damage can help you look younger, prevent skin cancer and let you avoid painful burns. With a little caution and some research, you can keep your skin safe without exposing yourself to harsh and dangerous chemicals.
One of the best natural sunscreens is simply limiting your exposure. Wear long pants and long sleeves when experiencing prolonged sun exposure, as well as a wide-brimmed hat to create shade. Some designers create clothing specifically for this use. The clothes are constructed from fabric that blocks ultraviolet rays but is still light and breathable, making it comfortable for use in hot weather.
Try planning your activities to minimize sun exposure as well. Early mornings and late afternoons are good times to be outdoors when you need sunlight. It's also usually cooler at those times.
Some people create homemade sunscreen. Ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, raspberry seed oil, beeswax and pure zinc oxide can provide homemade sun protection. However, approach these natural sunscreens with caution. They can have unpredictable SPF levels and may not last for very long, requiring frequent reapplication to prevent burns. Many are also messy and uncomfortable. Oils can also increase your chances of getting a burn, but these ingredients can be effective when mixed together and reapplied frequently.
Skin naturally withstands some level of sun exposure. In fact, sun exposure is necessary to produce vitamin D. You can support your skin's natural protective abilities by making sure you are getting plenty of vitamins C and B. These come in supplement forms, but you can get them naturally by eating a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamin C, and eggs, salmon, spinach and poultry for B vitamins. This should not be used as a replacement for sunscreen or sun avoidance, but it can help fill in the gaps.
One of the safest natural options is to find a quality, effective commercial formula. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit group designed to protecting people from toxic chemicals, creates a list of safe and effective sunscreens every year. These are usually widely available, and many are affordable. Tropical Sands, Caribbean Solutions and Jason are among the brands that sell affordable and safe natural sunscreens. The ingredients of these formulas vary, so it is still a good idea to read the label carefully. However, you don't have to worry about dangerous substances such as retinyl palmitate, a common ingredient which actually increases skin damage.
It's no secret that the sun's rays can be damaging, with effects ranging from mild sunburns to potentially deadly skin cancers. Protecting your skin is important, but commercial sunscreens can vary in effectiveness and some may contain dangerous carcinogens. There are ways to protect yourself using safe, natural methods.