It’s summertime, time to slip into cool cotton dresses, comfy shorts and cozzies. And whether you’re one to bask in the sun to get that sun-kissed look or simply spend some fun quality time outdoors, respecting the power of the sun is one of the secrets to keeping your skin young and beautiful.

Sunscreen has become the norm these days – most of us are aware, especially living in Africa, that we need to protect ourselves from harmful UVA and UVB rays that can cause burning and premature aging and even cancer.

There is also a growing awareness that chemical-laden sunscreens are not necessarily the best way to protect yourself from the sun, in fact, they may pose a new health hazard to your skin and health as what you put on your skin can be absorbed into your bloodstream (you can read a more thorough blog post about this here: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/natural-organic-blog/2014/10/fighting-cancer-naturally/wrong-sunscreen-cancer-hazard).



What to do for that Flattering Sun-kissed Look?

Non-toxic Self-tan

Self-tanning is one of the options available to you if you don’t want to expose yourself to the sun too much, or want to create a lovely glow in a short space of time.

But perhaps it conjures up visions of streaky orange toned disasters and stained palms. Or else, you are aware that, like chemical sunscreens, they too are a minefield of chemicals designed to promote a long shelf life such as oxybenzone, which disrupts hormones and has been linked to cancer. As these chemical-based self-tans break down, chemicals such as as diazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin can release formaldehyde, which is also a cancer no-no.

There have been advances in self-tan recently that have upped the game though, where a combination of nature and technology have met to produce a new generation of self-tans that are non-toxic, create a natural looking tan, and even contain natural certified organic ingredients.


 


If you burn easily or aren’t really a sun bunny, a self-tan can give you that glow in the space of a few hours, instead of the days it can take to develop a tan, without the risk of burn. Great for if you have a special evening out and want a touch of extra radiance to your skin.

Our natural non-toxic self-tans fit the bill, our newbie being Vita Liberata, which is popular amongst the stars and used in top spas around the world. It not only creates a beautiful natural tan, but deeply moisturises your skin too.


 

 

Having a gorgeous tan needn’t mean awkward streaks, toxic ingredients, or sun damage. Vita Liberata has created one of the purest tanning brands in the world, using certified organic and Ecocert ingredients.

 

 


Tips for applying self-tan: Remember when you apply self-tan, apply it where you would naturally tan – avoid places like the palms of your hands and inbetween fingers. Using a tanning mit also helps to apply the lotion evenly to avoid streaks.

You Do Need The Sun

Getting out in the sun has its place – you need the sun’s rays to help you manufacture vitamin D and it also affects the production of your happy hormone serotonin.

When you are out and about, especially in our harsh sun, whether you simply adore relaxing on the beach with a book, going for hikes, or have the sun blazing down on you in the car, it’s common sense to take care of your skin, preventing it from drying out and burning. And if you have a self-tan, you can enhance its glow by keeping your skin beautifully hydrated, nurtured and protected.


 

 


There are some awesome natural non-toxic sun blocks available, from facial moisturisers with built-in SPF to all-over sun blocks that don’t contain all the chemicals, and have been carefully formulated to contain antioxidants and nourishing care for your skin, so you needn’t shy away in the shade, although it is good to follow some common sense guidelines:

The sun is at its hottest and most damaging between midday and three in the afternoon. If you do go out at this time, be sure to apply sunblock and consider added protection such as a hat (you can go broad-brimmed and glam or cute and romantic), a sarong, or a light, breathable cardigan or shrug of some sort.

Don’t forget to apply sunblock to the tips of your ears and your feet!

Don’t shower or bath immediately before going out to spend a long time in the sun, this washes away your natural body oils which, did you know, also have and SPF of 6-8!

Apply moisturising oil before you go out, underneath your sun block and at night before going to bed – keep your skin nourished consistently. Using sunblock should be a measure taken in the harsh sun, but you need to keep your skin sun-ready by keeping it hydrated and prepared on a deeper, more consistent level. These natural plant oils all have a natural sun protection factor, as well as being super-beautifying for your skin:

Coconut oil was one of the first natural sunscreens to be used, the pacific islanders used it for thousands of years and applied it every day to protect their skin from the hot sun, while wearing clothing that would keep them cool. It has an SPF of between 4 and 10, depending on the oil and seals in moisture that the hot sun may deplete.

Shea Butter is a wonderful moisturizer that doesn’t feel greasy and is high in vitamin A and E, both important antioxidants for sun protection and skin renewal. It contains Cinnamic acid which protects against UV rays and has an SPF of 6-8.

Hemp Oil closely resembles the body’s natural sebum and is easily absorbed by the skin, providing essential fatty and essential amino acids as well as being high in tissue building protein. It has an SPF of 6.


 

 


Sesame Oil is great for absorbing the UV rays of the sun and is very high in vitamin E which combats free radicals. It has an SPF of 4.

Macadamia Oil also closely resembles you skin sebum, which protect your skin from drying out and losing moisture and is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidant fatty acids. It contains cinnamic acid too, which provides an SPF level of about 6.

Add a few drops of added sun protection and skin love to your body oil or moisturiser with nourishing and potently antioxidant-rich essential oils such as:

Carrotseed Oil has potent antioxidant, antiseptic, antifungal properties, with high levels of vitamin A. It provides a natural SPF 8.

Rosehipseed Oil is very high in vitamin C, a major anti-aging vitamin, and is great for protecting against sun damage. Using it regularly not only protects your skin form damage but over time helps repair existing sun damage such as pigmentation and wrinkles too.

Helichrysum Oil protects your skin from the sun and has anti-inflammatory and regenerative qualities and also helps heal sun damage.
After sun treatment can make all the difference


 

 


If you overdo it in the sun, soothing your burn with some natural TLC such as Aloe Vera or Shea butter can go a long way to minimizing long term skin damage. You can also spray some anti-inflammatory magnesium into your burnt skin, or soak in an Epsom salts bath.


 

 


Eat a diet high in antioxidants such as vitamin C and E and get in your B vitamins, your body uses more of these nutrients when you are exposed to the sun for longer periods.

• Vitamin C: melons, strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli, citrus , berries and greens. Superfoods such as camu camu and Lucuma and goji berries are high in vitamin C
• Vitamin E:
nuts (especially almonds and pine nuts), seeds (sunflower), avos, plant oils
• Vitamin B: eggs, nuts, seaweeds, bananas, spinach, kale, peas, brewer’s yeast. Superfoods include spirulina and hemp and chia seeds
• Astaxanthin
is powerful antioxidant found in spirulina and chlorella , which protects your skin and your eyes against ultraviolet radiation


Slowly does it – if you do want to develop a natural tan, do it slowly. Start off going in the sun for shorter periods and gradually build up your tan over time – this gives your skin the chance to build up its natural sun defense. The easier you tend to burn, the more slowly you need to do this.


Enjoy the life-giving rays of the sun sensibly and soak up the love!