Whether you are spending days on the beach, picnicking in the park, berry picking or travelling to far-flung places – the chances are you are enjoying the sun. And why not? Sunny weather makes us feel good and lazy summer days are when childhood memories are forged.
Not only is the sun the source of life on this planet, it triggers feelings of wellbeing and revitalisation. Physical exercise, fresh air and sunlight play a crucial role in a healthy lifestyle. Experts advocate a minimum of half an hour in the sun every day. So far so good; but exposure to the sun creates free radicals which damage the skin, causing, at best, premature ageing and at worst, cancer. We all know that too much sun is bad for our skin, but how best to protect ourselves and our little ones from the sun’s rays?
As with most things, I think balance is the key.
- Avoid the midday sun.
- Build up exposure to the sun gradually.
- Keep covered up with cool linens, cottons and a good sun hat.
- Use a good natural sun cream to avoid the danger of burning when you are going to be exposed to lots of sun. You can read our nature-friendly sunscreen reviews here.
- Use a good after sun lotion or moisturiser after exposure to lots of sun to stop the skin drying out.
It is wise to avoid conventional sun creams as they contain chemicals which leach into the body, where they can build up. Some swear by mineral UVA and UVB filters made from naturally occurring minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These provide highly effective photoscreens which reflect 90% of the sun’s rays and are effective from the moment of application.
Certain plant extracts, such as carrot seed oil, hemp oil, coconut oil, shea butter, buriti oil, edelweiss and aloe vera have been found to have some sun protection value and they have the added advantage of providing much in the way of cell repair.
Words by Emma Hiwaizi
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova