How to protect the skin in the summer from the sun’s rays and not burden it with unnecessary chemistry? Discover natural sunscreens that create natural sun protection and are the ideal choice for adults and children.
Being in the sun for a reasonable amount has a beneficial effect on a person’s psyche and health.
The sun stimulates the production of vitamin D in our body. Vitamin D is essential for the healthy functioning of our body and significantly improves immunity. Its deficiency is one of the causes of many diseases (e.g. asthma, eczema, fatigue, depression, inflammation, and leukaemia or autism).
It turns out that the daily requirement for vitamin D exceeds the commonly reported DDD, and the big problem is that due to modern lifestyles, most of us hardly ever go out in the sun, and when we do, it is only with a thick layer of sunscreen.In fact, due to fears of overexposure to the sun and fear of melanoma and skin cancer, we have all been slathering ourselves with sunscreen as advertisements and dermatologists tell us to since the first rays of spring.
However, it is important to note that, given the composition of most conventional sunscreens, we have just moved “out of the rain and into the gutter”.
Have you ever wondered how your skin is doing in summer? It certainly doesn’t enjoy the holidays.
Just imagine. Hours in the sun, soaking in saltwater until it gets tired. And then repeated doses of a chemical coating that doesn’t make it feel any better. Not to mention the fact that our choice of cosmetics also affects the aquatic ecosystem.
Summer is a challenging time for our skin.
In summer, our skin undergoes a stress test. It is stressed by sunbathing and frequent bathing; it tends to be irritated and dry. In this state, its protective function is reduced, meaning more substances can enter the body through the skin.
Therefore, it is particularly important to consider the care we give it in summer.
Conventional (chemical) versus natural sunscreens
Conventional sunscreens, as we are most familiar with them, protect the skin from burning with chemicals. These substances do their job but can be irritating and even harmful to the skin.
For example, oxybenzone changes the properties of the skin, which then becomes permeable to other chemicals in sunscreens. Other common chemical ingredients such as para-aminobenzoicacid, methyl anthranilate, octyl salicylate, dioxybenzone or sulisobenzone together form a chemical cocktail.
This acts on the skin for several hours a day and can cause an allergic reaction. Not to mention what it does to aquatic life.
In contrast, natural sunscreens protect the skin not chemically but physically. What does this mean? Natural products contain tiny particles of minerals derived from nature. The most common is zinc oxide. It is also used to make homemade cosmetics (for example, homemade zinc ointments).
These particles reflect the sun’s rays, like a mirror, so the rays do not penetrate the skin and cannot damage it. Natural sunscreen creates a protective shield that does not irritate the skin, does not clog pores, is not absorbed into the body, and pollutes the water.
Some natural oils and extracts have a natural protective filter up to about SPF 6-8. These include those that dye a lot, such as sea buckthorn oil or carrot oil. Their colouring power is essentially a natural self-tanner.
The five main advantages of natural sunscreens
- They don’t contain chemical ingredients that the skin can react negatively to. No parabens, perfumes or other inappropriate ingredients. They are hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin.
- They are suitable for delicate baby skin, which is less resistant than adult skin.
- natural ingredients are biodegradable and do not affect the quality of surface water.
- protective mineral substances are not absorbed into the body.
- sunscreens work reliably.
Unravelling the mysterious SPF factor
SPF stands for Sun Protection Filter and refers to the amount of time, in minutes, that the skin is protected when using sunscreen. The calculation is based on the time it takes for the skin to start turning red without sunscreen.
This can be different for each skin type. Light-skinned people experience the first reaction after ten minutes, while dark-skinned people may experience it after half an hour.
So let’s assume that your skin starts to redden in the sun after 15 minutes. In the case of a sunscreen with SPF 30, just multiply 15 times 30. The result is 450, which means 450 minutes, i.e. 7.5 hours. A sunscreen with SPF 30 will protect your skin for approximately 7.5 hours.
What sunbathing means for your skin
Tanning is the skin’s defensive process by which it reacts to the sun’s rays. The sun’s UVA and UVB rays activate the production of melanin, which is responsible for the browning of the skin.
A slight tan is natural, but regular and prolonged exposure of the skin to the sun, which leads to sunburn, is unhealthy, causes faster skin ageing, and can lead to skin cancer in extreme but not isolated cases.
And the conclusion? Use the sun in moderation and natural sunscreens. Give your skin a break in the shade of the trees during midday (11 am – 3 pm) and remember that a hat is not just a fashionable accessory but also a reliable protector against sunburn.