My Dynamic Duo for Summer Sun
The summer season is upon on us and it’s time for some sunshine!
That means starting the family back on the astaxanthin and getting my sunscreen ready for trips to the river and beach this summer.
I love getting real sunshine on my skin: I love the healthy glow and it gives me happy endorphins. Our body does need some healthy doses of sun: it activates Vitamin D and helps set our circadian rhythms for better sleep and stress management. But too much can be aging on the inside and outside of the body, plus it increases the risk of skin cancer.
I battle this balance often but here’s what I’ve found to be most helpful for getting my glow on and avoiding sunburns.
The first thing to remember is that the worse you eat, the easier you will burn. Processed and fast foods create inflammation inside the body. When you have that inner fire meeting the big ball of outer fire - you guessed it - your skin will be on fiyah! So eating Real Food the Way God Made It is your first layer of protection from the inside out. Make sure to seek those protective healthy fats like real butter, olive oil and coconut oil. This will keep those cell membranes strong plus keep your skin soft and supple.
Also, studies have shown that polyphenols may be used for the prevention of sunburns because they help minimize the damaging effects of UVA and UVB radiation on the skin. Polyphenols are antioxidant molecules found in many foods such as green tea, chocolate, grape seeds, and wine that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So eat your chocolate and drink your wine!
Think about it, God’s people didn’t have supplements and sunscreen and they were constantly exposed to the hot sun. Yes, they covered up a lot, and that’s the best way to protect your skin, but they also didn’t have Big Macs and Hot Pockets constantly creating inflammation in their bodies making them more susceptible to sunburn. I’m sure they got their fair share of exposure and handled it much better than we do today. They filled their bodies with Real Food so they had protection from the inside out.
Now we have modern hacks that can also help us tolerate more sun exposure: supplements and sunscreen. This is my favorite combo and it served my family well when we took a mid-winter getaway trip to Belize. Our backsides hadn’t seen sunlight in many many months and considering how much we were in the sun, we fared pretty well.
my Fave summer supplement: ASTAXANTHIN
The first thing I did was start giving my family astaxanthin about a month before the trip.
What’s interesting is that my daughter - who did not take this because she can’t yet swallow capsules - seemed to pinken up faster than the boys did. What I should have done is give her liquid Cod Liver Oil. That’s what I’ll do this time around.
Once we were in Belize, I did superspray the kids with sunscreen. I’m not usually too quick on the draw when it comes to slathering my kids down. Again, they need healthy sun exposure too and so sometimes I don’t even put sunscreen on them when we’re having a sun day.
But I knew this was going to be intense so I wanted the strong stuff - the physical blocker! If you’re used to using chemical sunscreens, I highly recommend you change.
the skinny on SUNSCREEn: chemical vs. physical
There are two different ways that sunscreens can block the effect of the sun on your skin: chemically or physically.
The most common sunscreens are the chemical kind. Flip over the back of your Coppertone or Aveeno sunscreen and you’ll likely a few of the following active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. These are chemical sunscreen agents which can act as endocrine disruptors (this means they mess with your metabolism and hormones!) and can even CONTRIBUTE to skin cancer due to their toxic ingredients. Plus, it’s been shown that chemical sunscreens can actually contribute to dark spots! (say what?). As someone who is prone to melasma, I don’t want any part of that.
In addition, the use of Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) in many conventional sunscreen brands may actually fuel the growth of cancerous cells through the formation of free radicals.
You do not want these chemical agents baking into your skin.
The most problematic is a sunscreen ingredient called oxybenzone. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends that these chemical sunscreen ingredients be avoided at all costs, especially for pregnant women and children. The state of Hawaii has actually banned this particular chemical because it’s so bad for ocean wildlife! It’s not good for you either.
To learn more about the EWG’s research on the topic, click here. Click here to see a blog post on the topic of how it damaged coral reefs from my friend Julia.
I like mineral-based sunscreens that have the all-powerful ingredient of zinc. This is a physical blocking agent that’s really effective - and safe - at protecting from sunburn. I know a lot of people avoid zinc because it often goes on white and chalky but I use Beautycounter and it doesn’t do that. Both the face stick and the spray rub in clear - which is good because my kids won’t wear it otherwise. There are other brands I like - like Badger - but it goes on so white and my kids are like No way, Mom!!!!
The other awesome thing is that the Beautycounter spray bottle is NOT an aerosol can. It’s air-powered so it’s not harmful to the environment. It blocks UVA, UVB, and Blue Light. So many wins here: no chemicals, no white-chalky mess, better for God’s Creation! I order several bottles at a time plus the face sticks. In fact, I just placed an order so that my kids are set for camp. Want to see? Click here.
I also love that Beautycounter sunscreen is made with California poppy extract and other anti-aging ingredients. Plus zinc is actually one of the best minerals for your skin. People have reported seeing their skin improve over the summer from the regular use of the face stick! Super cool.
Again, I recommend ordering several at a time to help save with shipping (unless you’re a Band of Beauty member, then shipping is free).