Suncare, Essential: Internally and Externally
Suncare is a big topic. With stores filling their seasonal shelves with chemically-smelling, thick, white sunblocks that can make you feel like a grease pot, to SPF moisturizers that can leave your face looking shinier than your new pair of sunglasses, it’s easy to see why the topic of sun protection is cringe-inducing for many people. Make no mistake though, protecting your skin from the sun is essential however, most people don’t understand that this is a 2-part equation. Since your skin is a 2-sided organ, you must not only use topical protection but also give your body the internal support to mount some of it’s own sun-defense.
Internal sunscreen. Have you ever heard the saying “eat your sunscreen”? If you haven’t then, please hear me out. Getting enough quality animal fats in your diet is not only essential for hormone health, and many other functions, but it also influences the strength of the cell itself. Esthetician Cassandra Lanning describes this cell mechanism in further detail:
The fatty acids make up the cell membrane plus are used inside the cells. When skin cells move up through their life cycle and flatten and pop, they disperse their contents to create the lipid layer (or lamellar layer) which is the protective layer, and the remaining "envelope" becomes the corneocyte. So the more healthy the cell membrane is, the stronger the corneocyte and stratum corneum will be. Understanding this is essential to creating a healthy lipid/lamellar layer.
Now, to get enough dietary fats to support your healthy skin, you need to be consuming enough quality animal fats on a daily basis. Great food sources include: grassfed meats, liver, free-range eggs and poultry and grassfed dairy, grassfed butter or ghee, grassfed, nitrate-free pork or bacon fat, and duck fat.
Antioxidants: The second step in consuming your suncare, is through antioxidant rich food sources. Now, we all know of the regular antioxidant fruits and powders like raw cocoa, blueberries, goji berries, green matcha tea, etc. But, did you know that the most impressive and powerful antioxidant actually comes from seafood-who get it from sea greens? Astaxanthin is found in the largest quantity in Green Algae, then krill oil, then Wild Sockeye salmon. However, before you start eating a bunch of salmon, you need to consider why this is a serious health no-no. When eating seafood, we have no idea how much mercury it contains-and we have no control over this fact, making it a very unwise choice to consume too much. Secondly, neither krill oil or green algae sounds very appetizing or palatable for any regular human. The solution? Source a quality astaxanthin supplement and take it regularly. Antioxidants are so important as they protect skin cells from environmental assault-mainly the Sun, pollutants, and free-radicals.
External protection. The skin really is a 2-sided organ, meaning that it not only needs the building blocks of nutrition but also, quality botanical ingredients to protect it topically. Our skin is bombarded by environmental assault daily in the form of free-radicals and air-pollution. It is also rained down upon constantly by the sun’s rays, which often leads to sunspots and premature ageing. Considering that our skin is something we have to live with for our entire lives, it really is our responsibility to take care of it the best that we can. To do this, choose a quality botanical moisturizer with a high SPF and use it daily throughout the year. This cream should be suitable for the age of your skin, aka, acne prone and youthful vs mature and dehydrated. Using an SPF daily is mandatory as the sun’s rays still come out in fall and winter, not just summer.
Boost the power: Using an antioxidant serum, like Vitamin C, underneath your SPF botanical moisturizer has 2 major uses.
It increases the effectiveness of the SPF.
It provides your skin with wonderful topical antioxidant nutrients.
Conclusion: Suncare is mandatory for good skincare but, it needs to be approached both topically and internally. Having a proper balance of fatty acids ensures that you are creating a strong cell membrane for your skin cells. Antioxidants are an important part of helping your body fight free-radicals and should be sourced from whole food sources, as well as a quality astaxanthin supplement. Lastly, protect your skin topically with a botanical SPF moisturizer. This should be layered over a Vitamin C serum as the antioxidants both increase the effectiveness of the SPF and help protect against sun damage.