Healthy skin is beautiful skin and studies show that ultra violet (UV) light from the sun is among the top contributors to skin deterioration . Protecting your skin from UV light is one of the best ways to prevent loss of skin elasticity, compromised barrier function, and visible ageing. We’ve compiled our top scientific strategies for making sun care simple.
Invest in a broad-spectrum SPF
You knew it was coming, you’ve heard it before but yes, one of the best things you can do for your skin is apply sunscreen every day . Interestingly, not all sunscreens are created equal! Different sunscreen formulas have the ability to protect against different wavelengths of ultraviolet light from the sun. Ultraviolet-A (UVA) light for example, significantly promotes oxidative damage to DNA, the breakdown of collagen fibre in the dermis, and promotes deterioration of connective fibres, which leads to inflammation and skin sagging . Meanwhile, ultraviolet-B (UVB) light enhances the carbonylation of various proteins (a chemical reaction in skin tissue) and the increase of keratinocytes (pigment producing cells) leading to sun burns . In other words, UVB light can cause sunburns and immediate skin damage and UVA light causes deeper, long term DNA and structural damage leading to skin ageing. Your sunscreen should be able to block both UVA and UVB rays making it “broad-spectrum”. If you’re looking for a gentle, naturally derived, mineral sunscreen, choose one that contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the active ingredients. Titanium dioxide can help protect from UVB and some UVA rays while zinc oxide can protect against UVB and UVA rays. Try The Perfect Sunscreen for a hydrating, lightweight SPF 30 sunscreen.
Eat more chocolate
I bet that got your attention and amazingly its true! In a study of 30 healthy subjects, those given 20 grams of flavanol-rich dark chocolate each day for 12 weeks exhibited significantly more photoprotection in their skin than the control group . This is also true for the consumption of other plant antioxidants. Several studies show the protective effects of consuming vitamin rich foods like vitamin C containing red orange extracts [5, 6]. Learn more about skin + antioxidants HERE.
Wear your vitamins
Many vitamins exhibit antioxidant properties and provide protection against UV damage. Vitamins applied topically can help provide some extra defence against free radicals and have been shown to promote natural antioxidant production within the skin’s dermis . Since virtually all plants produce antioxidants, natural skin care is a great place to look for these topical power-house ingredients. Some of the top antioxidant ingredients include vitamin E, C and B3, green tea extract, and gotu kola. It’s important to note that these ingredients don’t act as a substitute for sunscreen but rather an extra line of defense to be used in combination with SPF.
Hang out in the shade
The best sun is no sun at all. If you can wear a hat, grab a sun umbrella and invest in SPF clothing you’re even more likely to prevent harmful rays from reaching your skin.
When it comes to healthy, radiant skin, protect yourself from UV rays by going beyond the bottle. Nourish your skin from the inside out and the outside in by wearing SPF, taking advantage of vitamins, and finding a shady place to shelter. After all great skin comes from more than just great skin care products.
 Ito, N., Seki, S., & Ueda, F. (2018). The protective role of astaxanthin for UV-induced skin deterioration in healthy people—a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrients, 10(7), 817.
 Wang, P. W., Hung, Y. C., Lin, T. Y., Fang, J. Y., Yang, P. M., Chen, M. H., & Pan, T. L. (2019). Comparison of the biological impact of UVA and UVB upon the skin with functional proteomics and immunohistochemistry. Antioxidants, 8(12), 569.
 Burke, K. E. (2018). Mechanisms of aging and development—A new understanding of environmental damage to the skin and prevention with topical antioxidants. Mechanisms of ageing and development, 172, 123-130.