Ciao ciao amici!
I’m currently on a little mini vacation in Florida to spend a few days with my dad, and I’ve started to think (for the first time this year) about making sure I take care of my health and beauty under the sun going into summer.
Even for someone who actively seeks out new health information constantly, I’m always learning new things and incorporating new practices and products to ensure I’m doing the best I can for my body. I’ve never been someone who is “afraid” of the sun, but there are ways to take care of yourself and still enjoy your days in the sunshine.
1. Be mindful of the ingredients in your sunscreen— choose wisely and read closely!
Last summer I really started to think about finding the right sunscreen and I started researching some ingredients and figuring out what to look for and avoid. I discovered that there is some discussion about the effects of oxybenzone, the chemical most frequently used as the active ingredient in many sunscreen brands. Other common chemicals found in mainstream brands of sunscreen are known to interact with the sun and have harmful effects. Since I am already cautious about chemicals, I’m doing without any of it.
Even after finding this information last year however, I fell for some misleading information on sunscreen bottles. By this point, most of us know that the word “natural” has no meaning whatsoever. Whether it appears on food, beauty products, or anything in between, “natural” is nothing but a marketing gimmick. There are some sunscreen companies that say they have “organic” ingredients and this is what tripped me up last year. These companies may indeed have organic ingredients (since this word actually does “promise” something about the ingredients unlike “natural”) but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have chemicals.
The active ingredients to look for instead are zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Since more and more people are becoming aware of chemicals and trying to find better options, there are many products on the market now with zinc oxide particularly. So the good news is, you won’t have trouble finding a solution. 🙂 (here, here, and here are some that I’ve found).
2. A little sun is good for you!
As I said earlier, I’ve never felt that the sun was the ~enemy~. I’ve always had an innate feeling that the sun was good for me in small doses, and then I came across some information that confirmed that from my favorite health source, Kimberly Snyder.
The sun is a vital part of our environment and breathes life into us and everything around us. Getting a few minutes (up to 20 if you have more olive or darker toned skin) of unprotected sun gives us a healthy dose of Vitamin D which aids in disease prevention among other awesome benefits. After this little session in the sun, you can cover up a bit with either clothing and hat and/or some healthy sunscreen.
3. Your diet can help you!
Part of staying healthy under the sun comes from within! Your diet can help protect your skin against negative effects of the sun. Foods rich in antioxidants and Omega 3 are the best for this. So load up on berries, plums, oranges, and more (which shouldn’t be too daunting of a task in the summer 😉 ).
4. Don’t forget to stay hydrated!
The tip that keeps on giving. Drinking water is the easiest thing to do everyday and never stops offering it’s benefits. Don’ t let the sun dry you out (or sweat you out!) and keep hydrated with some filtered water. Be mindful to try and not keep water in disposable bottles that sit out in the sun that can produce extra chemicals that we don’t want to ingest. I like to drink out of glass bottles. Though they are heavier, I know I’ll never get that creepy plasticy taste from semi melted plastic water bottles.
My drink of choice this trip is freshly squeezed grapefruit juice above in my photo- YUM!
I hope you guys got some good information out of this! I’m not a doctor or anything myself, I’m just someone who enjoys doing their research (thoroughly!) and sharing my exciting finds with others to hopefully better their lives too. Do you guys have any other healthy tips and tricks for staying healthy in the summer sun? I’d love to know what you think!
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