The summer months are few and fleeting, making us want to get outside and soak up as much sun as we can.
We’re all for playing outdoors and catching a few rays, so here are a few things you can do (and even more that you can eat!) to keep your skin strong in the summer sun.
Snack Your Way to Sunscreen
Now, before you get any crazy ideas - we definitely don’t recommend eating your sunscreen. What we do suggest is eating foods containing nutrients that naturally work to protect your skin – from the inside out. Studies have revealed a couple common nutrient stars when it comes to UV protection: Zinc and Vitamin C.
Zinc and Vitamin C work in conjunction (meaning you need one for the other to do their jobs effectively) to protect against harmful UV rays as well as reduce and prevent dry skin, another sun side effect.
- Zinc can be a tough nutrient to get in a vegetarian diet. If you are veggie – snack away on pumpkin seeds for your zinc intake and consider talking to your healthcare practitioner about supplementing with Zinc.
- Vitamin C is much easier to incorporate into the diet – just load up on bell peppers, dark leafy greens, brassicas (like broccoli and brussel sprouts), citrus fruits and strawberries.
Water Your Plants, Water Your Self
We know you know that staying hydrated is important for your health. But what you might not be aware of is that water is only half of the hydration equation. In fact, too much water combined with fluid loss (through sweating) can even be harmful. This is especially true in the summer (when our skin is sweatin’ all day to regulate body temperature) - electrolytes are key.
Pack your beach bag or backpack with yes, a water bottle (or three) but also electrolyte-rich foods like bananas, coconut water, fresh fruits, dried fruits, nuts and seeds – or a healthy snack bar that combine all of that into one!
Bonus tip: consider squeezing fresh lemon and adding a pinch of sea salt to your water bottle.
Take Another Look At ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’
By now most of us know that sunshine = vitamin D. What you might not know is that in order to obtain enough vitamin D for our health, we must allow our skin to soak up some rays (keyword being “some”).
Just like our photosynthesizing plant pals, we humans need the sun for essential bodily functions, but sunbathers beware – this is not license to tan from sunup to sundown.
A good rule of thumb is to invoke the age-old ‘slip, slop, slap’ mantra – but with a few upgrades. Conventional wisdom says to slather sunscreen onto every inch of skin and be off; but there are a few important steps to follow first.
Your first sun safety task is to limit sun exposure by seeking out the shade during the hottest times of the day (usually 10am to 4pm). Then, slip on a shirt – made with natural fibres, slap on a hat, and lastly - slop on sunscreen when necessary. For the best beach and sport sunscreens, we recommend you take a look at this list from the Environmental Working Group.
Bonus tip: organic, extra-virgin coconut oil or aloe vera slathered onto the skin is a wonderful way to re-hydrate from outside in after being in the sun.
Tell us - what are your top tips for staying skin-smart in the sun?
While you're out and about this summer, log onto Instagram and tag #OnMyPath to share your summer adventure photos with us. You'll could take home some adventure-ready swag!