If you are like me, you may wonder whether sun damage or sun screen is most harmful to our skin and our health. There are many differing opinions on the subject. For me, I am choosing to find healthy options to protect my skin and wear chemical sun screen only when absolutely necessary. Recently after going on a plant walk with a medicine man, I found out there is a plant in our desert, in abundance that can protect us naturally. Some may have this medicinal plant right in their back yard.
Chaparral is the creosote bush in the Arizona Sonoran desert. It is in abundance and has amazing healing benefits as well as sun protection. It has been used as sun protection, but also has an amazing ability to allow your skin to become tolerant of the sun and other weather conditions when used regularly. It is no wonder this plant can do this for us. The creosote bush can tolerate and survive crazy hot weather in Arizona. And it is here for us to better tolerate the sun as well. Use for sun protection infused in olive oil for instance. If sun burned, use the oil on your burn or make a tea infusion and add to your bath. Chaparral aids many skin conditions including skin cancer. See chaparral salve on the list of True Balance Wellness products and look for upcoming products using chaparral in lip balm and facial moisturizer for added sun protection.
There are additional solutions for safe and natural methods of protecting your skin. They may have varying degrees of protection. Here are some options to consider:
- Consuming coconut (juice and meat)- make a smoothie before a day in the sun
- Consuming tomato paste (1-4T daily). Lycopene in tomato paste is a natural sunscreen and helps with wrinkles too!
- Drink Chaparral tea, bathe in chaparral tea, and apply chaparral infused oil onto skin. Note: do not consume large amts of chaparral tea. A small amount goes a long way.
- Drinking green and black tea daily (2cups/day) gives us a 30% less chance of having squamous cell carcinoma)
- Omega-3 fatty acids in fish defend against free radicals for healthier skin
- Eat dark chocolate – yeah! (anti-oxidants are great for our skin health)
- Eating colorful fruits and veggies assists our immune health
- Topically, shea butter, coconut oil and chaparral infused oil can add protection
Want to know if your sun protection products are safe? The Environmental Working Group rates products on the market. You can check out your products and how safe they are. In general, zinc or titanium is the safest natural chemical for sunscreen however they are not completely safe. When possible, cover yourself with hats and clothing to avoid excessive harmful rays and follow the tips you read above.