The newest hot topic under summer safety tips : sunscreen.
And rightfully so, with summer approaching, sun protection has to be on all of our minds. We are eagerly waiting to spend more time outdoors but it's crucial to understand the potential risks involved when talking about sun exposure.
Sunburns, premature aging, and even skin cancer are just a few consequences of prolonged sun exposure without proper protection. The good news is, by adopting simple yet effective summer sun safety tips, you can enjoy the sun's warmth while keeping your skin safe.
When it comes to sun protection, opinions among experts can vary, leaving us with conflicting advice. On one hand, there are those who emphasize the importance of getting enough sunlight to ensure adequate vitamin D levels. On the other hand, there are those who advocate for shielding your skin by avoiding direct sunlight entirely.
How many of us can say with certainty that we have our summer suncare completely figured out? The difference between adequate and excessive sun exposure? The right products for after-sun care? The right foods that protect you naturally from the sun?
There is much to consider to make sure you have all of your sun protection tips in place before summer is in full swing! Let’s start by understanding why it is so crucial in the first place.
DO YOU REALLY NEED SUN PROTECTION?
Simple answer - yes!
Throughout human history, chemical sunscreen wasn't even an option until the 20th century, which meant that our ancestors relied on alternative methods for sun protection. They used clothing, parasols, natural oils like olive oil (as observed in ancient Greece), and simply avoiding direct sunlight.
However, in the past few decades, our sun exposure habits have taken a drastic turn. We now find ourselves spending the majority of our time indoors, yet we treat sun exposure as a separate activity, such as "sunbathing" or "tanning."
One key summer safety tip is to gradually build up sun exposure through regular outdoor activities aligned with seasonal changes. Instead, we now oscillate between minimal sunlight exposure and intense midday exposure, all in the pursuit of achieving that sun-kissed glow.
Introducing Melanin - your natural sun protection
While ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun plays a vital role in human health, excessive exposure can have detrimental effects on our skin cells' DNA, leading to accelerated aging and a potential risk of skin cancer.
To maintain a delicate balance between the benefits and drawbacks of sunlight, our bodies have evolved to have natural mechanisms. When we are exposed to the sun, our skin responds by producing melanin, the pigment responsible for the color of our skin.
This melanin acts as a shield, absorbing UV radiation and preventing it from reaching the DNA of our skin cells. It's worth noting that darker skin tones reflect less sunlight and absorb more of it, making them more efficient at protecting against excessive UV exposure (but that doesn’t mean you skip your SPF!)
This explains why in regions with high sun intensity, natural selection favors individuals with darker skin, as it offers a higher level of safety for our body's largest organ, the skin. By adapting to the environment through increased melanin production, our bodies strive to strike a delicate balance between reaping the benefits of sun exposure and minimizing its potential harm.
Sun Damage and Cancer
Despite these natural protective mechanisms, skin cancer rates have been on a rise- one in every five Americans will acquire it over their lifetime. When skin cancer is detected early, it is usually treatable.
Melanoma is a more severe form of skin cancer that accounts for only 2% of all skin cancers but causes the great majority of fatalities.Overexposure to UV radiation is responsible for around 90% of skin cancer cases, making it extremely important for us to make sun protection a priority, especially in the summer!
THE BEST NATURAL SUMMER SAFETY TIPS FOR SKIN PROTECTION
Summer safety tip #1: Switch up your diet
Well, not literally but the foods you consume can have great benefits for your skin.
While mainstream medicine often downplays the role of diet in overall health, both historical evidence and personal experience often tell a different story. The truth is, the food you consume has a direct impact on every cell in your body, including your skin cells.
Try incorporating these foods into your diet to reduce the effect of sun damage:
- Healthy fats rich in Omega-3s:
Opt for sources like fatty fish (sardines, salmon), eggs, flaxseed, and walnuts for their anti-inflammatory properties and healing abilities. Consider Omega-3 supplements such as fish oil or flaxseed oil (vegan).
- Other beneficial saturated fats:
Choose coconut oil, avocado oil, and organic grass-fed butter for healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Incorporate a variety of vegetables to protect cells from UV radiation. Leafy greens and tomatoes are particularly beneficial.
- Other antioxidant-rich foods:
Include berries, beans, nuts, and green or black tea for inflammation reduction, free radical defense, and sunburn prevention.
Here’s an incredibly delicious smoothie recipe packed with sun protective foods :
Elizabeth’s SunKissed Glow Smoothie
- 1 cup fresh spinach (rich in vitamins and antioxidants)
- 1/2 cup sliced tomatoes (high in lycopene for UV protection)
- 1/2 cup mixed berries (loaded with antioxidants)
- 1/4 cup walnuts (source of omega-3 fatty acids)
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed (rich in omega-3s and anti-inflammatory properties)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your preferred milk alternative)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (provides protein and probiotics)
- 1 teaspoon honey ( for sweetness)
- Ice cubes (as desired)
- Blend all ingredients together. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Summer safety tip #2: Try natural sunscreen
If you must apply topical sunscreen, use a mineral sunblock, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Mineral sunscreens do not enter the bloodstream, so they stay on top of your skin and protect it from UVA and UVB sun rays. Also, remember to read and follow the instructions!
Most sunscreens must be applied generously 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours, or after sweating or towel drying, to be fully effective. According to studies, most consumers only use a quarter to half of the suggested amount of product.
Summer safety tip #3: Cover up
Wear a wide-brim hat, solar shield sunglasses and cover up your shoulders, neck, arms, and any other area of your body that will be exposed to direct sunlight if you are going to be out in the sun for a lengthy amount of time.
The SPF of most summer fabrics ranges from 4 and 7. (In general, the tighter the knit, the better the protection.)
The advantage of covering up (rather than applying sunscreen) is that it does not enter your system, does not need to be reapplied, and its lower SPF still provides some vitamin D.
HEAL & REPAIR SUN DAMAGED SKIN
This minimalistic set of powerful anti-agers is all the summer skincare you need to heal damaged skin. Our Anti-Aging Face Serum offers additional ingredients that help shield your skin from photoaging.
The Luxe Night Elixir (PM) repairs and nourishes your skin overnight to counteract the effects of outdoor stressors on your skin. Crafted with care, these luxurious serums contain Rosehip Seed Oil. We source it from small batches in South America and the rejuvenating properties of Frankincense.
You cannot forget about the body. As much as your face is exposed to the sun, so is your body. Of course, no one wants to be sunburnt through their summer. We all know that spending time in the pool or at the beach can leave our hair and skin feeling dry and depleted.
That's where our Luxury Massage Oils come to the rescue! These oils are enriched with high-quality essential oils that not only rehydrate and replenish your skin but also promote improved blood circulation, leaving you with a radiant and glowing complexion. Indulge in the nourishing properties of these oils to restore and revitalize your skin after those fun water activities.
SUMMER CARE WITH EMPRESS NATURALS
At Empress Naturals, we believe in year-round skin protection and healing. Our skincare line is meticulously formulated to cater to the specific needs of mature skin.
Our mission is to provide you with 100% pure and organic skincare products that make you feel incredible in your own skin. We prioritize ingredients sourced directly from nature, ensuring ageless radiance and luminous skin. We do this without exposing your precious skin to the thousands of toxic ingredients that are still legally used in many products.
In fact, our products, including the revered Rosehip Seed Oil, are safe to use even during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, although we recommend consulting with a medical professional.
Rest assured, our products are non-toxic, clean, USDA Certified Organic, and Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free. We carefully cultivate our ingredients from sustainable farms worldwide, without the use of hazardous preservatives.
Experience the power of clean skincare with Empress Naturals.