Natural Sun Protection

by (405) Updated August 09, 2011 at 9:31 PM Created August 09, 2011 at 12:24 AM

I was wondering what I could use as natural sun protection when playing sports. I spend close to six hours or more daily in the sun because my job requires it, and I use to wear sunscreen religiously until last year. I know the sun is great and all, but it's a known fact that over-exposure causes a hefty amount of aging and damage. I have tried coconut oil before but it seemed to make me burn easier. Any ideas or suggestions?

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7300 · August 09, 2011 at 12:57 AM


Here's a list of the best sunscreens in terms of ingredients (or lack thereof) that are carcinogenic or potentially detrimental to health. I'd definitely recommend checking it out and picking one that is rated as a 1 or 2. Make sure you get one that is a physical sunblock, not sunscreen, and uses zinc and titanium oxide. These aren't completely "paleo", but sun exposure can definitely cause skin damage and aging so its worth it in my opinion.

24012 · August 09, 2011 at 1:57 AM

I had the same experience with CO. I find it curious that CO seems to work for some but it was a disaster for me but that's definitely the case.

I stick with Zinc based sunblocks. I would look at the EWG link Mari provided and look into some of those. When I' out on the water I have to pull out the big guns and usually go with Vanicream 60 (have to order from drugstore.com unfortunately). It's like glue but it doesn't wear off and is water resistant so some sweat and splashing isn't a problem. I use Marie Veronique facial sunscreen daily but it's $$$ and tinted which you may not want.

Blue Lizard Baby or Sensitive skin formulations (same product just different marketing) are easy to find and work well for me for body use. Not as natural as I'd like but I can live with it.

77338 · August 09, 2011 at 7:21 AM

Well I have given up wearing sunscreen and I don't seem to burn like I used to (have freckles and a had a tendency to burn before), but then I read this the other day and apparently I HAVE been using sunscreen after all. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20086913-10391704.html

15070 · August 09, 2011 at 1:35 AM

Ive been using coconut oil both as a moisturizer and as sun protection for about a year and a half. I love in southern california and am a cyclist, so I can spend quite a few hours in the sun. No burns yet...

13928 · August 09, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Supplement with enough Vitamin D - about 5000 iu - for a week before going out in the sun regularly. Done.

6832 · August 09, 2011 at 9:20 PM

do not use any is the short answer. Here is a thread on Mark's Daily Apple and it is interesting to read the comments underneath; the experiences of many primal eaters who no longer need to wear anything in the way of sunscreen.

I think the key here is exposure, expose yourself regularly to the sun, Vitamin D helps prevent sunburn, and we manufacture vit. D from the sun- if you have only recently stopped using sunscreen then you need to build up gradually to zero sunscreen usage. Eat good fats, (use that CO on the inside!) and use a UV-shirt when the sun is very hot to start with.

My two girls and I spend time in the sun all year round and I eat ALOT of fat. Even in January we have our arms exposed (when there is snow on the ground) and when July rolls around, our skins are ready for it. Last week I sat out with my back to the sun and thought I had burnt, but no, I turned red for an hour and then nothing and I have pale skin. I rarely put cream on the girls skin now, and in fact my youngest daughter has better natural protection against the sun than my eldest and I definitely used LESS sunscreen with her when she was young. But of course I am sensible and I don't go out when the sun is at its hottest....they say that is reserved for mad dogs and englishmen, that's what a siesta is all about.

So, wear a hat and put on a UV-shirt when the going gets tough, apart from that try to build up natural screen within your own skin by sun exposure and good fat consumption.

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