Natural Sun Protection

Here in SoCal, the sun never stops shining. I haven’t been here a year and already when the temps get down in the 50’s, I start whining. California will do that to a person.

So, you wear sunscreen, right? I mean, we all do.

Actually, not everyone. Find out over on Modern Alternative Health why one family is forgoing the white stuff this summer. I really wanted to share that post with you, but there were a few other encounters that actually prompted this post. The MAH author brings up many good points. Probably everyone you know wears sunscreen when they’re outside right? Why is is that skin cancer rates have only risen in recent history?

First, my encounter with the sun. That’s right, 3 days ago I walked the largest outdoor flea market of my life for about 5 hours and my shoulders got toasted. I was wearing a tank top (it was hot!) so my shoulders and chest suffered the most damage. (I wasn’t wearing sunscreen or any other kind of protectant).

I also had a dear friend of mine ask me what I do to naturally protect myself from the sun. Since I live in SoCal, I think it’s time to actually put some thought into it.

Natural Ways of Preventing Sunburn

Clothes That’s right friends, wear long sleeves. Even if it’s just for part of the time. My fair-skinned, red-headed friend who was with me donned long sleeves and she came outta there looking fine. Me on the other hand, someone who naturally tans very easily left looking a lobster. In addition to or instead of long sleeves, go buy yourself one of those big floppy sun hats, they are so cute!

Shade If you’re headed to the beach or park, take an umbrella. Avoiding direct sunlight will still give you the benefits of Vitamin D and yet your skin is less likely to burn. No shade to be had? Refer to the first tip.

DIY I love the idea of making your own sunscreen. The post I shared from MAH links to another post that will give you a recipe for homemade sunscreen, she will also tell you that you can simply add Zinc Oxide to your favorite lotion. I’m thinking about making her recipe.

Diet Along with the writers of MAH, I think this is obvious, but I absolutely agree that what we put into our bodies will help protect what happens to our bodies. Why would I have gotten sunburned then, since I “eat so well”? I think it’s because I was getting direct sunlight on my skin for 5+ hours. Aside from the very tops of my shoulders and top of my chest, everywhere else was fine, even my face which surprised me. The rest of my arms just got a nice tan. Even so, I’ll admit I do not eat enough fat in my diet. Most of the dairy we buy, although it’s hormone-free and mostly pasture-raised is not full fat. Full fat dairy and avocados are your friends.

Coconut Oil I have yet to try this one, but if you keep reading I am a proponent of using this for treating burns. I have friends who have told me that they only use coconut oil as a sunscreen, even on their kids. If you try it out, let me know how it goes.

I’m already sunburned and it hurts to put on a shirt. Now what?

Well, I was right there with you. I got the burn on Sunday and as the day progressed, it just got worse. The redness and pain finally leveled out on Monday, but it still hurt. Bad. I will admit, the first day I lathered myself up with a commercial after-sun lotion that I used to swear by. I still do if you don’t mind all the chemicals and toxins in the product. I needed immediate relief and that was the only thing that I knew that worked.

After a half day of applying it to my skin every hour, I started applying coconut oil every other time. Just a little on my fingertips did the job. There was an initial sting upon the first application, but after that it not only soothed the burn, but I believe is what took the burn out. I ultimately stopped using the commercial lotion and only used the oil. I also slept in a baggy t-shirt to keep the oil from getting on my sheets, but to also not aggravate the effected area. Three days after the burn, and I’m telling ya’ll, it was bad, and the redness has completely left my skin and I have only a small patch on the very top of one shoulder that is slightly peeling.

Some people believe that its the level of Vitamin E in coconut oil that makes it so great for the skin, but its not actually a great provider of of Vit E. Instead, the antioxidants in the oil is what could make it so beneficial to skincare.

Essential Oils I am just getting into this lifestyle, using essential oils to treat and prevent bodily ailments. Stay tuned for my (potential) announcement of becoming a consultant. In my handy dandy guidebook, it says that applying lavender or peppermint EO to the burned skin will help with healing. Again, no personal experience with that yet. Erica, what about you? 🙂

Real Aloe I can remember as a child, my Grandmother had an aloe plant in her kitchen. I have memories of her plucking off a piece and rubbing the innards all over our red faces. I have every intention of buying an aloe plant and potting it so it can come with us wherever the Marine Corps takes us.

What natural methods do you use to block out the sun and/or treat sunburns?
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2 responses to “Natural Sun Protection

  1. I tried the coconut oil thing once so far this season. I wasn't out for long so couldn't testify yet for real, but its worth another try I think. And if you can find zinc oxide powder let me know. I found a recipe for sunscreen I wanted to make too!

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  2. Good to know.

    I know the recipe I liked to in the post has a hyperlink on ZO. It takes you to a product on Amazon. If you decide to get some, we could go halve on it? Let me know. 🙂

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