The sun’s ultra violet rays can have a damaging effect on the skin making it sag, stretch and pigment by altering the collagen fiber called elastin. Prolonged exposure can even cause skin cancer. Thus it is imperative to protect one’s skin with sunscreens that have a SPF of 30 to prove effective. While there are loads of sunscreens available in the market these days, it is challenging to ascertain the effectiveness and long-term benefits of such products, considering the chemicals used in their production. However, there are a few natural ways of protecting the skin from sun damage.
Regulating ones dietary intake to include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon provide anti-inflammatory properties which is effective in sun damage protection. Similarly, foods rich in vitamin C (parsley, guava) vitamin E (almonds, sunflower seeds, dried apricots) and foods containing carotenoids (carrots, spinach) are natural boosters of sunburn protection. Including these in your daily food diet will help increase the body’s natural sun damage protection mechanism.
While essential oils are mostly known for their aroma and stress relieving properties, there are a few essential oils like lavender oil that have anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it an effective oil for restoring balance to sun burnt skin. Carrot seed oil, derived from dried carrot seeds is also an effective oil for treating dry and ageing skin. Its antioxidant properties restore damage caused by the sun’s UV rays. It’s high levels of vitamin E and A prove effective in healing sunburn. Another essential oil one can use is rose oil. Rose oil is hydrating in nature and when applied to sun exposed skin, reduces redness and restores skin tone and balance.
Since sun exposure causes the outer most layer of the skin to dry and develop cracks, exfoliation is a crucial step in sunburn control. One of the most effective natural cures for sunburnt skin is yoghurt. The lactic acid present in it helps to soothe and exfoliate the skin and tighten pores. The presence of zinc in yoghurt is excellent for cooling sunburnt skin. Regular use of yoghurt can reduce discolouration as it possesses mild bleaching properties as well. Use a yoghurt facial by simply applying it on the face and neck for 10 – 15 mins and washing off with water. Or for a more soothing effect, add a few drops of camomile essential oil to it.
Besides yoghurt, aloe vera gel too proves effective against sun damaged skin. Known centuries for treating various skin conditions and ailments, it is revered for its healing properties. Aloe vera gel has hydrating properties. It forms a protective layer on the skin thereby replenishing the moisture, which aids in quicker recovery of sunburnt skin. It also contains vitamin C and E which improves the skin’s elasticity. Its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing skin inflammation and redness caused by sunburn.
AVOID SUNSCREENS AVAILABLE IN THE MARKET. BRANDS LIKE KAYA SKIN, LOTUS AND SOME OTHERS THAT CLAIM TO BE HERBAL HAVE BEEN FOUND TO CONTAIN THE HARMFUL CHEMICAL OXYBENZONE WHICH MIMICS ESTROGEN AND CAN CAUSE SERIOUS DAMAGE TO WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS. THE OTHER NON-HERBAL SUNSCREENS HAVE A HOST OF DANGEROUS CHEMICALS WHICH CAN CAUSE PLETHORA OF DISEASES.
Go natural, Quinta Essentia being a Safe alternative, having no chemicals.
This summer, try these natural remedies to prevent and protect your skin from sun damage.