It is fun-in-the-sun time as we have officially come into Summer! And I, for one, am thrilled. I love the warmth of summer and the many outdoor activities that go along with it. There certainly are benefits to being exposed to the sun, such as absorbing vitamin D, hormone balancing, mood improvement and building a strong immune system.
It’s also important to understand that there are some dangers of too much sun exposure. While the sun feels so good on our faces and so warm to our hearts, it is still important to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Here are a few ways that you may wish to protect yourself from potential sun damage:
- Wear a natural sunscreen when needed. Here is a link to some good natural sunscreens according to Good Housekeeping https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/anti-aging/tips/g256/natural-sunscreens-460608/
- Cover up while outdoors. Wear a light, white shirt over sleeveless shirt if you don’t have sunscreen. Wear wicking clothing. Wear a hat with a brim to cover your head, neck, and face.
- Avoid the sun during peak sun hours when the sun is highest in the sky and most intense. Typically this is around noon and in the early afternoon hours.
- Eat a diet that supports skin health such as yellow and orange fruits and vegetables like carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes. Also beneficial for their vitamins, minerals and antioxidant, skin healing effects are spinach, tomatoes, blueberries, avocados, walnuts, and fatty fish.
Much like food that is beneficial for some and not others, the concept of bio-individuality says that what works for one person may not work for another. So, I encourage you to try different sun protection options and pay attention to what works best for you. And remember some people may even require more sun exposure than others for optimal health, so knowing your body and health needs is key!
While we can take precautions to avoid overexposure, most people have gotten sunburned at some point in their lives. For those of us who have accidentally spent too long in the sun or forgotten to reapply sunscreen after a dip in a pool, lake or ocean, here are some natural remedies that can help reduce pain and redness AND support the body’s healing process.
- Hydrate! Drink plenty of water. Sunburns are very drying for our skin, and we are often quite dehydrated after spending time in the sun. While it’s important to drink water all day, extra hydration is helpful when recovering from a sunburn. Experiment with other hydrating liquids, such as herbal teas or coconut water.
- Apple Cider vinegar! Diluting apple cider vinegar in water and applying it to a sunburn is a great remedy. Try combining one cup of water with one cup of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz directly onto your sunburn to soothe the pain.
- Coconut Oil. This is great for alleviating pain, minimizing redness, and moisturizing your skin to prevent peeling.
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you can enjoy the many benefits of sunshine! But of course, you need to be sure to know your skin’s tolerance to the sun. Keep necessary precautions in mind and listen to your body to know when you’ve had enough sun exposure.
Wishing you many healthy and sunshiny days ahead!