Summer is fast approaching, and naturally most people start thinking about how to best protect themselves from the damaging rays of the sun. There’s plenty of research and news in the medical community showing how the UVA and UVB rays from the sun can cause premature aging of the skin, unsightly spots and discoloration, and skin cancer. In order to make sure you protect your skin and your health, it helps to be up on the latest information about how best to keep your skin and your body healthy and protected during the summer and all year long.
Eat foods with sun protection benefits. There are many incredible (and delicious) foods that provide sun protection as well as nutrition. You might already know about foods with Vitamins A, C and E such as oranges, spinach, broccoli, peanut butter and nuts. But other foods that provide sun protecting benefits include those with omega-3′s like fatty fish, walnuts and flax seeds. Seasonings are also a great source of antioxidants that can help protect you from the sun. Cloves contin the highest antioxidant amount when compared to a variety of other herbs and spices. Turmeric is a great anti-ager, plus it helps promote healthier skin cells.
Protect your skin the right way. If you walk in to any store this time of year, chances are you’ll see a display of sun lotions and sprays in several different brands and SPF’s. However, more information has come to light lately that many popular sun protection brands and products are not as effective or as safe as their advertisements claim. In fact, some brands of sunscreen may do more harm than good! Some things to watch out for include oxybenzone, which disrupts hormones; fragrances, which are mostly comprised of chemicals; and spray sunscreens which can be inhaled and provide lung damage. Try to find sunscreen products that contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are fragrance free, and do not contain a higher SPF that 50. (Any higher SPF haven’t been shown to have any additional protective benefits.)
Shield your skin. What you wear can provide great protection benefits. A hat that covers your hair and shields most of your face should be worn when you plan to be out in the sun for an extended period of time. Clothes that offer sun protection, such as those that contain SPF protection or that have a close weave that doesn’t allow the sun’s rays to penetrate them, should be worn when you plan to be out in the sun.
There’s no reason to avoid the sun if you don’t have to. Taking the proper precautions can protect you from those painful sunburns, and can prevent bigger problems down the road, like skin cancer and skin damage. The good news is, you can take your own sun protection into your hands by using the right protective products and eating healthy foods with sun protection benefits.