Yes, black people get sunburns too, most times we don’t even realise it until we are told how much darker we’ve gotten. When it’s hot, it’s really hot. The scorching sun hits us at some point daily, even though we try to avoid being out in the sun for too long, one way or another the sun still gets to us.
We know it’s been extra hot recently and nobody wants to have two different complexions on their skin. We all strive for that even toned look all over our body, not a darker face and lighter body. Here are a few ways you can naturally maintain your skin’s tone and prevent damage by the sun.
- Drink Tea Tea especially green tea, offers a complex arsenal of antioxidant compounds. How it works and what’s doing it isn’t fully understood, but it’s generally accepted that drinking green tea is a smart move and a mainstay of many healthy traditional cultures. Unsurprisingly, there’s also evidence that dietary green tea, specifically its polyphenols, inhibit the development of skin tumors by controlling inflammation and preventing DNA damage. Topical green tea extracts applied directly to the skin also offer photoprotection.
- Watch your diet People whose diets are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (such as sunflower, safflower and other vegetable oils) are more prone to have sun-damaged skin. Once consumed, these oils work their way to the skin surface, where sunlight oxidises them, which rapidly creates free radicals – unstable molecules that damage the cells’ DNA, leading to photoageing as well as skin cancer. Supplement-If you are going to be out in the sun, consider upping your intake of vitamins C and E.
- Get Some Vitamin D A common anecdotal report is that supplementing vitamin D increases sun tolerance and protection against sun damage, and a recent study seems to confirm this. Various forms of the vitamin D prohormone offered various protections against UV damage in a mouse model: reduced sunburn, lowered incidence of tumor development. Imagine that! Getting sun gives you vitamin D, which in turn protects you from too much sun. It’s funny how these things work out. Nature can be very elegant.
- Honey Honey is antibacterial and multiple studies have shown that honey can help to heal wounds. Because of this, applying honey to a sunburn could help the skin re-epithelialize (grow new epithelial skin cells). Manuka honey in particular is suitable for sunburns because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Aloe Vera A study of the Aloe Vera plant has shown to heal a burn 1/3 faster! There are factors in aloe that help the cells regenerate. keep an aloe plant in your home or simply purchase a leaf or two from the market and break it open when needed. The whole plant is stronger than a commercial made gel so it is worth it keeping a plant close.
- Rub Coconut Oil on the Skin It may be delicious to eat, but cold pressed coconut oil is also a powerful healing agent when applied to the skin. There is anecdotal evidence showing that Polynesians frequently rubbed this precious oil on before spending long periods of time in the sun. Although it has been tested to block only about 20% of the sun’s rays, its value lies more in the powerful antioxidants it releases into the skin, which boosters natural defenses and prevents damage from long-term sun exposure. Try making your own whipped coconut oil lotion.
- Eat These! – Potatoes; Overindulging in potatoes may be a no-no if you’re trying to lose weight, but keep a few on hand in case a sunburn strikes. The potato’s starchy compounds will help take the sting out of sunburn. -Tomatoes; Turns out the red gems help protect your skin from sun damage. In one study, volunteers who ate 5 tablespoons of lycopene-rich tomato paste daily for 3 months enjoyed 25 percent more natural protection against sunburn. -Guavas; An antioxidant-rich diet could help prep your skin for more potent sun protection before you even step foot outside. One guava contains about five times the amount of vitamin C, a skin-healing antioxidant, as a medium-sized orange.
- Cover up -No better protection from the sun than avoiding direct contact with the sun. On days we have to be under the sun, take a wide hat with you, wear long sleeves and long pants. Avoid any direct contact with the sun!