20 Oct Natural Ingredients to Help your Skin Thrive in the Sun
A little bit of sunshine is good for the body and mind; but of course too much of a good thing will do more harm than good, so we need to be smart about sun safety and outdoors and choose natural sunscreens for healthy skin protection.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can wreak havoc on the skin, causing sunburns and premature ageing, and also increasing the risk of skin cancer. There is good news though; Mother Nature has given us a wide range of highly effective, all-natural sun protectants to keep our skin safe and healthy. Many of these plant oils and extracts are used as ingredients in our natural sunblocks; we highly recommend adding any of them to your skincare regime before (and during) the sunny summer months!
This hydrating herb is an amazing way to protect your skin against the damaging effects of the sun. Fresh aloe vera makes the perfect natural rejuvenating after-sun treatment. It has Its anti-inflammatory, moisturising, emollient and antimicrobial properties, great for preventing sun damage and replenishing your skin’s cells.
“One product I never leave home without – heals sores, stops mozzie bites itching, sooths sunburn and I also use under moisturiser at night for extra treatment. FABULOUS, would love a travel size option!!” – Lesley
Rose Hip Seed Oil
This healing herb comes from a rare South American rose. The main component responsible for rose hip’s remarkable rejuvenating properties is retinoic acid; a derivative of vitamin A. It’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and high in vitamin C, which stimulates collagen production and fights free radical damage.
“Been using this oil as a facial moisturiser, 6 drops rubbed between my palms morning and night, the result: my (early) wrinkles are smoother and my skin is soft and calm! Lovely!” – Rozlynn
This botanical ingredient contains a substance called Silymarin, a flavonoid antioxidant that provides excellent protection against various skin tumour promoters. Over-activity of a certain enzyme called tyrosine kinase is often caused by over-exposure to the sun, and has been linked to skin cancer. Silymarin helps to regulate this enzyme’s activity, which is how it protects your skin.
A cup of this healthy brew will help to protect your skin from the inside out. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which are among the most powerful botanical antioxidants known to man! Polyphenols protect skin against free radicals, which are responsible for 80% of skin ageing. It also contains catechins, which have about 20 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E.
Did You Know? Studies have shown that drinking two or more cups of green tea a day reduces the risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer by an amazing 30%.
Green tea also makes a wonderfully protective external skincare treatment:
“I absolutely love this sponge. I cannot believe how soft and moisturized my skin feels after every use.” – Elcke
You can also supplement your green tea intake daily:
This seed oil can help to block UV rays in their tracks, so they never reach the skin’s surface in the first place. Studies have shown that sesame oil can block up to 30% of UV rays.
These little dandelion-like flowers have great anti-inflammatory and regenerative qualities, helping your skin to recover from damage as well as providing protection from UV rays.
Helichrysum is also found in these products:
This herb is an antioxidant powerhouse, helping to protect skin from free radical damage, and also helping to reduce inflammation. Try a rosemary massage oil:
Or choose a lotion with rosemary extract as one of the key ingredients:
“This product leaves your whole body feeling moisturized for the whole day no need to apply any more, its a wonderfully moisturizing product. I really enjoy using it!” – Tanya
This beauty helps to protect against cancerous cell changes and tumour formation, and inhibits the specific type of free radical that’s responsible for the majority of UVA/UVB radiation damage. Lavender also has anti-inflammatory properties and adds a great natural fragrance to sun protection products.
Add lavender essential oil to your favourite body lotion:
“Works immediately on burns and cuts and grazes. Always in my first aid box at home and camping.” – Justine
Or try one of these luscious organic skincare goodies:
“I have tried many body scrubs and this is the BEST! Best applied on damp skin, not wet, it exfoliates and when you rinse off, there is no need to moisturise as it leaves your skin soft and silky.” – Heather
Coconut Oil/ Water
Coconut oil provides a sun protection factor (SPF) of about 8, plus it hydrates and nourishes the skin, keeping it healthy in hot or dry conditions. Use it as a moisturiser before putting on your mineral sunscreen to keep your skin soft and supple all day. Pure coconut water is also a must-have for healthy hydration and nourishment from the inside out. Read more about coconut water and skin health here.
“Lovely, soft fragrance. Great texture colour associated with the pure form of organic coconut oil. I use it on my whole body, hair and for cooking! Same goes for my fiance. No need for any moisturiser anymore.” – Mika
Very high in phenols and catechins; antioxidants which guard our skin from sun damage and skin cancer. Munch and enjoy!
Did You Know? Dairy-free chocolate is best for you, because milk interferes with the absorption of its antioxidants.
“Don’t expect a taste like your typical store bought chocolate – Tastes really good for a raw food bar!” – Mitchell
These greens, like chlorella and spirulina, are packed with a powerful carotenoid called Astaxanthin, which protects your skin and your eyes against ultraviolet radiation.
“I love spirulina and will never go without it. Good for your immune system – I almost never get sick! Im also an athlete and this is an awesome supplement to have for training.” – MC
These antioxidants combat the effects of UVB radiation. Carotenoids give many red and orange plants (and leafy greens) their colour, and act as “plant sunscreen”; when we eat foods rich in carotenoids, they can help to activate sun-protective melanin in our skin. This pigment is used by plants as sunscreen and can activate melanin. Apricots, papaya, mango, carrots, sweet potatoes and beets are all great sources.
A red carotenoid with a natural SPF of about 3, helping to block UV light and protect the skin. Foods rich in lycopene include watermelon, tomatoes, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit.
These fab fruits are loaded with polyphenol compounds called anthocyanins, which strengthen the skin’s upper layers and improve resistance to UV damage.
“This is a very tasty way to improve my health – “Happy Green Days” – as i think you Faithful people always put it ;)” – Nel
This vitamin prevents premature ageing and skin damage, by effectively warding off free radicals. The best natural sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, rose hip, cherries and berries, guava, kiwi and papaya.
“I am loving how my skin seems to be clearing and healing since taking this supplement :-)” – Justine
Rich in an antioxidant called sulphoraphane, which helps the body’s cells to protect themselves against the effects of UV radiation.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omegas reduce inflammation, and provide your skin with much-needed nourishment and protection. Some great sources include: seaweed, green leafy vegetables, flax, hemp and chia seeds, as well as salmon and avocado.
Hydration is super-important! Drink plenty of water to maintain a healthy NMF (natural moisture factor) and protect your skin from environmental damage and dehydration.
Carrot seed oil is abundant in beta-carotene, vitamin A derivative that protects the skin from environmental damage, ageing and free radicals. It’s also a natural antiseptic and moisturiser.
This mineral-rich oil helps to heal sun damaged skin and slow the signs of ageing (like wrinkles and dark circles). Almond oil has a natural SPF of around 5.
“I suffer from very dark circles and this product reduces them (it does not remove them but I definitely see a reduction). As almond oil is a base oil, I use it to mix with other essential oils, so it is a very versatile product.” – Candace
This rich and creamy plant-based skin moisturiser contains “natural sunscreen” (SPF 4 or 5) in the form of cinnamic acid; it’s great for protecting, hydrating and softening your skin, and really soothing then you’ve been exposed to dry, windy conditions.
“This is an amazing butter for hair face and body. After one use on my hair, I was really surprised at how soft and healthy it was. Even my mom noticed. For the face and body, it is deeply nourishing and leaves skin beautifully soft and supple. My firm favorite now.” – Sam
DIY Whipped Shea Butter Sunscreen
- ½ cup shea butter
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- 15 drops carrot seed essential oil
- 10 drops myrrh essential oil
- 2 Tbsp zinc oxide (optional; you can add up to 40 drops more myrrh oil instead)
- Whip the shea butter until creamy.
- Slowly add melted coconut oil while whipping.
- Add essential the oils & zinc oxide ( do not inhale!)
- Whip until fluffy & creamy.
SPF with zinc oxide: 40+
SPF without zinc oxide: 20-30
Please Note: These natural products all have their own suncare benefits but should be used in combination with a good quality natural mineral sunscreen, not as a replacement for it. Be sun-safe this summer and enjoy happy, healthy skin!