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We’ve got sunshine on our minds! Summer is just around the corner and we’re more than ready for it. The summer season brings us longer days and warmer nights; it also brings the need for plenty of sun protection. If you take good care of your skin before, during, and after you’ve had sun exposure, your skin will thank you.

While there is controversy about just how much sun is the right amount, the undeniable truth is that a little bit of sun is good for you! The sun provides us with benefits such as reduced stress, a stronger immune system, and phototherapy benefits which can help with certain health conditions. These are just a few of the incredible benefits of stepping out into the sunshine.

The fear of UVA and UVB rays is certainly nothing to scoff at. UV rays can cause sun damage, skin cancer, and painful burns. With the right pre and post-sun products, you can keep your summer skin healthy, comfortable, and beautifully burn-free, all while reaping all of the benefits of the sun 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

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 into the skin and may contain a pleasant scent like coconut, but they offer very little benefit to your skin. Chemical sunscreens 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 and releases the heat. While it’s easier to include more beneficial ingredients in a chemical sunscreen (think anti-aging hero ingredients like peptides), there’s a strong possibility that there is a host of bad ingredients as well, such as oxybenzone which is bad for your skin and for the environment.

Physical Sunscreen

Physical sunscreen uses minerals rather than chemicals to create a barrier before rays have a chance to absorb through the surface of your skin. Generally, physical sunscreens contain ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Depending on the particulate size of the mineral, physical sunscreens can appear thick, chalky, or pasty and difficult to rub into the skin. The bright side to physical sunscreens is that they are less likely to clog your pores. The downside is that these types of sunscreens can wipe off easily, which means you won’t be protected from the sun unless you reapply. If you do opt for physical sunscreen, you will need to be mindful of that. If you’re not opposed to reapplying frequently, there’s an effective, natural option that absorbs into your skin easily, requires very little product and doesn’t leave a pasty film on the skin.

Natural Alternatives

As nature would have it, there is a natural form of sun protection that absorbs easily into the skin and is a great source of antioxidants to boost: red raspberry seed oil. Red raspberry seed oil has been proven in studies to absorb harmful UVA and UVB rays while still letting the good nutrients from the sun absorb through the skin instead of deflecting them. You can finally enjoy sunscreen without compromising the look and feel of soft, glowing, comfortable skin you love.

Your Pre-Sun Essential

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 properly using natural sunscreen use is to reapply every hour or so, more often if you swim or sweat.

Taking Care Post-Sun

Spent too much time in the sun? It happens. Whether you feel the damage or not (or see it), your skin does. When you’ve overindulged in some summer sun, your skin suffers by becoming severely dehydrated, irritated, and inflamed. In some cases, you might even have peeling or blistering. The best way to tend to your sunburnt skin is to take action to heal it, not just cover up the symptoms. This requires some TLC and the right product.

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 completely ok, however).

Instead, rehydrate the area with healthy oils that your skin can absorb easily, like avocado and tamanu oil. 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.

Remember a Healthy Glow Starts Inside

However you choose to spend your summer, be sure to stay safe and don’t neglect your sun protection. Care for your skin as much as possible, stay adequately hydrated, and have fun — because happiness is where your glow begins, anyway.