We’ve always thought that using sunscreen helps us keep our skin healthy and avoid getting cancer. However, it turns out that many ingredients in it can encourage growth of cancer cells. Also, blocking out the sun entirely isn’t all that great either.

Sunscreen-300x199If you think about it, you get lots of vitamin D from the sun. Just standing outside for 20 minutes will get you enough vitamin D for the day. So staying in the sun in moderation is good, and you get healthy fats that your body needs to create even more vitamin D.

Obviously, being in the sun too long isn’t great either. You still need to think about being overexposed and getting burnt. Your skin will turn red, and possibly peel. Too much sun exposure can also lead to skin damage and can result in age spots as you get older. To get both the benefits of the sun while being protected from its harmful effects at the same time, try natural alternatives to sunscreen.

Clothing

Clothing is the best form of blocking out the sun. Your clothes help to reflect or absorb sunlight to keep your skin from getting harmful rays. After exposing yourself to the sun for about 20 minutes, put clothes on that cover you more. White clothing is best as it helps to reflect more light as well as keep you cooler.

Healthy diet

Eating a balanced diet will help protect your skin. You should go for foods rich in antioxidants and fats to help prevent UV damage. These types of food include dark leafy vegetables, colourful fruits and carotenoids. For foods with omega fatty acids, choose foods like nuts, seeds, coconut oil and avocados. Eating carotenoids help to give your skin a healthy glow and prevents your skin from burning as often.

Eat astaxanthin

This type of antioxidant is a type of carotenoid. It’s what give salmon their color. Astaxanthin is far superior to vitamin C, vitamin D and CoQ10. It helps to protect skin from burns and protect DNA from getting damaged by UV rays. Think of it as a bit of sunscreen that comes in pill form.

Use various oils

  • Carrot seed oil: this type oil is a little rarer than others, but it has about 38-60 SPF. As well, it contains great carotenoids.
  • Wheat germ oil: this oil also moisturizes as well as provides around SPF 20 sun protection. Softens the skin while it protects it.
  • Red raspberry seed oil: this oil sunscreen also blocks UVB rays. It ranges between 28-50 SPF.
  • Coconut oil: this oil helps to block about 20% of the sun. Also, you are more likely to get a tan when using coconut oil. Just like wheat germ oil, it can double as a moisturizer, reduces inflammation, and lessens blemishes. You can also take it internally and it helps to produce vitamin D.
  • Sesame oil: this oil helps to block about 30% of the sun. This allows you to stay longer in the sun without you turning red. If you want to stay outside longer, apply it on your skin every hour or so.

Apply aloe vera

Aloe Vera can be used before you head out into the sun, as it blocks about 20% of the suns rays. It can also help relieve sunburns.

Beach-chairs-300x208Other types of seed and nut oils

There are many kinds of oil out there that will help protect you from the sun, as well as allow the body to absorb sunlight (and receive some much needed vitamin D). These types of oils don’t necessarily work as well as the ones mentioned, as they may contain a maximum of SPF 8. However, if you are in a bind, it will do the trick. These include hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, olive oil, macadamia oil and peanut oil.

[Photos by pedrojperez and mail2prash]