Health and Fitness

Natural Sunscreen: How Protected Is Your Skin?

When it comes to having fun in the sun, most people understand the fact that they need to wear sunscreen. Sunblock is designed to prevent your skin from being burned. When your body is exposed to too much sunlight, it also increases your risk of developing cancer. In the end, you will thank yourself for wearing sunblock. Something that many people don’t know about sunblock is that there are a few different types. Different types of sunblock offer certain advantages and disadvantages as opposed to the other options. In this article, we will discuss the difference between normal and natural sunscreen options.

What are some ways to naturally protect yourself?

Later in this article, we will discuss some of the reasons that people try to avoid using sunblock products. Thankfully, there are options for those against sunblock products in general. Let’s discuss some tips as to how you can naturally protect yourself from the sun:

Long sleeve clothing

Wearing long sleeve clothing is the best way to protect yourself from the sun. Long sleeve clothing allows you to be immediately protected without messing around with any products what-so-ever. There are lots of options available which allow you to stay cool or even swim in your long sleeve clothing while protecting yourself from the sun.

Eating well

Another way to naturally protect yourself from the sun is to eat healthily. That’s right, foods high in antioxidants and healthy fats have been proven to naturally protect you while exposed to the sun.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another common way to naturally protect you from the sun. Coconut oil has many benefits for using in the sun. First of all, it moisturizes and reduces inflammation. It also reduces light absorption by 20% and reduces damage from the sun.

Aloe Vera

You’ve probably heard of using Aloe Vera for burns. However, the product is also useful for preventing burns in the first place. Similar to Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera reduces light absorption by about 20% and moisturizes.

These are some of the most popular options for naturally protecting yourself from the sun. However, these options aren’t near as effective as products made specifically for blocking the sun. Next, we will discuss sunblock product individually and some important things to know about them.

Normal vs. Natural Sunblock?

Many people have no clue that there are different types of sunblock. It isn’t something that many people ever talk about. However, there is. First, we will start with normal sunblock. Normal sunblock is the most common form and it utilizes chemicals to protect your skin from the sun. These chemicals soak into your skin and blood and effectively disperse UV rays throughout your body. In the end, your body is better protected from burns and cancer. The downfall of normal or chemical based sunscreen is that it comes with a few side effects. First of all, sunblock that utilizes chemicals has been linked to various health problems ranging from increased allergies to infertility. Also, for those who use sunblock and get in the ocean, these chemicals have been linked to the destruction of coral reefs. After reading that, you may be wondering what the healthier alternative to chemical-based sunblock is. Some people believe that using mineral based, natural sunblock is the right choice. Mineral based sunblock uses minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect your body from the sun. When these non-toxic products are used as an alternative to some of the chemicals found in regular sunblock, the risk of side effects decreases.

How effective is mineral-based sunblock?

You may be wondering whether or not mineral-based sunblock actually works. There must be some reason that people use chemical based products, right? Well, as stated before, most people don’t know that they have options when it comes to sunblock. To answer the question, mineral-based sunblock will protect you from the sun. However, it works a little differently. Chemical based products work by dispersing the UV rays that you come into contact with throughout your body. Because the chemicals have to soak in in order to work, chemical-based sunblock takes around 20 minutes after the application for it to be effective. Most of the time, people aren’t willing to wait 20 minutes and just assume that they are immediately protected. When it comes to mineral sunblock, it works by simply reflecting the UV rays off of you. It doesn’t need to soak in in order to be effective, so you are immediately protected from the sun. While both options work better than nothing, you’d be surprised to hear that mineral based products are actually more effective than chemical-based products. Studies have shown that mineral based sunblocks do a better overall job of protecting you from the UV rays and also does not break down as quickly in the sun. If you choose to still use chemical based products, be sure to avoid one specific chemical. Refrain from buying products with oxybenzone and choose those with avobenzone instead. When it comes to toxicity ratings, oxybenzone is labeled as an 8/10 whereas avobenzone is only scaled at 2/10. In the end, mineral-based products are your best bet.

Final Thoughts

If you didn’t know that there were different types of sunblock, you do now. If you are someone who doesn’t wear sunblock in the first place, you should change that immediately. Not wearing sunblock while in the sun has a long list of nasty side effects. This is not meant to intimidate you, but rather to help you protect yourself. If you need a little motivation for wearing sunblock, check out this article which discusses a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t skip out on sunblock. So, now you know a little about mineral based vs. chemical based sunblocks. Based on what you’ve read here, you should be able to make a choice between the two.