Sunshine is key to all living things! Our Queen of the Outdoors, Patrica Bragg, has been sun worshipper all her life.

But, as we all know, too much sun can cause sun burns, skin cancer and premature aging. The days of slathering ourselves with baby oil and soaking up the rays may be over, but how do we protect ourselves without a bunch of harsh chemicals?

First, we can get healthy on the inside, which actually protects our skin from the sun. Foods that are high in antioxidants (such as green superfoods!) and Vitamin C and D play a significant role in acting as natural sunscreen. Garlic, green tea, pomegranate, sweet red peppers, mushrooms, turmeric, green veggies and ginger all have high amounts of the phytonutrients our skin needs.

A safe form of natural sun protection is zinc oxide and titanium oxide. An added bonus of using zinc oxide is absorbing the zinc directly into your body! After all, everything we put on our skin goes into our bloodstream, which is why it’s so important to be conscious of the products we choose. If the creams you are buying have a warning label on them, think twice before buying!

Some vegetable oils act as incredibly effective sunscreens. Carrot seed oil actually has an SPF of 40! Raspberry seed oil has an SPF of 30; wheatgerm oil, SPF 20, and Avocado oil, SPF, 15.

And, if you’re shopping for ready-made sun protection, make sure that whatever you buy is natural — meaning all the ingredients are words you can pronounce and understand — and PABA-free. PABA is an ingredient that has many side-effects, including allergic dermatitis and even increasing our risk for skin cancer.

Even if it’s not hot out — and particularly on cloudy days — the sun’s rays can still penetrate our skin. So, use some form of natural sun protection, any time you’re outside longer than twenty minutes.

We all love the sun! It lifts our mood and brightens our day. Here’s to safe days in the sun, all year round!

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