Summer is in full swing and I couldn’t be happier. I am a warm weather chick through and through and all this sunshine makes my heart sing. If you’re like me, warm weather comes with much more time outdoors and in the sun. I really try to stay away from chlorine pools but luckily I’ve discovered a couple of saltwater ones around town and have taken my school work poolside to soak up the sun.
All of this time outdoors has me thinking a lot about skin. We should really try to take extra care to protect and nourish our skin in the summer because we want to avoid premature aging and skin cancer.
Like all things in my life, I try to do this as naturally as possible. It was a little bit of a shift at first, but now I wouldn’t go back to my old, chemical full products for anything.
The Truth About Sun Exposure
There is so much conflicting information out there about sun exposure. The truth is though, when coming from a natural perspective, it’s really very simple. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
- Try to get 20-30 minutes a day of direct sunlight without sunscreen. Sunscreen blocks vitamin D absorption so we need to be proactive. Doing this will give you sufficient amounts of vitamin D, regulate melatonin (sleep hormone) production and boost immunity.
- Use sunscreen if outside longer than 30 minutes. Use between 10-30 SPF depending on your skin type.
- Burning is bad. Whatever you do, try not to burn. This is where the risk of skin cancer really goes up. From the research I’ve done, I’ve found that tanning itself isn’t nearly as damaging to your DNA (aka cancer causing) as burning.
- Moisturize. From chlorine to sunburns, summer can dry out the supplest of skin. Make sure to moisturize every day to keep that beautiful glow.
- Drink lots of water. The summer heat can cause a lot of sweat, dehydration, and parched skin. Make sure to be drinking tons of water in the summer to hydrate and moisturize your skin from within.
Did you know that the majority of sunscreens you find at a drug store are toxic? I’m talking serious side effects that we really need to avoid.
Ingredients to Avoid
- Oxybenzone: A chemical found in over 56% of sunscreens. It penetrates the skin and acts as estrogen in the body. It can cause major hormone disruptions and has even been linked to edometriosis and low birth weight in babies. It can also cause cell damage which can lead to skin cancer.
- Retinyl Palmitate: A form of vitamin A, that when used during sun exposure can encourage the growth and spreading of malignant tumors.
- Zinc Oxide: In my opinion, this is the only safe “active” sunscreen ingredient on the market. It is a pretty white sunscreen in comparison to it’s chemically counterparts, so it may take a little more time to rub in. I just tried this lavender scented one from Badger the other day and fell in love. Check to see if your sunscreen is safe here.
- Coconut Oil: Did you know that coconut oil is a natural sunscreen? If you don’t easily burn, this is for you. With an SPF between 5-10, this is best used for shorter stints in the sun or for those of you who’ve already built up a solid base tan. I use this on my skin almost every time I go outside and it’s amazing.
- CE Ferulic: This is one of the few products I didn’t have to throw away when reducing toxins. This anti-oxidant serum is a powerhouse full of Vitamins C and E and Ferulic acid. Together they protect against UVA, UVB, free radicals and environmental damage. It is the perfect addition to sunscreen if you want the best anti aging serum on the market.
- Solar Recover Spray: I love love love this amazing spray. You could say I’m obsessed. Not only does is smell divine, it also nourishes and heals the skin after sun exposure with the use of essential oils, calendula and seaweed. Be careful though, you may find yourself misting your body all day long because it’s just that good.
- Lavender and Melaluca Essential Oils: These 2 oils are my go to when I’ve had a bit too much sun. I usually mix them with some coconut oil for the perfect after sun moisturizer.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: If you’ve really gone overboard and ended up with a bad burn, this is your best friend. Soak a wash cloth in ACV and apply to the burn for around 30 minutes. Let dry and then apply the aforementioned coconut oil mixture. You will greatly speed up the recovery process and avoid peeling as well!
- Coconut Oil: If you haven’t noticed by now, coconut oil is good for everything. It is especially healing to skin that has been burned or dried out by too much sun. Slather it on everyday after your shower and you’ll notice your skin becoming softer in no time.
If you follow these tips, you will have glowing skin all summer long. You’ll leave summer healthier, more radiant and vibrant than ever before.
Question: What are your go-to summer skincare tips? Let me know in the comments below.
I choose to soak up the healing gift of sunshine. What do you choose?