Tricks For Happy, Healthy, Sun-Kissed Skin
by Tera Warner
Last weekend was beautiful and sunny in Montreal, so on Saturday I got out a good book, a pen, my phone for an appointment, a couple liters of coconut water, then popped on my bicycle and went for a looooong four-hour bike ride.
I peddled out to nearby nature reserve where I spent the day basking (ok, more like baking) in the spring sun. It was AWESOME!! At some point I took a break from the heat and nestled in the branches of a tree to take a nap while the river ran beneath me! I got a little more sun than I had bargained for while biking home, so thought I would pass along my pre-, during and post-sun exposure tips for summer in case you find those helpful! In spite of what everyone says about fair-skinned folk like me, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your skin’s response to the sun and protect it without gooping on a toxic concoction of chemicals!
Consider your skin a sort of… baking tray.
Then consider the contents of your cells kinda like whatever you’d be cooking up in that tray. The cleaner the food you eat, the better you’ll bake. When you eat rancid oils, processed or sugary food, your skin becomes much less elastic, dries, cracks and is more prone to acne, spots, psoriasis, eczema, etc..
When you’re nourishing your body with high quality fats and antioxidant-rich foods (leafy greens and brightly colored vegetables) your skin gets healthier and more able to resist and appreciation time in the sun without artificial, chemical “protection!”
The cleaner your food, the healthier and more beautiful your skin will be and the more your body will thrive and benefit from natural, healthy exposure to sun!
If It’s On Your Skin, It’s In!
The second most important factor to consider regarding your skin’s offering to the sun is not just what you eat, but what you put on your skin.
All the moisturizers, face creams, cleansers, exfoliators, toners, wrinkle and pimple banishing potions you use are a toxic concoctions of chemicals that when combined with the heat of the sun, make for something like a high risk high school science experiment that happens on your face!
Unfortunately, driven by fear-based marketing about sun exposure, most women add an additional layer of “sun block” to “protect” themselves from the harmful effects of all the other toxic products and food that are creating the problem in the first place.
Look at this “#1 dermatologist recommended” sunscreen that is “pure & free” with “naturally sourced” ingredients sold for use with babies: (Click on the image to see the ingredients in another window)
Retinyl palmitate, which is a form of Vitamin A, is suspected to increase skin cancer and tumors when exposed to sunlight! Oxybenzene is another ingredient commonly found in sunscreens which is harmless UNTIL exposed to sunlight, at which point it becomes highly carcinogenic! Check your own sunscreen ingredients at home and see if you can find “propylene glycol” (That’s antifreeze and should only be handled with gloves in a chemical plant!!)
Who the heck lets this stuff get on the shelves?!
Redhead-Approved Tricks for Happy, Healthy Sun-Kissed Fun
Before I head out in the sun, I use a mixture of coconut oil and jojoba on my skin. (If you don’t have jojoba, just use coconut oil.) This combination of oils can provide a protection comparable to SPF 8 or 10. This isn’t ideal for hours of direct midday exposure, but it nourishes and protects the skin without putting harmful chemicals on it.
The next level or protection for me involves light, long-sleeved clothing. If that’s not possible, you can make your own natural sunscreen using zinc oxide. See our Facebook page where we’ve posted an awesome natural sunscreen recipe you can make at home!
While the right combination of light clothing big, beautiful hats and shady trees keep me from needing to wear any sun protection 95% of the time. It does happen on occasion that I get a little more sun than I would like. When that happens, here’s my quick, overnight relief for sun burn:
I sponge and soak my skin in apple cider vinegar. I just soak a face cloth and sponge my skin gently for about 10 minutes. This cools and freshens the skin and relieves pain significantly. After that, I lather lavender-infused coconut oil all over my skin and soak in every last drop! Usually by morning, my skin is almost completely recovered. The following day I’ll be gentle with my exposure to the sun, but usually after that I won’t have any more trouble for the rest of the summer!!
I hope these tips have been helpful and that you enjoy soaking up all the benefits of natural, healthy sun exposure this summer!
Love and long bike rides,
I’ve posted an awesome natural sunscreen recipe on my Facebook page that you can make in your own kitchen and keep on hand for the rare occasions when you and your family really need extra protection.