Winter was pretty brutal. Gloomy gray skies and chilly temps kept most of us indoors. While spring temps bounce around, we may not be as guarded against damaging effects of the sun. In truth, we should protect our skin year ‘round. Before we dive in the deep end of our sun-worshipping pursuits, let’s review some ways we can protect and pamper our golden glow.
Sun: Necessary or Evil?
Thanks to a lot of educated people and valid research, we know that over-exposed skin can be at risk. The “C-Word” is terrifying, and we’ve become hyper-sensitive to solar-subjection as a result.
While caution needs to be exercised, the sun is not an evil threat to be avoided at all costs. There are many proven benefits to soaking in some rays. For those with a vitamin D deficiency, the sun activates your body’s ability to boost those levels naturally. The production of this vitamin helps ward off many diseases including diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and seventeen different varieties of cancer.(1)
In addition to physical benefits, sun exposure is mood-boosting. Whether you’re engrossed in a book beachside, or climbing cliffs in the Rockies, the elevation of your mind is reason enough to get outside. When you’re exposed to sunlight, your brain produces serotonin, a chemical responsible keeping you calm, focused, and peaceful. (We’ve also got an essential oil for those days when you’re Feeling A Bit Stabby, and sunlight is absent.)
A Healthy Glow Begins Within
The market is saturated with products that promote a radiant glow, but the best skin begins within. Eating foods rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and phenolic acids help guard against skin-destroying free-radicals in UV rays.
The next time you’re in the grocery store, shop for your skin. Grab some gorgeous strawberries, blackberries, and cherries. They might sound fabulous in a pie, but raw food contains the highest levels of antioxidants. Resveratrol is a powerful little free-radical fighter found in grapes, grape juice, and wine. Cheers to healthy skin!
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade… it turns out lemons and other citrus fruits aid in the prevention of UVA/UVB skin carcinogenesis.(2) If lemonade isn’t your thing, black or green tea is packed with powerful polyphenols to inhibit cancer growths. Add a sprig of fresh peppermint leaves for blissfully bright skin, minus the free-radical damage.
Guarding Against the Gross Stuff
Although there are many benefits to direct sunlight, we must be on-guard against harmful UV rays. (It’s another one of those ‘too much of a good thing’ deals.) Over-exposure can lead to damage including wrinkles, lines, spots, or cancer. Experts agree sunscreen is an effective method for treatment, but little is said about the harmful ingredients that many sunscreens contain.
Several studies have been completed at an international level, offering many reasons to avoid the following list of ingredients (3):
Oxybenzone– hormone disruptor
Octinoxate– hormone disruptor; thyroid, reproductive, and behavioral modifications (in animal studies)
Homosalate– hormone disruptor
Octisalate– skin allergies (rarely reported)
Octocrylene– skin allergies (high incidence reported)
There are effective sunscreen products that are non-toxic, with no proven hormone disruption. These include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and avobenzone.
Where does a concerned individual look to provide adequate sun protection? The answer is a combination of options. Thanks to innovative individuals, there are many clothes that come with their own UV protection. Lightweight and breathable, these clothes are your layer of armour to protect your precious skin. Adorable hats keep your gorgeous face guarded (and hello, no raccoon eyes from sunglasses). Guys, we’ll call you adorable in your ballcaps too.
While the internet is riddled with diy recipes for natural sunscreen, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) warns against the efficacy of these products, stating improper measurements can minimize the SPF factor.(4)
The best defense is a good offense: avoid over-exposure during peak hours, protect yourself with skin-covering layers, begin within by eating certain foods, and use some common sense. (We know you’ve got that last one covered… you’ve already found KIND soap.)
Soothing the Sun-Scorched Skin
Even the most vigilant can be caught off-guard at times. If your skin is screaming from sunburn, reach for naturally soothing products. They’ll aid in relief and healing, without unwanted exposure to potentially harmful ingredients.
Cleansing with non-stripping soaps and detergents is essential for treating burned skin. Our Aloe Rescue Rx bar soap is made with aloe and calendula, which are both known to heal damaged, sunburned. Apple cider vinegar reduces inflammation, relieves pain, and speeds the healing process (what isn’t ACV good for?!). We’ve created our Tea Tree Rx Apple Cider Vinegar Toner for balancing acne-prone skin. However, KIND fans love using this spray to soothe burns.
Often mainstream products miss the mark when it comes to offering natural, healthy skin care. Many labels make the search for safe solutions even more convoluted. At KIND, we only offer options that are safe for you and your loved ones. For a list of ingredients used in all KIND products, visit us here.
We all love that sun-kissed looked, not sun-scorched skin. Thankfully more companies are creating protective lotions, cremes, and sprays without ingredients that jeopardize our overall health. And for those days where we’ve had a little too much, KIND is there to soothe your skin.