With summer around the corner, we’re all hoping we’ll be able to spend some time in the sun. However, it’s still important to make sure you keep your skin protected from UV damage. So we’ll be sharing some tips on how to reduce your risk of getting UV damage and what can help to calm your skin of it.
Here are some tips and DIY home remedies for looking after your skin in summer.
According to research, there are some foods, if eaten regularly, can help to lessen the risk of sunburn.
- Tomatoes contain a nutrient called Lycopene that acts as an antioxidant. Lycopene helps to protect your skin against UV damage by reducing the amount of free radicals created by sun damage, which your skin absorbs. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which also help to minimise the effects of sun damage.
- Drinking green tea is a habit many of us are now trying to get into because of its health benefits; but it can also help to prevent the effects of sun damage. Green Tea contains ECGC (Epigallocatechin gallate), a natural chemical, which can reduce the risk of skin cancer. By fighting the free radicals caused by the sun, it lessens the damage they cause on your skin.
- Not all chocolate is completely bad for you, eating a small amount of dark chocolate can reduce your risk of sun damage. Flavonoids, which are contained in dark chocolate, act as an antioxidant thus helping to reduce the risk of UV damage. Eating dark chocolate also helps to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
- High in vitamin C, citrus fruits are ideal for protecting against UV damage. Regularly consuming vitamin C can reduce your chances of getting sunburn, and in the long-term, skin cancer. The antioxidants in citrus fruits also reduce the damage of free radicals produced by over exposure to the sun.
- Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, which helps to prevent the damage of UV rays. Vitamin E is full of antioxidants, which help protect the skin in sunlight. Another nutrient contained in almonds is ‘quercetin’. This protects the skin from collagen breakdown, which causes wrinkles.
If you do get sunburn, there are a few different home remedies you can try to soothe the burn and redness.
For more tips on how to treat your skin after sun exposure, our contributor Nyawira has a few interesting tips and natural ways to treat your skin after being out in the sun in our Summer 2017 Holiday issue.
There are some great oils, which you can use to reduce the impact of sunburn. Oils such as Lavender, Tea Tree, Coconut, Olive and Carrot Seed can be applied to the skin to reduce the effect of sun damage. These oils contain calming and soothing properties, which will help against UV damage.
- Coconut oil is particularly good for sun damage, however it is advised that it is applied to your skin, a day or so after the sunburn occurs. A website we found, Essential Oil Sanctuary gives you a great list of different oils to use on sunburn and DIY recipes for how to use them. Some oils also have a high amount of SPF, making them even better for calming your skin of sun damage. There however, is a difference of opinion on this claim.
Other Natural Ingredients to use
- Aloe Vera – A very common plant used to treat UV damage, it contains a mass of properties that soothe your skin and reduce the inflammation caused by sunburn. Using it naturally from an Aloe Vera plant is recommended as the best option.
- Tea – As we mentioned earlier, drinking green tea could protect your skin from sun damage. However, it might sound odd but, using tea, topically on your skin can soothe the impact of sunburns. The properties within tea, green or black, balance the skin’s pH levels, as well as provide relief from sunburns. To use tea on sunburn, brew some tea and leave it to completely cool. Once cool, you can either directly apply the tea bag to the burnt area or use a cloth dipped in the tea on the sunburn.
- Vinegar – Perhaps an odd choice of substance to apply on UV damaged skin, but using apple cider vinegar on sunburn does help. It calms the peeling of the sun-damaged area and reduces the pain associated with sunburn. Vinegar contains properties, which help to calm the inflammation caused by sunburn.
- Cucumber – Using cucumber to calm your skin of sun damage will leave the skin feeling cool and speed up the healing process. Cucumber contains antioxidants, which relieve your skin.
There are so many everyday substances that you can use to reduce the likeliness of getting sunburn and to calm it if you do get sunburnt.
However, the most important method, is of course applying sunscreen, which is still essential if you’re going to be out and about in the sun. Using a higher SPF sunscreen is more beneficial for your skin and there are some great organic and natural creams out there. You could always make your own using ingredients around the house. Pinterest is a great place to get some ideas for DIY recipes.