Summertime is the perfect season to spend time outdoors, soaking in some sunshine. According to registered nurse Rachel Nall, exposure to sunlight is crucial because it provides the nutrient Vitamin D and triggers an increase in serotonin. However, whenever you go out to get some rays, it is important to protect your skin from overexposure and prevent sunburns. Rachel Nall recommends that to reduce the risk of skin cancer, you should put on sunblock whenever you intend to be in direct sunlight for longer than 15 minutes.
When it comes to handling sun exposure, you’ll need to know how to both prevent and treat sun damage. Fortunately, there is a variety of natural solutions that you can use to protect yourself from the sun without using synthetic chemicals or toxins.
First, we’ll look at some natural methods for sun damage prevention. The simplest way to avoid a sunburn is to wear protective clothing. Whether you’re hiking in the mountains or playing volleyball on the beach, you can protect the vulnerable skin on your face by wearing a baseball cap or broad-brimmed hat. When playing sports or tackling some yardwork, you can also protect your shoulders and arms by wearing a t-shirt. Covering up can be the most effective solution for anyone with particularly fair or sensitive skin.
Of course, it is often impractical to wear protective clothing while participating in summer activities like swimming or sunbathing. In these situations, your best option is to apply a sunblock or sunscreen. In recent years, several leading brands have made efforts to produce a natural alternative to traditional chemical sunscreens. According to dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Melanie Palm, chemical sunscreens function by converting the sun’s light energy into heat energy. This reduces the power of the sun’s rays, but the heat energy can still cause lasting damage to the surface of your skin. “Natural sunblock uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to reflect the sun’s rays instead of converting them,” says Palm. You can likely find natural sunblock at your local pharmacy or through online retailers.
Despite taking these precautions, you still may find yourself with an uncomfortable sunburn at some point this summer. But there’s no need to stress; there are many natural home remedies you can use to ease the pain and lessen the chance of lasting damage. According to dermatologist Dr. Debra Jailman, applying pure aloe vera gel to your sunburn can help to cool the affected area and reduce inflammation. She also suggests white vinegar because it contains “acetic acid” which can help alleviate pain and prevent infection. Dr. Jailman’s final suggestion to soothe your irritated skin and rebalance pH levels is to use cold compresses made of green tea or water mixed with baking soda.
Benefits of sunshine: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight
Chemical sunscreens: https://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/tips/g7885/the-best-natural-sunscreens/
Home remedies: https://www.dermstore.com/blog/top_ten/home-remedies-sunburn/