One of the best parts about summer is the abundance of sunshine. The days get warmer and longer, and many of us enjoy soaking up the summer sun, which is our best way of getting natural Vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for ensuring the immune system runs smoothly and for regulating calcium absorption, so soaking up the summer sun is a great way to boost health and happiness says Ayurveda.
However, as we all know, there is sun damage as too much sun exposure, in which free radical damage from ultraviolet radiation can lead to skin cancer, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and more. It’s important that we regulate our sun exposure in order to protect our Holistic health & skin from damage.
According to Ayurveda, there are a few small, simple and natural changes that can have a big effect on mitigating free radical damage. Here’s a breakdown of some Ayurvedic tips for protecting your skin from the sun this summer.
Our hands play a hugely important role in our everyday lives, often serving as an initial point of contact with the external world. They are an essential part of many of our everyday activities: we use them to write, open doors, greet other people and wash ourselves, just to name a few. Yet despite how much we use our hands, it can be easy for us to neglect to care for them the way we would for other parts of our body.
Eat a Pitta-Pacifying Diet
In Ayurveda, summer is dominated by the Pitta dosha, which is composed of the elements of fire and water and is characterized by heat, passion, mobility, oiliness and sharpness. An excess of Pitta, especially in the summer months, can lead to acne and inflammation, anger, frustration and indigestion, among other things. Those who are Pitta-dominant should be extra careful in the summer, as they are more likely to experience the negative effects of sun exposure. Those with fair skin are also more susceptible to sun damage.
To combat an excess of Pitta from accumulating during the summer months, one should try to eat a Pitta-pacifying diet. That means avoiding foods that increase Pitta, including spices, vinegar, fried foods and salty foods. Instead, eat foods that are astringent, sweet, bitter and cooling, like fruits, green vegetables, dairy and legumes. Those who drink coffee or alcohol should also try to limit or refrain their consumption, as both of these substances tend to over-stimulate Pitta.
Wear Sunscreen & Protective Clothing
Of course, wearing sunscreen regularly is an essential step in protecting yourself from sun damage. However, many chemical sunscreens use synthetic ingredients that are endocrine disrupters, which can interfere with our metabolism, reproductive systems and other necessary and natural bodily processes. Try to stick to a natural or mineral sunscreen, if possible.
In addition, it’s important to protect your skin and eyes by wearing hats, protective clothing (like long sleeved-shirts and pants, if you can manage it) and sunglasses that provide 99 to 100% UVA and UVB protection whenever you spend time in the sun.
Stay Out Of The Sun During Prime Hours
According to the EPA, the sun is strongest between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M., so it’s best to avoid sun exposure during those hours. This is in line with Ayurveda, in which Pitta dominates from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M
However, that doesn’t mean that sun exposure should be avoided entirely—in fact, not spending any time in the sun can lead to a Vitamin D deficiency, which has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, immune system disorders and certain cancers. Research suggests that even 10-15 minutes of midday sun exposure can help one absorb natural Vitamin D
Combat Sun Damage With Soothing, Anti-Aging Ayurvedic Ingredients
There are a number of natural Ayurvedic ingredients that are renowned for their ability to prevent and combat the anti-aging effects of sun damage, like wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and unevenness
- Sandalwood: Rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, sandalwood is an excellent anti-aging tool known to reduce wrinkles, combat inflammation, minimize acne and more.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is another ingredient full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its main active ingredient, curcumin. In Ayurvedic tradition, turmeric is lauded for its abilities to promote radiance and evenness, combat inflammation and heal damaged skin. Research has also suggested that turmeric’s anti-aging effects can even promote overall longevity
- Geranium: Thanks to its naturally astringent properties, geranium is used to soothe redness and inflammation, reduce wrinkles, combat hyperpigmentation and boost radiance.
- Frankincense: Also known as “liquid gold,” frankincense boasts anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that enable it to fade sunspots and scars, combat inflammation, boost skin elasticity and promote overall evenness
For an anti-aging, skin-boosting formula that incorporates geranium, frankincense, sandalwood and more, we also recommend our UMA Absolute Anti Aging Face Oil. To achieve the cooling, soothing effects of these powerhouse ingredients through a refreshing self-care ritual, you can also try out our UMA Absolute Anti Aging Face Mask.