Just by eating an anti-inflammatory diet like the one I mention here, you’ll have lots more antioxidants than most Americans + be well-equipped for proper sun exposure.
Proper sun exposure is important because without time in the real sun, you miss out on the many real benefits, including:
- mood-boosting properties of natural Vitamin D production,
- protection against inflammation,
- lowering of high blood pressure,
- improving brain function,
- well-functioning circadian rhythms for optimal sleep,
- and even protection against weight gain + some cancers.
Avoiding natural sunshine or trying to gain these benefits from unnatural sources elsewhere can leave us at an increased risk of dementia, weight gain + heart disease.
Natural sunshine is critical for our overall wellness, which is why I incorporate a natural sun-friendly diet into my everyday life. You can literally eat your sunscreen.
But while that strategy is my primary form of sun protection, I also completely acknowledge that I’m a human — flawed + at-risk of burning with overexposure just like everyone else.
Today, I’m sharing the additional sun-friendly supplements you can incorporate into your wellness routine:
This is my “insurance policy” supplement.
Astaxanthin is a highly potent antioxidant which research shows acts as an internal sunscreen. It’s also supposedly an anti-aging supplement. I don’t give this to my toddler directly, but I do take it while breastfeeding and the benefits pass through the breastmilk.
I take this daily in the peak summertime months to have a consistent amount in me without lapsing.
When the body has enough vitamin D, it will start producing melanin to keep from getting too much UV exposure. Melanin is the dark pigment color that we get when we tan. This is why those with darker skin need more sun than those with lighter skin to get the same amount of vitamin D.
There‘s evidence that optimizing vitamin D levels through sun exposure and even through supplementation will help the body produce melanin faster and retain it longer. And that’s what will help you burn less + burn slower (if at all).
So, get tested for your natural vitamin D levels that are unique to you + ask your doctor if supplementation makes sense for you.
FYI — Pregnant and nursing women need higher levels of vitamin D, so definitely look into this ASAP if you’re expecting or breastfeeding!
Clean Topical Sunscreens
If you have to use a topical sunscreen, there are some labeled “clean” that are actually clean — and this is one that I actually trust + keep for backup.
While I’ve come a long way from my GTL college days of looking like Snooki, I do still guiltily love the look of a tan. For the very few times a year I can recline in a sun lounger without panicking over a toddler near water, I free up my brain space from even more worry + use the sunscreen barrier. If I fall asleep in the sun (or anywhere independent of children for that matter!), that’s considered a win these days. And I’m 100% okay with that on occasion! 🤷🏻♀️
What about kids? We have a pool + I can’t always control my toddler’s water playtime positioning against the reflection off of the water, especially when we’ve been playing outside in prime sun hours before nap time. I keep my toddler in a long-sleeved rashguard with SPF fabric (currently using RuffleButts) with a matching floppy-brimmed hat when she’s in the baby floats. Then, I have used the Babyganics kid’s sunscreen line from Target to apply on her cheeks, but not enough that I’d make a strong recommendation yet. I’m honestly waiting on a kid’s version of my sunscreen…
SPF in Makeup
I personally don’t wear makeup often, but when we have an all-outdoor social event — like a wedding or graduation party or cookout — I will wear some light tinted moisturizer with SPF in place of layering basic sunscreen under regular makeup.
Cover Up + Avoid Overexposure
As always, exercise caution against overexposure by covering up + avoiding peak UV hours whenever possible. These are the most economical, reusable ways to stay protected in the sun. And while you’re under an umbrella, maybe you can be refueling on those anti-inflammatory foods!