Guest Post by Catherine Howarth
Many of us like to sit in the sunshine, it makes us feel good, we look healthy and fresh with a nice tan and let’s face it, the sun makes us feel happy!
Unfortunately the sun is extremely damaging if you do not use preventative measures to stop sun damage. The sun can cause skin cancer and did you know that it can take up to twenty years to develop? The sun can cause premature aging of the skin and pigmentation. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation “Most people receive about 80 percent of their lifetime’s exposure before the age of 18”. Shocking statistics I’m sure you will agree.
What can you do to avoid sun damage?
It is recommended that you wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 15, the higher the SPF the better the protection level. Sunscreens with a star rating of 4 or more are the highest quality of skin protection other than staying indoors! Find the best SPF for you and re-apply it at least every two hours, and every time you go swimming. Plan ahead and before you go out apply your sunscreen half an hour before you are in the sun so that the sunscreen has time to dry and absorb into your skin. It’s really important to also check the expiration date of your sun protection; most only have a shelf life of 2-3 years. The sun is at its most harmful between the times of 10am-4pm so stay indoors or find some shade.
Is there any vegan friendly sun protection available?
The simple answer is yes. A great website that offers a variety of sun protection and self-tan products is www.greenpeople.co.uk which is Vegan Society approved. They have a fantastic range of products such as a soothing after sun lotion, and an SPF 15 tan accelerator. Another company that provides vegan sun care products is a company called Lavera. They have sun spray, after sun lotion, self-tanning shimmer and spray. Most of these products are also available at www.bewellstaywell.com a holistic beauty and body and bath website. Check it out!
Are there any foods I can add to my diet to boost my protection from the sun?
Pomegranate is known as a super food when a study by dermatologists found that it can boost your own natural SPF by around 20%. Both tomatoes and apricots contain substances (lycopene and beta-carotene) which provide an internal SPF of 3. Grapes are fantastic for helping to stop UV damage with something called OPC. Shockingly this is about 20 times stronger than vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than vitamin E. Both sunflower seeds and peanuts contain copper which helps to produce the skin’s natural sun protection melanin. There are many more foods which can naturally boost your sun protection levels.
So, by using the correct sunscreen for you, staying out of the midday sun and having a healthy diet will all work towards keeping you protected from the harmful effects of the sun.
Catherine is interested in all things animal friendly and healthy. She has a cat named Pete and she loves baking vegan cupcakes and knitting.