Don’t worry – we’re not going to tell you to stay indoors or cover up (although it’s wise to cover up and stay out of the sun at peak hours, especially if you’re fair-skinned). These five tips are all useful, and maybe even a little surprising ways to stay sunburn-free this Summer. If you’ve already succumbed to the sun and ended up with embarrassing red lines and marks in strange places, then make sure you check yesterday’s post ASAP to find out how to get rid of it extra quick!
- Stay hydrated: Dehydrated skin is more likely to become dry and flaky, and burn easier in the sun. Drink plenty of water (aim for 2 litres per day), and eat hydrating foods like watermelon (full of electrolytes!), cucumber, coconut and coconut water, bell peppers, apples and pears, and lots of leafy greens.
- Astaxanthin: A potent natural antioxidant, this is the mineral that actually gives flamingos their pink colour! Naturally found in marine plants and animals, it’s a carotenoid pigment and is often called ‘King Of The Cartenoids’. Recognised as one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, it’s also special in the way that it is a pro-oxidant, so can never cause harmful oxidation. Especially good for the health of eyes, skin, the heart, cells and the immune system, it’s a great way to prevent sunburn naturally, and can help heal skin that’s already been over exposed to sunshine. Other natural antioxidants are blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, which all contain powerful phytochemicals.
- Load Up On Lycopene: Found in tomatoes, lycopene has been found to be especially effective at preventing sunburn. In one study, healthy women ages 21-47 ate 55g of tomato paste containing 16g of lycopene every day for 12 weeks experienced significant protection against acute and potentially long term damage from sunburn. We know that’s a LOT of tomato paste, but consider adding tomatoes to your daily meals and reap the benefits of them!
- Get A Tan!: It may seem counter intuitive, but spending enough time outside can condition the skin to become used to the sun. The deeper layer of suntan you can (safely) build up will protect it from burning. It’s important to realise that this alone won’t entirely protect you from sunburn – ensure you follow the other steps too and apply any creams you’ve been advised to apply.
Of course, always heed the advice of medical professionals, don’t spend too long in the sun, wear your sunscreen, and stay safe!