It may be back to school season, but the Indian summer is just beginning. When you’re out enjoying the great outdoors, keep in mind that the sun is out longer and its rays are stronger.
Let your skin soak in the sun’s benefits on a daily basis this summer, being mindful that while sunlight is proven to elevate our mood and positive mindset, it also increases the risk of skin and cell damage. Free radical exposure is a real threat to the health of our skin and entire self, leading to inflammatory skin conditions (acne, pigmentation and premature aging) and diseases (autoimmune and cancer).
Protect your skin with these simple steps and natural ingredients to ensure your skin glows with health, without any harmful side effects.
A safe sunscreen is a MUST for summer skincare! Avoid conventional sunscreens that are full of toxins and chemicals that contribute to allergies, sensitivities and imbalances in the body. Look for labels with only real + recognizable ingredients, like this one or this one, that protect your skin and the health of your whole body.
With more hours of sun time and more intense sun rays, you should be applying a safe sunblock that is broad spectrum, defending your skin against both the UVA (deeper penetrating + aging rays) and UVB (damaging top layer of skin + burning rays). Non-nano zinc oxide is a finely ground mineral that sits on the skin to physically block both of these rays, providing you with safe broad spectrum protection. And don’t be fooled by the “broad spectrum protection” claims you see on most conventional sunscreens, as regulations on the term “broad spectrum” in the US are extremely loose.
For long days in the sun, apply sunscreen about half an hour before hitting the beach and before putting on your bikini or sun dress to make sure every part of your skin is protected. And don’t forget your lips and the back of your hands—places easy to neglect, but these delicate areas will reveal sun damage (wrinkles and pigmentation) more quickly.
Enjoy the benefits of sunshine while still keeping yourself protected from overexposure. A wide-brimmed beach hat and oversized sunnies are the perfect accessories to keep you shaded and stylish.
TOO MUCH SUN?
Let’s just say hypothetically (because we know this won’t be a problem for our PP readers 🙂 ), you happen to leave behind your sun umbrella, sarong or safe sunscreen… caring for your sun-drenched skin with the clear gel from an aloe vera leaf or this anti-inflammatory + healing oil is a great way to replenish lost nutrients and moisture. By the way, be very wary of the green colored, chemical-filled aloe gel you find at drugstores!
HYDRATE + PROTECT
While the sun gifts us with much needed Vitamin D, too much sun can dry out the skin. Take extra precautions and pack a summer picnic with plenty of water + foods that replenish hydration from the inside out (while even enhancing the skin’s natural defense against sun damage).
Red fruits (tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruits) are rich in lycopene, which is key in naturally protecting the skin from within. Lycopene has powerful antioxidant properties and also significantly increases the skin’s ability to protect itself against free radical damage.
Melons work wonders in rebuilding moisture levels in the skin along with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. And with high concentrations of water, watermelons (also high in lycopene!) and cantaloupe help to deliver a radiant complexion.
Dark, leafy greens (and broccoli!) give the body a beautifying boost of moisture and minerals which help to strengthen the skin’s ability to protect itself as well as to counter the damage from extended sun exposure.
Swap out your morning coffee with green tea for its powerful polyphenols. This herbal tea helps to slow down the aging process due to sun damage and it contains cancer-fighting properties. Try making iced green tea and add pomegranate seeds for an even more refreshing, sun protective beverage.
Toss a fruit or veg salad, squeeze lime juice into sparkling water, spread out your favorite beach blanket and relax. Safe summer skincare can be simple and delicious!