Have you ever thought about how to protect your skin from the sun naturally, but without thick white physical protection? Many of us need protection from the sun for our skin, but is it possible to increase the skin's tolerance to the sun in some other way? Can the skin's natural protection be improved?
Did you know that, according to statistics, melanoma occurs most in areas where a lot of sun creams are used or a lot of time is spent indoors and little in the sun? So even against this, we encourage you to try these means, for example to support sun protection.
1. Eat your way to healthy and sun-resistant skin
Our cells are constantly renewing themselves. Old cells die and new ones are born in their place, and therefore what you eat critically affects the quality building materials of new cells. Antioxidants obtained from food help the skin to withstand external stresses better and may thus also protect the skin from burns.
TIP: In spring and summer, you should take advantage of Finnish antioxidant natural foods such as wild blueberries, nettles and dandelions.
I collect the young nettles with tongs directly into the blender
Blueberry is the most antioxidant-rich of berries and fruits. It contains plenty of e.g. anthocyanin, which is behind the intense color of many colorful plants and fruits. So it's really worth refueling with blueberries if you want to give your skin good snacks for a natural glow.
Wild herbs like St. John's wort, Stinging nettle and Dandelion (root and leaves) also contain huge amounts of vitamins and antioxidants that help your skin fight against inflammation. It seems that these plants literally sprout from the ground for us to enjoy just when the sun starts to shine and our skin needs more protection.
Other rich sources of antioxidants:
- cabbages (especially red cabbage and kale)
- dark chocolate (over 70%)
When consuming antioxidants, remember that heating destroys them. That's why they should be eaten raw and uncooked. Here are a couple of recipes for real food bombs for your skin:
-1 dl blueberries
-1 dl young nettles
-1 tablespoon of chia seeds
-1 teaspoon domestic honey
-1 dl water
- a splash of MCT oil
Mix the ingredients in a powerful blender and enjoy.
Gazpacho i.e. Spanish cold vegetable soup
-3 medium-sized tomatoes (use red and ripe ones)
- a piece of spring onion
-1 red pepper
-1 tablespoon of high-quality organic virgin olive oil
- fresh chili to taste
- approx. 5 cm piece of cucumber (use open-field cucumber if available)
-1 garlic clove
-1 dl of water
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- unbleached sea salt and black pepper to taste. You can also add parsley and coriander if you want.
Keep the ingredients in the fridge before preparation, and you will have cold soup. Mix all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy! Store the soup in the refrigerator.
2. Don't wear sunglasses
This may sound like strange advice, but did you know that sunlight coming through your eyes tells your body to produce melatonin now? Melatonin could be said to be the "protection and tanning hormone" of the skin. When we wear sunglasses (or any kind of glasses!) we block the full spectrum of sunlight from reaching our eyes and actually increase our chances of burning!
We spend a lot of time in harmful artificial blue light around computers, smart devices and tablets. There is already a good selection of blue light glasses on the market, but it would be important to get as much natural light as possible for the eyes and leave the glasses off when outside. Natural light has a positive effect on the hormone function of our entire body, and that is why we need a comprehensive light spectrum coming through our eyes.
So use sunglasses carefully, e.g. in traffic or in other places where they are really needed.
3. Eat good oils and skip rapeseed oil
Adequate intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the right ratio is one of the best ways to fight inflammation in the body and also against burning of the skin.
Avoid quickly oxidizing omega-6 oils, such as canola (rapeseed), sunflower, corn and soybean oils. According to some studies, these oils increase low-level inflammation in the body and thus may even increase the risk of cancer.
I personally keep my skin elastic, moisturized and smooth by preferring coconut oil, olive oil, butter and animal fats in my diet. You can also boost good fat intake with a high-quality omega-3 supplement. I myself use Puhdistamo's Super Omega-3. Good fats are also essential in the prevention and treatment of dry skin, acne, atopic skin and many other skin problems.
4. Get your skin used to the sun little by little
Although the sun is very beneficial to our body in many different ways, getting sunburned is of course not beneficial. Immediately after winter, the skin is pale and burns easily. The easiest way to avoid sunburn naturally is to increase your exposure to the sun gradually and eat healthy at the same time. Since your body needs the vitamin D produced by your skin thanks to the sun, and there is no convincing evidence that sunscreen protects against skin cancer, it is best to avoid sunscreens that specifically act chemically inside the skin.
There are different skin types and it is important to know your own skin's tolerance. You can also support the protection developed by the skin with Puhdistamo's Tripla Sun Capsules, which should be consumed well before summer.
5. Enhance the skin's own protection with the right skin care products
When the skin is well and its protective layer is in order, it naturally also withstands the sun better. With these instructions, your skin will receive the benefits of the sun better than the harms:
Do not overwash the skin, as it dries out and loses its own natural protection.
Use facial toner every day
Remember to use face water between skin cleansing and face cream. It gives the skin the moisture it needs. Choose a toner with glycerin, hyaluronic acid or another humectant. Pure is Beauty's Birch Sap Mist contains both (glycerin and hyaluronic acid). It has been in my own use for several years and I wouldn't trade it for anything else!
When you are in the sun, use oils and fats that do not oxidize on the skin
Which PUFA, MUFA and SFA? Polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs, oxidize and break down (due to their double bond) easily in light, heat and oxygen, i.e. outside in sunlight. PUFAs have been found in some studies to be one of the biggest causes of cell damage in radiation. So also avoid sunscreens that contain PUFA oils.
Commonly used PUFA oils in cosmetics:
- sunflower oil
- rapeseed oil
- hemp oli
- camelina oil
- sesam oil
Choose oils containing monounsaturated (MUFA) or preferably saturated SFA fatty acids:
- Shea butter
- Coconut oil
- Cocoa butter
- Caprylic triglycerides
- MCT oil
Calendula Face Cream contains plenty of unbleached shea butter, which contains unsaturated fatty acids (SFA). In addition, it contains a lot of marigold extract, which is made without pesticides from flowers grown in your own home garden. Calendula is known to contain plenty of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which can also help treat skin damage caused by the sun. Although this cream may seem heavy in spring and summer, its benefits for the skin are significant in terms of sun tolerance. However, please note that this product is not a sunscreen.
How is the sun good for us?
The sun is beneficial for us in many ways, and its healing therapeutic light should be received without chemical filters. Vitamin D is by no means the only gift the sun gives us.
Any thoughts on this subject? This is a sensitive topic, especially among skin care professionals, and I know that I don't necessarily represent the generally accepted opinion on this topic. Leave a comment!
NIH: Vitamin D and Sunlight: Strategies for Cancer Prevention and Other Health Benefits Link
Somppi, Taija 2019: Parantavat rasvat
Saarnia, Pirjo 2019: Syö oikein, sammuta tulehdus
BMC Medicine: New insights into the health effects of dietary saturated and omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids Link