The temperature's are picking up and by February we will have those cooking hot days. We want to enjoy the last two weeks of our school holidays to their fullest and go beaching, have pool parties, picnics, dam swims and more.
Naturally at this time of the year we think more about the sun that at other times, but particularly when it comes to protecting our skins from sun damage. Protection is more than just slapping on a SPF cream as most creams bought of the shop shelves are petrochemical based and are in some ways more nasty than the sun itself. On top of the harmful effects of chemicals on your skin a 2008 USA study of 1000 name brand sunscreens showed that many are not even effective for sun protection and 4 out of 5 contained harmful chemicals.
Reading labels is just as important here as it is with food....if any of your creams have an ingredient called Oxybenzone, chuck it away! It is a penetration enhancer and is linked to issues like hormone disruption, cell damage and allergies.
So what to do? Starting with the basics...cover up what you can. Modest beaching choices mean more skin is covered with a full piece costume, board shorts and a surfer shirt (antirub vest). Sun hats are also a must to cover sticky-out-bits on the face and shoulders.
Then your next layer of defense is a lotion of some sort. You can visit your local health shop and see what they have in their sun lotion section...A friend of mine who is an avid researcher of all things health recommends Sun Fun Capsules. You can also make your own spray. This recipe comes from Super Natural Home by Beth Greer which you can buy at Loot.co.za
4 ounces of distilled water (or rose water or Aloe juice)
1 level teaspoon of ascorbice acid powder
A few drops of lavender essential oil.
Mix together and keep in a spray bottle. Use 2 or 3 times a day when exposed to sun light. Respray after sunning.
Another layer of defense is to eat your orange veggies and fruits. Pawpaw, melon and carrots all help your skin after sun exposure.
Of course common sense dictates to stay out of the sun during its hottest times of the day. We try to be off the beach by 10 and not there before 3, gardening is done early in summer and sometimes in the shade of the evening too.
Hope this helps and prevents your sunburn this year and any long term damage to your skins.
This blog post is entered into Simple Lives Thursday over at www.gnowfglins.com