The sun is a good source of Vitamin D.
However, there can be too much of a good thing. Studies have shown that our body only requires 5-30 minutes of UV exposure to create enough Vitamin D for healthy body functions. Beyond that, the sun can cause premature aging, sunburns and pigmentations if your skin is not protected against UV rays. Besides wearing our Organic All Natural Zinc Sunscreen that delivers broad spectrum protection, we round up 5 ways that you can enhance your defense against the sun.
1. Oral Supplements
"We know that sun exposure damages DNA, which can lead to skin aging and skin cancer - but sunscreen can't repair DNA," says dermatologist Ronald Moy.
Your body produces enzymes that help to repair DNA but these enzymes gradually diminish after age 30. By taking oral supplements that help to stimulate DNA repair, you can defend against the sun more effectively. A study (link to: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1506197) by New England Journal of Medicine found that taking 500-milligram supplement of Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3, twice a day reduces the risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer by 23%.
2. Seek Shade & Wear Protective Clothing
Avoid being under the sun when it is at its peak between 10am – 4pm. Seek shade and stay away from windows as UV radiation can penetrate it and interact with your skin.
If you have to be outdoors, wear sunscreen and keep away from water, sand or ice, which can reflect UV rays onto your complexion. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover your face and neck, sunglasses to protect your eyes, and clothing that covers your arms and legs to minimize sun exposure.
3. Defend Against Blue Light
Blue light is a sneaky culprit that can cause similar damage to direct sun exposure.
Also known as high-energy visible light or HEV, blue light is emitted from screens of computers, phones and televisions. It has a longer wavelength than UVA and UVB rays which means it can penetrate deeper into your skin and worsen pigmentations. Wear sunscreen when you are indoors or blue-light blocking glasses to protect your eyes from dryness and the risk of developing eye disorders.
4. Natural Sun Protection From Your Diet
Foods rich in certain nutrients and vitamins can boost your immune system and help to prevent cancer. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as broccoli, spinach, carrot and potatoes, help to neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds can boost your immunity. Carotenoids found in tomatoes can help to block UV rays.
5. Use UV Trackers
UV trackers are devices that show how much UV radiation you are getting on a daily basis, pretty much like Fitbit but for UV rays. These nifty gadgets usually come with mini clips that attach onto your clothing or purse, and they alert you when you are exposed to unsafe levels of radiation.
While sunscreen is an effective defense against UV radiation, there are more ways than one you can adopt to boost your protection against sun damage. As your skin cannot fully repair sun damage, prevention is definitely better than cure when it comes to sun protection.