Growing up, there were a few lessons my mother went to great lengths to emphasize – or in other words, drilled into my brain. The first was: the best thing you can have in life is options. The next went as follows: get routine mammograms. And finally: whatever you do, minimize sun damage. That’s right, among all the amazing nuggets of wisdom my dear mother shared with me over the years, she often and enthusiastically expressed the value in avoiding the sun and preserving a wrinkle-free visage. And boy did that plan work for her…she’s in her mid-fifties but looks much younger, has minimal skin creases and absolutely zero sun spots. Brava, mama!
Now, I know talking about the terrors of sun damage seems a little premature considering most of the world is still in the early stages of recovering from what was one of the worst winters in recent history. However, I find it helps to look towards planning and preparing for our super sunny, super summery futures. It will happen for us!
Skin protection is not unlike pregnancy protection; obviously the most effective solution to both problems is abstinence, although that is not generally the most popular plan of action. The good news is, when it comes to UV defense, there are a lot of options that will allow you to have more fun in the sun and less of the damage that comes with it. (Now all we need is Mother Nature to cooperate!)
Did you know that you can decrease your chances of getting sun damage in the kitchen?! It’s true! What you eat can improve your skin’s ability to protect itself against UV rays.
FishThere isn’t enough time to express the advantages of eating fish, full-stop. But, for the purposes of this article, fish, specifically those high in omega-3 fatty acids – think salmon and shellfish – are powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants help protect our cells from free-radical damage, and actually help us build a natural immunity to the sun. Not only that, but omega-3’s have also been shown to help prevent certain types of skin cancer.
TomatoesStudies show lycopene, a natural pigment found in tomatoes and other bright vegetables like peppers and carrots, can help our skin’s ability to combat sun damage. Just note that the lycopene levels are actually higher in cooked tomatoes or tomato paste than in the raw counterpart. Perfect excuse to have a pizza party!
Why not chase your pizza with some dark chocolate! The flavonoids found in the tasty treat are another powerful source of antioxidants that help protect us from free-radical damage and even help to fight certain types of skin cancer.
Last but certainly not least, green tea works defensively against the sun from the inside out. When applied topically, green tea helps prevent the sun from penetrating the skin. And, when the tea is consumed it also helps to repair sun damage and can significantly help reduce the risk of cancer!
It’s not just food consumption that can help combat UV damage – supplementation can also be beneficial.
Seems counter intuitive, but studies show that supplementing vitamin D can actually help the body build up a tolerance for the sun, thus helping fight skin damage. Imagine that!
Vitamin C is a powerful anti-inflammatory and much like D, helps the body build a tolerance to the rays. It is also an integral antioxidant, which works to help repair the skin once the damage is done.
Though the above suggestions are helpful, none can totally replace the benefits of wearing sunblock. In the past, most sunscreens were made with toxic chemicals. Now there are very good natural alternatives to choose from.
Goddess Garden Natural Sunscreens offer the highest amount of organic ingredients on the market. They are free of harsh chemicals and are packed with nourishing ingredients. Best of all, they come in lotion or easy to use spray format - super convenient and leaves very few excuses for not applying before you step outside.
For those who want to be safe and glamorous at the same time (ahem, me!) Vitarock's Beauty Balm selections offer both sun protection and tinted coverage that can be used in lieu of foundation! Brilliant!