Protecting your skin from the sun means wearing your sunscreen daily — but it’s also so much more!
Daily sunscreen is a must — we all know that by now. But protecting and repairing your skin from sun damage doesn’t stop at sunscreen. By employing a range of tools, we can give our skin even better protection, that works in conjunction with SPF. This includes the foods we eat, staying hydrated, and treating our skin to ingredients that promote healing.
Sun damage isn’t just sunburns; it takes place any time our skin is exposed to the sun. When our skin is bombarded with UV rays, the cells can eventually run out of anti-oxidant reserves to defend themselves. That’s when DNA damage occurs within skin cells. This damage can eventually lead to skin cancer. For a more detailed explanation of what happens to our skin when we're exposed to UV rays, check out this blog post from our friends at Cocoon Apothecary.
Thankfully, there are great options for daily sun protection available these days. Combine that with products that help facilitate healing, and a diet that gives your skin a leg up in the first place (those anti-oxidants your cells need to protect themselves? We can get them from the food we eat!), and you’re far more likely to enjoy healthy skin well into your later years.
It’s common knowledge that we should wear sunscreen all over when we’ll be in the sun (even on cloudy days). This is the smartest and easiest way to protect your skin. Protect our waterways, too, by choosing a sunscreen that is reef-safe.
Using a facial oil? On days when you’ll be outside (sunny or cloudy!), choose red raspberry seed oil. This oil does not take the place of a sunscreen but can be a good summer option for a facial oil, to be used in conjunction with sunscreen. It is estimated to have an SPF of about 4.
Even if you don’t get a burn, damage is happening just beneath the surface of your skin whenever you spend time in the sun — especially if you forget the sunscreen. Use an after-sun treatment to help skin heal and decrease the effects of the damage.
After Sunny Aloe Mist is a light, soothing option thanks to aloe, and cooling peppermint essential oil. This is a great product to spritz on a sunburn or sun-exposed skin; it also makes an ideal combo toner/moisturizer for the summer months.
Nordic Boost Hydrating Serum by Cocoon Apothecary is made with several sources of polysaccharides, "the gel like substance that retains moisture and allows skin to heal quickly. Most plants that have gel (aka mucilage) within them are considered healing. Cocoon Apothecary uses aloe vera, Icelandic moss, peat moss, polypody fern and hyaluronic acid to create this soothing hydration." This serum (and all other Cocoon Apothecary products!) is 20% off until May 31!
Eat For Sun Protection and To Aid Skin Repair Sun Damage
Did you know your diet affects how much damage your skin sustains from sun exposure, and how quickly that damage heals? Eating a diet rich in anti-oxidants (generally speaking, these are the free radical-fighting compounds found in foods, often giving them distinctive colour — anthocyanin for blue foods; lycopene for red; beta carotene for orange, and so on) will equip your cells with the defences they need to minimize this damage.
Eating a rainbow of unprocessed foods is a perfect way to ensure you’re getting your antioxidants. Here are a few that have specifically been shown to offer sun protection:
Lycopene: tomatoes (especially sundried tomatoes and tomato paste, or even tomato sauce — lycopene is most concentrated in tomato products that are cooked), guava and watermelon. Source
Astaxanthin: shrimp, crab and salmon. Source
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: kale, parsley, spinach, broccoli and peas. Source
Nicotinamide (niacin, aka B3): yellowfish tuna, chicken, pork chops, beef, portabella mushrooms and brown rice.
Vitamin D3: best taken through supplements. Source