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Tips for natural sun protection

Summer is a great season to be outdoors, but globbing up on chemicals to protect your skin is probably not the most exciting part. Take advantage of natural ingredients and little tricks to shield yourself from UV exposure this season.

Woman applying sunscreen

Make your own sunscreen

The effectiveness of homemade sunscreen is widely disputed and rests heavily on the quality of your recipe. Many people swear by this natural, chemical-free method of sun protection, while others frown upon it for frivolity. If you’re a natural ingredient lover, then give homemade sunscreen a trial run — you might love it. If you’re looking for something chemical-free but don’t want to make it yourself, buy an all-natural sunscreen from a certified company like Badger Organic.

Homemade sunscreen

Note: This sunscreen needs to be reapplied after swimming or intense activity. It carries an approximate SPF of 20.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond oil
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons zinc oxide (do not inhale!)
  • 2 tablespoons shea butter

Directions:

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with just a few inches of water. Put on medium heat.
  2. Mix all the ingredients — except the zinc oxide — in a large glass jar, place the lid on the jar (not tightly), and place the jar in the saucepan.
  3. As the ingredients melt from the heat, stir occasionally but thoroughly. When everything is melted and combined, add the zinc oxide. Stir well.
  4. Pour the mixture into another jar of your choice (like a Mason jar, for example), and continue to stir as it cools. This is to make sure the zinc oxide is well combined with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. You’re done! Use as needed.

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Eat right

watermelon

You might be surprised to learn that certain foods can actually help your skin fight off sun damage. Several studies indicate that foods containing lycopene (think red fruits and vegetables) or alpha- and beta-carotene (your yellow and orange nature’s goodies) contribute to healthier skin and can curb damage from UV exposure.

This does not mean that eating a bowl of veggies will create a protective field around you, but it will delay sunburn. You will still need to use sunscreen for your outings, but boosting your skin’s health will ensure maximum protection from UV rays.

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Keep your clothes on

OK, the best way to shield your skin from the sun is obvious: Don’t expose it to the sun. If you’re concerned about the health of your hair, condition your mane before heading out on a long hike, and slap on a flamboyant hat. Keep to the shade, and wear longer sleeves and longer shorts. If you take a dip in the lake, cover up when you come out. And never forget your sunscreen (be it homemade or not!).

A tan might look amazing and whatnot, but your health is more important.

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