Summer is just around the corner, which means that it's time to load up your arsenal of sun protection. When the sun starts to shine around June, many people run inside or grab their parasol, avoiding the UV rays at all costs. The truth is, a little bit of sun is good for you! As long as you take good care of your skin before, during and after you get sun exposure, your body will thank you. The fear of UVA and UVB rays is certainly nothing to scoff at -- they can cause sun damage, skin cancer and painful burns. With the right pre- and post-sun products, you can keep your skin totally healthy, comfortable and beautifully bronzed, reaping all of the benefits of the sun (vitamin D and a little bit of a summer glow) without any of the harsh side effects.
Before we can get into your new sun care routine, we need to talk about the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens. Not all sun protection is created equal.
Chemical sunscreen is likely anything that you see in a big lotion bottle on the shelves at your local drugstore. These products are easy to rub in to the skin, might smell light coconut and offer very little benefit to your skin. They work by transmuting the UVA and UVB rays once they are already in your skin, making them slightly less harmful. The body metabolizes the rays into non-damaging wavelengths of light or heat.
Physical sunscreen, alternatively, works by creating a barrier that actually repels rays away from the skin before they can penetrate the surface. The problem that many people have with typical physical sunscreens is that they are often thick, chalky or difficult to rub into the skin because they are loaded up with heavy metals, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Thankfully, it's easy to find a natural alternative, like our Red Raspberry Seed Sunscreen, that keeps the sun off of your skin without compromising the look and feel of soft, glowing, comfortable skin you love.
1. What to Use Pre-Sun
Before you leave your house on a warm day, prep your face with a healthy layer of sunscreen... but not just any sunscreen. Did you know that most sun protection products are filled with nasty fillers, metals, synthetics and waxes? There's no need to compromise on your skin standards just to keep your face safe from a burn. Sun protection can be natural, healthy and so good for your skin no matter how long you wear it. One of the simplest ways to protect your skin during the warm weather months is to use Red Raspberry Seed Oil, the main ingredient in our natural Sunscreen. This very unique oil provides an incredibly reasonable level of protection against both UVA and UVB rays while giving your skin a light, hydrating oil treatment. The trick to proper natural sunscreen use is to reapply every hour or so, more often if you swim or sweat.
2. How to Take Care Post-Sun
After you're good and toasty, it's time to come inside, cool off and take care of your newly warmed skin. When you get a sunburn, your skin is severely dehydrated, irritated and inflamed. In some cases, you might even have peeling or blistering, ouch. To tend to sunburnt skin, you need to heal it, not just cover up the symptoms. Avoid misleading ingredients like coconut oil, which will just clog up your skin, retain heat and prolong healing time or aloe vera, which is often muddled with other harmful and unnecessary ingredients (pure aloe is ok). Instead, rehydrate the area with healthy oils that your skin can absorb easily, like avocado and tamanu. To take the sting out, use something natural and mildly medicinal, like St. John's Wort. These ingredients will subdue the pain while you're on the mend and will speed up healing time.
2.5. Remember a Healthy Glow Starts Inside
Amidst all the summertime propaganda of golden bronze tans and short shorts, it can be tempting to fall into the trap of what your summer "should" look like. The only requirement you have for your summer fun is to stay safe and protect yourself as much as possible. Stay hydrated, keep your sun protection in mind and have fun -- because happiness is where your glow begins, anyway.