Many of us spend the majority of our time outdoors when summertime rolls around each year. And with good reason! Who has time to be cooped up inside when there are bikes to ride, mountains to climb, and bikinis to wear? Let’s face it; the sun makes us feel incredibly good!
Even in the fashion industry, sunbathing and skin tanning are all the rage right now. Many persons who sport a lighter complexion are genuinely interested in becoming either the next bronzed babe, or Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome. But whether we are out to have fun outside or looking to enhance our health and beauty, there are certain precautions we need to take if we insist on basking in the sun’s rejuvenating rays.
Medical science tells us that prolonged exposure to UV rays may lead to melanoma (skin cancer), and it is for this reason that so many of us have taken to slathering on the first tube of sunscreen we can get our hands on. However recent research shows that the repetitive application of harsh chemicals on the skin may also contribute to the development of cancer. So, what can we do to protect our skin while still enjoying the sun-drenched great outdoors during the height of summer? Consider these helpful and all natural sun protection alternatives:
- Red raspberry seed oil – This incredible oil is one of your best bets for all natural sun protection. Depending on its quality, red raspberry seed oil has an SPF (sun protection factor) which ranges from 28 to 50. To put this figure into perspective, this is about the same level of protection that you would receive from most mineral sunscreens which contain titanium dioxide. What is particularly noteworthy though is that unlike many sunscreens which only protect against UVB rays, red raspberry seed oil also protects against UVA rays. Both UVA and UVB radiation may cause skin damage and cancer. This oil is high in antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins A and E. In addition to its sun protective properties, it is considered an excellent skin moisturizer.
- Grape seed oil – Well known for its high concentration of OCPs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins), the antioxidants in grape seed oil actively hunt down and eliminate free radicals which contribute to skin damage and aging. These antioxidants also promote cell repair and growth. Grape seed oil is often used as an important active ingredient in the manufacture of many sunscreen lotions and creams with SPF ratings of 30+.
- Carrot seed oil – Please note that due to its powerful properties, pure carrot seed oil should not be directly applied to the skin. However, when combined with effective carrier oils such as grape seed oil, carrot seed oil may register an SPF factor of 38 to 40. Carrot seed oil nourishes and tightens the skin when diluted with carrier oils, and may be used in the production of a variety of beauty and health care products.
- Avocado oil – High quality avocado oil may have an SPF factor of up to 15. It is very rich in fatty acids, lecitin, and vitamins A, B, D, and E. This oil is easily absorbed by the skin and is an excellent all natural product for moisturizing and nourishing the epidermal layer of the skin
A product with an SPF rating of 15 is suitable for daily use, while on the very hottest days, it is advisable to use sun protection with an SPF of at least 30. While these 4 oils all have their benefits, it is important to remember that only raspberry seed oil protects against both UVA and UVB light. It is therefore recommended that persons also use natural products which contain zinc in conjunction with the other listed oils, as zinc helps to block damaging UVA rays.
Skin cancer is a very real issue and experts predict that 2015 will see approximately 74,000 new cases in the United States alone. But even so, there are many ways in which we can protect ourselves without using the harsh, toxic chemicals that are currently flooding the market. So keep your chin up my friend! We’ll still go biking, hiking, sun bathing and swimming this summer! By using these recommended all natural products to protect our skin, we will ensure that we remain healthy and naturally beautiful.