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Natural Sun Protection

Updated on June 4, 2013

Chances are if you a a sunscreen user you do so for two reasons, avoiding sun burns and avoiding skin cancer. The ironic thing though is that many sunscreens and sun blocks contain ingredients that have been linked to cancer. Because of this it is important to read labels and buy natural sun protection products. There are also other ways that you can protect your skin in a natural non-chemical fashion.

Diet

It may sound surprising but there are foods out there that can boost your bodies own natural ability to fight off the harmful effect of UV rays. Foods that can do this most effectively and ones that contain beta carotene and lycopine. Foods that are rich in beta carotene are typically orange foods such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, or carrots and foods that have lycopine tend to be red. These food include tomatoes, watermelon and red bell peppers.

The powers of these food in regards to sun protection has been backed up by scientific studies at the University of Munich and the University of Arizona Tucson. These foods wont protect your body all day from the sun but your body can increase it’s own sun protection factor by about two points.

Clothing

When it is triple digit temperatures out the last thing many of us want to do it pile on the layers however by throwing on something over our bathing suits or switching out a t-shirt for a light weight long sleeve shirt we can provide our bodies with significantly more sun protection. There are looser knit fabrics that wont protect from the sun as much as a tighter knit fabric but they are far better than no fabric at all. Also when choosing clothing for times when you will be out for a while, maybe a long run or a day on the water it is a good idea to look for items with an SPF factor built in. Last, don’t forget the accessories, a hat will protect the top of your head and your face while a pair of sunglasses will keep your eyes safe.

Natural Sun Protection

Environment

Don’t go out during the hottest time of the day and the hours when the sun is at it’s strongest. In many places this is between the hours of noon and four but check for your area when it is recommended that you stay out of the sun.

Shade is a great way to keep cool and protected find a tree or a shade tent and set up there for your day out of doors.

Disclaimer

If you are at a high risk (or even if you aren’t) for sun burns or skin cancer sun screen is still a good idea and will protect you better than these natural ways. If you will be spending an extended amount of time outside look for the healthiest sunscreen you can that is the most chemical free and use it. If that is difficult or if you have some other type already in the house that is your only option use that and be sure to shower well when the day is over to get the residue off.

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