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Natural Sunscreens

Sun protection should be focused on preventing damage from both UV-A and UV-B light. Should you have a medical problem that precludes sunning, then you must follow medical advice.

Staying out of the sun is one method, but that’s hardly natural because we humans need sunlight! We just need to be careful about how much exposure, and take sensible precautions. It can be beneficial to expose your skin to the sun, but only for a short time, maybe 15 minutes, on a regular basis.

If you apply coconut oil before sunning and leave it on for at least an hour afterwards. This will give your body a much needed chance to create vitamin D.

At other times you should protect your skin from sun damage. The three elements of protection you need are:

• concealing clothes

• topical application of protective sunscreen cosmetics

• a diet rich in essential fatty acids

Some natural ingredients offer sun protection: A mild infusion of elder flowers is most effective when applied to skin just prior to exposure. Shea butter has a SPF of 6 and can be used both before and after sunning. Sesame oil has a SPF of 4. PABA, a B vitamin, screens UV-B. To encourage tanning, add carrot Essential Oil to creams or oils.

Applying coconut oil topically allows the body to adjust naturally to sun exposure, naturally increasing the body’s tolerance level over time. On the other hand, the citrus essential oils (like bergamot, lemon & orange) are photosensitizing, causing the skin to tan more readily when the oils are present. Under moderate sunlight, this may be alright, but under intense sunlight, the citrus essential oils can cause dark spots and even severe sunburn.

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Consequently they should be used cautiously before sun exposure, and then only in moderate sunlight. They should never be used neat on the skin in the presence of sunlight or UV light from electric sources (like tanning booths).

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