Aesthetics aside, sunburn is highly damaging to the skin, prematurely aging it, affecting your health and increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to minimize damage to your skin from the sun, while still getting exposure to sunshine's healing benefits and plenty of vitamin D.
1. Start with just a little time in the sun.
When the sun starts peeking out, you can expose your skin to it for short time frames of just a few minutes. If you're dark skinned, you could start with 15-30 minutes. Then build up the amount of time you expose your skin to the sun over a period of a few weeks, increasing the time in small increments. This will allow your skin to gradually adjust rather than going from A to Z, which increases the likelihood of burning.
Once you've built up your sun exposure, aim to directly expose your skin to the sun for 20 minutes a day for very fair skin, then use clothing and natural sun cream to protect your skin. The darker your skin, the more time you can spend in the sun without covering up or using sun cream. If you have very dark skin, you may not need to do anything at all, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.
2. Use a natural sun cream.
Toxic, chemical-laden sun creams that you find in any pharmacy or grocery store are also toxic to your body. Instead choose pure, natural sun cream products, usually only containing zinc oxide.
3. Eat an antioxidant rich whole food diet.
Focus on as much of your diet as possible being fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables. They are rich in antioxidants and nutrients, with each color providing a different profile of these health protectors. The more antioxidants and nutrition your body absorbs, the more effective your body will be at combating any negative effects of too much sun exposure and sun burn. It will also help you to feel and look as amazing as possible!
4. Supplement with powerful antioxidants like astaxanthin and herbs like chaga.
Astaxanthin is celebrated for boosting the skin’s natural resistance to sunburn by transporting carotenoids to your skin cells where they can protect them from UV exposure. Herbs are also extremely helpful at protecting your skin and boosting your health so you can handle more sun exposure.
5. Detoxify your body.
It might seem like a strange suggestion, but if your body is holding a lot of toxicity and waste, you're far more likely to experience damage from the sun. The sun is highly alkaline, and toxic waste matter in the body is acidic. Alkaline and acidic substances attract to each other like magnets, so if you're very acidic the alkaline sun will likely do more damage to your skin and health than if you live a clean, healthy lifestyle that allows for effective functioning of your detoxification organs. Eat a plant-based diet and ensure your bowels are working very well.
Apply these steps immediately and you'll see a noticeable improvement in your skin quality, how easily you burn and your overall health and energy so you're ready for summer.