By Abigail Hueber
Hellllooo Summer! The temperature is climbing and the sun is beckoning us to come outside, stay a while and enjoy its warm rays. This is what summer is all about, getting out and getting active. But remember, those warm rays may feel great but a little goes a long way. Be informed this summer, sun safely and take care of your skin so it can take care of you for a lifetime!
I know what you might be thinking…yeah, yeah sunscreen, we get it. But there is more to proper sun care than you might think! Get sun savvy with these tips to keep your skin happy and healthy this summer.
Top 8 Nutrients & Foods for Sun Protection:
It’s true, you can actually eat foods that help protect your skin against harmful sun rays from the inside out! Plants contain a plethora of naturally occurring chemicals, such as phytonutrients and antioxidants, that help provide the plants sun protection and in turn when consumed by us provide our bodies with a similar benefit! Phytonutrients, such as carotenoids found in colorful plants provide a pigmented barrier to help reduce UV penetration while antioxidants in plants work to protect against free radicals that are created in response to damaging UV rays. Plant chemicals help to protect our skin from the suns damaging effects, keeping our skin cells healthy and strong.
Lifestyle Habits for Sun Protection:
Choosing the Right Sunscreen:
Eating foods that protect your skin from the sun is great, but in the height of the summer sun, just eating your sun protection isn’t quite enough. Sunscreen is an important part of proper sun protection and should be practiced year round. That being said, there are some funky ingredients in our sunscreen products these days which make choosing a safe product a little tricky.
Lucky for us the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has done the dirty work! The EWG has researched thousands of sun care products rating each one according to effectiveness, chemical composition and any associated health concerns. The result, a comprehensive list compiling the best and worst sunscreens on the market to help make your sun care choice clear.
Check out their extensive lists before you stock up this summer!
The Hall of Shame: Worst Sunscreens
But what about Vitamin D?
It is true that sunscreen impacts our bodies’ ability to make vitamin D from sunshine, as it blocks the sun rays from penetrating our skin to stimulate vitamin D production. Rather, a little sun is all you need.
Just 5-15 minutes of sun exposure on the majority of your body is enough the produce ample daily vitamin D.
**It is recommended to get your vitamin D levels checked by your physician to see if you have adequate levels. Learn more about getting enough vitamin D.