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Beyond Sunscreen: 7 Ways to Protect Skin from the Inside Out in Summer


Most of us know that Sunscreen is absolutely essential when spending time outdoors, and many of us have moved towards wearing Sunscreen daily to protect our skin health from the harmful effects of UV damage and premature aging, which is excellent.

But did you know some summer skincare ways to protect beyond sunscreen that can be taken internally to improve our body’s protection and resilience from the sun?  Absolutely!  Below is a list of 7 simple ways you can protect your skin from the inside out this summer.

7 Ways to Protect Skin in Summer


1. Antioxidants for Breakfast

A healthy dose of Antioxidants first thing in the morning for breakfast, will protect your skin and body from free radical attack and environmental damage all day long.  Berries are a stellar source of protecting antioxidants and polyphenols, and specifically wild blueberries are one of the very best sources.  My fav way to consume my Antioxidants every morning is with a wild blueberry smoothie and a cup of Revitalize Skin Nutrition Beauty Tea- both are packed with a hefty antioxidant dose to protect my skin for the day.


2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids from Fish oil could potentially help reduce hyperpigmentation and sun spots in skin in several ways. DHA can inhibit melanin production, which may reduce the risk of UV-induced hyperpigmentation, melasma, sun damage and sun spots.  Omega 3 also minimize wound infections and speed up healing, which is useful in cases of hyperpigmentation that are due to skin trauma.

The standard North American diet is disproportionally high in Omega 6 fatty acids, which is a major cause of the inflammation and hyperpigmentation problem across Canada & the USA.   We can counter this by bringing our Omega 3:6 fatty acid ratio back into balance, which will reduce inflammation, benefit hair, heart and brain health, and help protect our skin from sun damage and sun spots.


3. Daily Probiotic

Most of the population does not have a healthy gut microbiome these days, as our soils are desperately lacking in the essential microbe diversity of the past which used to keep the human gut healthy, strong, and balanced.  That means supplementing our gut health with a good quality probiotic is key, especially considering the strong connection between the gut and skin health.  Unhealthy gut = unhealthy skin.  Keep your gut health balanced and healthy through summer BBQ’s and binges this year with a great probiotic that will keep your microbiome populated.


4. Water to Support Detox

Skin is a key detoxification organ for the body, along with the liver, kidneys, and lymphatic system.  .  Sweating is detoxifying!  Skin detoxifies through sweat, so drink plenty of water by aiming for 8 glasses per day then adjust as needed, and do activities to sweat it up this summer.  For a super simple electrolyte drink that is more effective than Gatorade without any of the refined sugars, artificial flavours or colours added, try taking a glass of water and adding a squeeze of lemon or lime, and a few granules of Celtic Sea Salt.  It increases hydration and is electrolyte-rich which helps replace electrolytes that are lost in the body during exercise. Electrolytes can be lost through sweat and urine, and are used in daily bodily functions such as regulation of the nervous system.


5. Solid Sun Protection

Daily sun protection in the form of a natural mineral-based sunscreen is a must, if you are consciously taking action to protect your skin against UV-caused skin cancer, sun spots, and premature aging.  But there are other great ways to protect skin too!  A wide-brimmed hat, wide sunglasses, and seeking shade between the hours of 10am and 3pm when UV ratings are at their highest are all sun smart actions to take.

Although I’m excellent at applying sunscreen to my face, neck and chest daily, I’m not a huge fan of wearing sunscreen on the backs of my hands…and my hands do have the sun damage to show it.  A few years ago I discovered summer gloves to protect my hands from sun damage, and wow what a gamechanger.  I wear these gloves to protect the backs of my hands from sun damage all the time now.  I’m also a huge fan of UPF or sun protection clothing, because I’m not always keen on slathering on boatloads of sunscreen head to toe every few hours.  I highly recommend checking out the UPF clothing options at Coolibar, this is my preferred UPF clothing brand.

Huna Calendula Healing Oil - Natural Sunburn Relief

6. Reduce or Stop Exfoliation

Skin needs the added protection in summer months, so try curbing your exfoliation completely, or reduce it down to once every few weeks or once monthly, rather than a few times per week.  It may sound gross, but the reality is the buildup of dead skin cells offer a certain level of protection to skin.  Freshly exfoliated skin is more sun sensitive and prone to UV damage and sunburn.  It doesn’t matter whether you use chemical or mechanical (physical) exfoliation- both put skin in a vulnerable position in the hot summer months.

Personally, I stop exfoliating my face, neck and chest completely in the summer months, and I pick it back up again in the fall when the summer sun intensity has given way.  I do still exfoliate my body in the summer, but I’m always mindful to protect my skin from the sun after I’ve done a body polish.  Over the years, your skin will thank you for this consideration.


7. Sun Protection Supplements

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a plant-based supplement that could support the body and skin’s resistance to UV, extending the time you could spend in the sun while preventing sun burn and sun damage?  Wait…this product actually does exist!

I’ve been taking a supplement called Heliocare during the summer months for the past few years.  Heliocare contains a natural fern extract from Central & South America called Polypodium leucotomos, which is packed with antioxidant properties that help protect skin from the effects of free radicals that can cause wrinkles, discoloration, and other signs of environmental aging.

The Polypodium fern has developed its own protections against harmful free radicals in the environment. For centuries, the unique traits of this natural fern have been used to treat many skin-related conditions and promote skin resilience and youthful appearance.  Today, Polypodium leucotomos helps us combat environmental aging, which can be caused by the negative effects of free radical damage to our skin.  Heliocare protects skin from environmental aging triggered by exposure to the sun, pollution, diet, and visible light.

With scientific and clinical backing and loads of positive customer reviews, Dermatologists have been recommending this product for years to people who are sensitive to the sun to help support skin against the effects of sunburn, sun damage, environmental damage, pollution, and premature aging.



Pictured above: Polypodium leucotomos.


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