How to Enjoy the Sun Naturally
By Kat Gal
The sun is shining – summer is here!
You want to hurry outside to run around and play. Or perhaps you want to go outside, lay on a towel and relax with a good book.
Either way, you are excited to soak in the sun and get a dose of Vitamin D! You are ready to get a nice tan – or in my case, embrace the funny looking runner’s tan lines. You are ready to get some vitamin D into your system, because it is so healthy – it facilitates calcium absorption, is great for your thyroid, regulates insulin, helps your immune system and improves your mood, cognition and pain tolerance.
Then you stop confused – “sun causes skin cancer, doesn’t it?”
Suddenly becoming afraid of cancer and getting burned, you apply a gallon of sunscreen on your body. You feel sticky and yucky. You don’t get a tan. And of course, your ears that you forgot about and some hard-to-reach spots get burned like a lobster. You can’t win!
“At least I won’t get cancer…” you think. Think again.
All the chemicals in conventional sunscreen products are anything BUT good for your skin. The increased use of sunscreen products doesn’t actually stop skin cancer at all. In fact, the rates of skin cancer are actually increasing and dangerous skin cancer types are appearing more and more often.
Moreover, did you know that sunblock actually blocks your body from making vitamin D, that vitamin that is so important for your immune system, bones and entire physical and mental well-being?
Using sunblock, you can welcome a sticky body and possible diseases as a result of the chemicals, but you can also kiss the benefits of vitamin-D goodbye as well as your beautiful tan.
Yes, precautions, common sense and natural sun-protection is necessary. After all, overtime, ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun can lead to sunburns, wrinkles and premature aging.
But the good news is that you can still enjoy the sun NATURALLY with the following 10 tips for natural sun protection.
1. Green Tea: Green tea is full of antioxidants that protect your cells inside you and your skin on the outside. Green tea have anti-inflammatory properties and fights free radicals therefore drinking green tea can lower your risk of cancer. Black tea is also good and has been shown that when drank iced with citrus peel, may reduce your risk of skin cancer by 42%.
2. Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your skin from sun damage, reduces the roughness of your skin and the depth of wrinkles. Be sure to use it topically after sun exposure (not during, as this can increase burning).
3. Oils: Sesame, coconut and olive oil block UV so they never actually reach your skin. Broccoli seed oil protects against free-radical damage as well. Coconut oil is also excellent anti-fungal and antibacterial oil that protects your skin from all sorts of “bad bugs.”
4. Walnut Extract: Walnut extract uses a very effective self-tanning agent while it also protects you from UV rays.
5. Coenzyme Q10: Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that fights damaging free-radicals from the sun and may protect your skin from cancer.
6. Lavender: Lavender doesn’t only have a calming scent allowing for relaxation, it also inhibits the generation of free-radicals caused by UVA/UVB radiation. It protects against various cancers and, according to some studies, can even reduce skin tumors.
7. Rosemary: Rosemary protects you from free-radical damages and helps with inflammation of the body, including your skin as well.
8. Microalgae: Both spirulina and chlorella contain a carotenoid (astaxanthin) that is 550 times more powerful than vitamin E and it protects your eyes and skin from UV radiation.
9. Vitamin C: Vitamin C prevents premature aging and potentially, skin cancer. Citrus fruits, guava, kiwi, papaya, berries and cherries are amazing sources of vitamin C.
10. Pomegranates: Pomegranates contain some powerful compounds that strengthen the upper layer of your skin, increasing its resistance to UV rays.
In case you do get burned, the following methods will help you feel better and heal faster:
1. Take an Epsom salt bath. 1 cup of epsom salt in warm water, soak for 20 minutes. Adding in a few drops of peppermint or lavender oil to further soothe the skin may be beneficial as well.
2. Take a cooling bath with water mixed with a cup of apple cider vinegar.
3. Wet a towel in the mix of some water with apple cider vinegar to cool your skin (white vinegar works too).
4. Apply Aloe Vera on your skin.
5. Use coconut oil on your skin.
Also remember the following:
1. 11 am to 3 pm is when the sun is the strongest, so be careful between those hours.
2. Cover up as necessary.
3. Vitamin D helps calcium absorption, but it is also important to eat enough calcium to have something to be absorbed. Kale, bok choy, broccoli, almonds, tahini, mustard green and turnip greens are all excellent sources of calcium.
4. Magnesium deficiency can inhibit vitamin D function, so make sure you get enough magnesium and supplement as well.
5. Eat a healthy diet from whole food resources: fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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