Summer is the easiest time of year to get sun and natural vitamin D. But it is also the easiest time to get sunburn. Sunshine and vitamin D production play a critical role in long-term health; however, sunshine can become unhealthy when one’s exposure to UV rays is in excess. Such exposure can lead to sun-damaged skin and skin cancer.
There are various ways to protect our skin from the damaging rays of the sun, ranging from protective clothing to topical products. Research has also found certain key nutrients in the food that we eat can heighten the skin’s natural resiliency and protect it from sun damage. Foods that are high in vitamin C and vitamin E, taken in conjunction, can help prevent sunburn. Beta carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A, and antioxidants such as lycopene, also protect the skin from free radical damage. Citrus fruits (vitamin C), carrots (beta carotene), almonds (vitamin E), tomatoes & watermelon (lycopene) are a few of the best, nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory foods that can help protect your skin and promote healing.
When it comes to topical solutions, there are plenty of clean, non-toxic sunscreens on the market. Look for physical (as opposed to chemical) sunscreens, which use zinc or titanium dioxide to physically block UVA and UVB rays by sitting on top of the skin. This is especially important for hyper-pigmented skin and darker skin tones. Also, protect your face neck and décolleté to maintain younger looking skin with sunscreens designed specifically for your face. Two of our favorite products at Omni are The Body Deli’s Solar Day Cream and Osmosis Protect.
The Body Deli Solar Day Cream provides natural sun protection with micronized zinc oxide, which delivers an equivalent of an SPF 15. This unique nourishing facial moisturizer is infused with micronized zinc oxide; a naturally occurring mineral which reflects the sun’s harmful rays away from the face. Also, powerful clinical actives and antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E and CoEnzyme Q10, work to neutralize free radical damage and improve the health and vitality of your complexion. Defend your skin first thing in the morning with this all-organic environmental shield and naturally protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.
Osmosis Protect is a unique sun protectant that utilizes oleosomes to encapsulate the zinc oxide. This encapsulation protects the zinc oxide, delivers it to the skin, allows for even application, and has moisturizing properties. It is a droplet of plant oils and natural vitamin E surrounded by a phosolipid bilayer and encapsulated with a plant-based protein. It also has a natural time release ability to allow sun protection to be delivered continuously, instead of all at once for a limited time. 13% zinc oxide is used to achieve an SPF 30, which results in a very light and sheer formula.
If you are not directly in the sun, there is no need to reapply, however, in direct prolonged sunlight, remember to reapply every hour to hour-and-a-half.
Whatever your plans are this summer, remember to protect yourself from the sun, even on overcast days. If you do burn, try some of these natural home remedies to help soothe the sting and heal faster:
- Soak in a bath of oats
- Add baking soda to cool bathwater
- Apply a white vinegar compress
- Dab with cotton soaked cool green tea
- Mist with lavender oil
- Coat with plain yogurt
- Smooth on cold aloe vera
- Heal with vitamins C & E