I've written often about the importance of natural sun protection from zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (without nanoparticles or vitamin A added to be safest). The great news is that there are many wonderful brands out there and, trust me, I'm testing more all the time! This summer I'm using a lot of 100% Pure, Goddess Garden, Josie Maran, Badger and MyChelle Dermaceuticals to cover up without worry. Between my honeymoon in Hawaii and trips to the Jersey shore, there have been more than a few occasions to use up a tube of sunscreen. The trick for using natural sunblock? Rub it in very well and you'll avoid a whitish tone on your skin.
Of course, we've also talked about the importance of a few (about 15) minutes of unprotected sun exposure daily to fill your body's quota for essential vitamin D. So what gives? My method is to always use sunblock on damage-prone areas like my face, shoulders, decollete and neck, but leave my arms and legs unprotected for a few minutes each day to get my dose of D.
My friend and fellow health coach Ali Shapiro recently shared a list of sun-protective foods that will give your skin even more defense against sun damage from the inside out. I'd recommend consuming these foods regularly throughout the summer to give your body backup protection (and tons of antioxidants!). Check out Ali's delicious Gazpacho recipe below (the tastiest sun protection you'll find) and watch her tv clip that gives you even more sun protecting foods.
Another note- the use of argan oil is also known to deliver a small boost of sun protection to your skin- so if you've a regular user of this restorative natural oil, count yourself lucky! (And if you want to start, a few fabulous brands are Kahina Giving Beauty, Josie Maran and Arganica).
Happy sunny days ahead!
Tomato 'Sunscreen' Gazpacho, via Ali Shapiro, Ingredients for Inspired Living
Ingredients 4-5 Ripe Tomatoes* 1 Cucumber, peeled 1 red pepper, deseeded 1/4 C. Olive Oil 2 Tbs White Wine Vinegar (red or white wine with or without a splash of vinegar works too) 1/2 tsp. Cumin 2 cloves garlic 1 slice of gluten bread, soaked in water for 5-10 minutes** salt to taste
Directions 1. Chop all vegetables and garlic. 2. Squeeze excess water from bread. 3. If using a vita-mix or the equivalent, add all ingredients together and blend until smooth. 4. If you are using a less powerful blender, combine the wet bread with the olive, oil and white wine vinegar, blend until smooth. 5. Add in tomatoes and blend until smooth. 6. Add in remaining ingredients a handful at a time and blend until smooth. 7. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
*The quality of the tomatoes will determine the flavor of the soup so I recommend using Juicy ripe organic tomatoes fresh from the Farmers' Market. This soup doesn't taste as good when tomatoes aren't in season locally. **Pretty much any kind of gluten-free bread will work, I've used frozen gluten free waffles, a gluten-free English Muffin and Gluten Free French Roll all with great results. Add the equivalent of 2 slices of gluten-free bread for thicker soup, one for thinner soup.