4 Tips For Sun Safety This Summer That Don't Involve Artificial Ingredients

With natural home remedies and natural over-the-counter options becoming increasingly popular, especially in my own life, I've learned a few things about staying safe in the sun with natural ingredients. Personally, I think natural oils are incredibly effective against sun damage and instead of aging us as many synthesized chemicals tend to, they actually help us retain moisture and fight signs of aging. Of course, there are definitely some things to keep in mind before you toss your trusty over-the-counter sunscreen or making your own protective moisturizer.

I'll admit, I had some risky behavior a couple of summers ago when I was first becoming the natural beauty that I've blossomed into today. For one thing, I didn't know anything and I didn't ask any questions because, I had no idea what questions to ask. It wasn't until I had a serious sunburn for the first time of my life that I had to consider that not all oils were created equal and some ingredients just shouldn't be used at all in direct sunlight. It took several days of peeling and complaining for me to finally admit that I had been burned by the sun — up until then, I thought I was untouchable.

The sun that I had always trusted to get rid of my dark spots and even zap pimples had come after me with vengeance. I knew that I had to tighten up my DIY skincare game — my trust in my natural ingredients never wavered, but the betrayal of the sun means I'm very cautious about what I'm applying on my bod before I can have any type of fun in the sun. These tips n tricks can make your natural beauty experience smoother AND safer.

1. Citrus in the sun

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I apply lemon juice onto my dark spots twice daily, once all those acne scars have faded, I'm usually content to just skip my lemon juice after cleansing and move straight to my toner...but, guess what? My toner contains lemongrass essential oil. One of the most important things I've learned, is never ever go out with lemon, orange, or any citrus oil or juice without serious protection from the sun. Research shows that you are likely to get burned when using lemon juice topically without a moisturizer. Years ago, I noticed slight pigmentation issues on my back due to wearing lemon juice to lighten dark spots without applying a proper moisturizer.

2. Be careful when exfoliating

I'm the first one to admit that I can't get enough of body scrubs and I'll be the first person to admit that sometimes I exfoliate too much, but I tend to use gentler scrubs like oatmeal when my skin is particularly dry. One thing to remember is that if you've been chillin' in the sun all day long that your skin is likely to be slightly dry and sometimes even tender from baking in the sun. Even if you wore sunscreen, be careful when exfoliating after a day at the beach. Be sure your body scrub has gentle, less coarse grinds and the skin is not open or sunburn — this is exfoliating 101 for any type of body scrub, natural or over the counter. For example, if you love dead sea salt, blend your salt to make them less harsh on your sensitive skin.

3. Store your oils properly

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Just like OTC products, when oils are expired they lose all abilities to heal, protect, and nourish. There is literally zero value of slathering on coconut oil that has gone bad and if you're storing your oils in a hot place or by a window that gets tons of life? Your product is more likely to expire way before that tiny expiration date. As soon as the temperature hits 80, I keep my oils in the fridge or a closet with no light. I move through a lot of products quickly, but I'll never forget the rancid smell of coconut oil that has gone bad. Sniff your products before you use them and make sure you keep them in tinted containers if they can't be refrigerated.

4. Choose the right oil

Like I was saying, not all oils are created equal. If you burn easily then just using jojoba oil on its own is likely not going to cut it. However, blending your favorite carrier oil with carrot seed or raspberry seed oil can give your moisturizer of choice extra protection from UVA and UVB rays. Check out your preferred natural oil's SPF here before you head out in the sun. According to the American Melanoma Foundation, an SPF of at least 15 can protect against ultraviolet rays by approximately 93 percent. Blending your fave oils together can easily give you the same effect when mixed with the right natural additives.

Images: cynicalview/Flickr; Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson (2); Getty Images (2)