More than 100 years ago, Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, “In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Interestingly enough, that’s also about the same time most of us start to think about heading to the beach to enjoy a little sunshine, sand and water.
So whether you’re in love, in love with the beach, or both, you’ll want to check out these 5 tips for naturally preventing sunburn when you hit the shore.
1. Download the Apps
You might not consider your smartphone an “all natural” product, however, there are some great apps available that allow you to control your sun exposure, and that may be the best “natural” way to prevent sunburn at the beach.
SPF is a free iPhone app that tells you how long you should be in the sun. It bases its calculation on your specific skin type and location. For example, if you had very pale skin and were lounging on Myrtle Beach wondering about which restaurant you wanted to hit for dinner, it would take that information and calculate your sun exposure time.
UV Detector is a little more basic, but still useful. This free iOS app tells you the specific UV index in your area for the day and for the week. Imagine a weather app, but focused on UV radiation instead of temperature and rainfall and you’ll get the idea. You can set customized alerts for when you should wear sunscreen and it even has social media sharing built in.
2. Find Natural Sunscreens
Many environmental and natural health watchdog groups question the safety of chemicals used in most of the major, commercially available sunscreens, including oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. Instead, the safest option is to go with natural sunscreens that use mineral sunblocks, like zinc or titanium. Many of these employ nanotechnology processing, which some critics believe could be unhealthful. However, they seem to be the safest option on the market today. Look for “all natural,” “biodegradable” and “eco-friendly” on the label and then check for the mineral that’s being used.
3. Go With a Home Brew
Some oils and butters are said to have natural sun protection factors (SPF). At least one study indicated that raspberry seed oil has an SPF of 30-50. Carrot seed oil reportedly comes in at SPF 30 and wheat germ oil rates an SPF of 20. Others, like shea butter, peanut oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and hemp oil are in the SPF 4-10 range. You might want to do an experiment with some of these to see if they work for you. Raspberry seed oil is also high in antioxidants and is quite good for the skin. If you want to go one step further you, there are recipes that blend oil, butter, beeswax, vitamin E and zinc oxide powder to give you a solid sun block lotion.
4. Stay Covered Up
One of the best natural ways to prevent sunburn at the beach is to buy a ticket to Playa Escondita in Mexico and spend all day under a “palapa”—a little hut with no walls and a thatched roof. While we all can’t do that, we can apply the same principle whether we’re on Myrtle Beach, South Carolina or Muscle Beach, California. Invest in a big beach umbrella or a portable shade shelter. These have the advantage of giving you great protection from sunburn with none of the greasy stains or oily aftereffects. Of course, loose fitting clothing always works and today many clothing companies are giving their garments ultraviolent protection factor (UPF) ratings.
5. Gradually Increase your Sun Exposure
If you have a major beach vacation on your summer calendar, you might want start getting some exposure to the sun before you pack up the SUV and head out of town. As your skin tans, the darker pigments reduce the threat of sunburn. However, as you go through this “pre-tanning” process, you’re exposing yourself to UV radiation which increases the likelihood of skin cancer. In other words, although you reduce your chance of getting sunburned on vacation, you may be increasing your chance of getting skin cancer sometime during your life.
On the old police show, “Hill Street Blues,” each day before the cops hit their beats they were cautioned, “Let’s be careful out there.” It’s the same with your beach vacation. Be careful—and smart—about your exposure to the sun.
This post was written by a guest contributor. About the Author:
Carrie Thompson is a marketing strategist for Myrtle Beach resorts, where family-friendly fun is a daily event! Browse the website to find a hotel or resort to perfectly fit your family’s needs.