Our facial skin is thinner and more prone to exposure, making it crucial that this area should be covered with sunscreen every day. Sunscreen absorbs and reflects some of the radiation from the sun’s UV rays. However, studies have shown the chemicals in sunscreen can irritate your skin. So if your skin is prone to these side-effects, there are several natural alternatives to commercial sunscreen. Note that sunscreen alternatives offer a significantly lower amount of sun protection than commercial sunscreen products. Here are 6 natural sunscreens that can be used to protect skin from burning while still doing your best to optimize your vitamin D intake from the sun.
1. Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is fantastic for protecting your skin against burning in the sun. It will protect your skin and help rejuvenate dead skin cells. Coconut oil blocks out as much as 20 percent of the sun’s harmful rays. Apply coconut oil to any exposed patch of skin every hour for maximum sun protection. As an alternative, coconut oil mixes with shea butter and coconut butter to add sun protection into your favorite daily skin products. Purchase coconut oil from a natural grocer or skin-care shop. You could also use a high quality olive oil to protect your skin in the sun, but that is much oilier (and may not smell quite as nice).
2. A Diet Rich in Antioxidants:
Antioxidants in foods will greatly reduce your risk of sunburn. As a general rule of thumb, it’s the bright colors in fruits and vegetables that indicate the presence of antioxidants. Think dark green spinach and bright red tomatoes. Specifically, the lycopene found in tomatoes and red bell peppers and the carotene found in carrots, sweet potatoes, Blueberries, Strawberries, and other orange foods will do wonders for your skin and help prevent sunburn.
Aloe Vera gel is a common, natural alternative to sunscreen, aloe vera gel reflects as much as 20 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Aloe Vera is a succulent plant with extract that is useful for many medicinal purposes, ranging from wound healing to diabetes treatment. You can grow the plant from home and pluck a leaf to access the gel-like interior. No matter the method of obtaining the gel, apply it to the skin every one to two hours for sun protection.
You may have heard of Omega-3 fatty acids, and your best source is always from real, whole foods like walnuts, chia seeds, and cold-water fish like salmon. There are other types of fatty acids too–Omega-6, Omega-9, we need all the different types, but in a proper balance. Decreasing your intake of processed, rancid oils high in Omega-6 and increasing Omega-3′s in your diet will do wonders for your skin (as well as your overall health).
Pure sesame oil is an effective natural alternative to sunscreen. Sesame oil can block out approximately 30 percent of the sun’s rays. Sesame oil is available for purchase from most grocers for a low price and it works as a natural alternative to commercial sunscreens. Apply sesame oil to the exposed skin once every one to two hours for maximum sun protection.
Clothing is the best natural protection from the sun, clothing blocks out the harmful UV rays of the sun and protects the skin from damage. While covering up in the sun might sound like the last thing you would like to do, it will protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. If the weather is too hot to wear heavy clothing to cover your skin, try wearing something white or light-colored. Light clothing reflects the sun’s rays and keeps you cooler than dark clothing, which absorbs them. A large sun hat will also help shield your body from the sun’s rays.