10 Natural Sun Protection Herbs, Oils and Vitamins.

 Sunscreen isn’t the only way to protect yourself from UV’s. Check out how these natural remedies can also give an extra boost for sun protect.
  1. Green tea: You already know it has a lot of benefits, but did you know that the same powerful antioxidants that protect your cells on the inside can also protect your skin on the outside? A 2000 study found that when applied to the skin, green tea protects against sunburn. You can also enjoy the benefits if you drink the tea. A 2003 study found those who drank two or more cups a day had a 65 percent lower risk of skin cancer.

  2. Oils: A number of oils, including sesame, coconut, peanut, and olive oil can help block UV rays so they never reach the skin in the first place. A 2011 study reported that sesame oil blocks 30 percent of UV rays, while the rest listed here block out about 20 percent. Sunflower seed oil also is a good source of beta-carotene, which has shown in studies to help make skin less sensitive to the sun. Similar to the way broccoli protects the body from potential cancerous changes, broccoli seed oil also protects the skin from dangerous free radical damage. Other protective oils include borage, evening primrose, avocado, and tea tree.

  3. Vitamin E: This antioxidant, when applied topically, has been found to protect the skin, so that it shows less damage after being exposed to the sun. Make sure you get the vitamin from a good source, though, as only the natural forms of vitamin E—alpha-tocopherol and tocotrienol—effectively reduced skin roughness, the length of facial lines, and the depth of wrinkles.

  4. Walnut extract: Looking to get a little tan while you’re in the sun? This may be your best bet. Walnut extract has been shown in studies to be very effective as a self-tanning sunscreen agent. It has compounds that react with the keratin proteins in your skin to form colored compounds that protect you from UV rays.

  5. Krameira triandra root extract: This extract was found in studies to significantly reduce damage to skin cells when exposed to UVB radiation. Even at higher doses of UVB, the extract protected skin—even moreso than green tea. The researchers stated that the results of studies on this extract indicate that it should be researched as potential ingredients for sunscreens.

  6. Coenzyme Q10: Good for the skin in a number of ways, coQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant that counteracts damaging free radical activity caused by the sun. In fact, Italian researchers found that melanoma patients had abnormally low levels of CoQ10 compared to those who were free of cancer. A 2006 study also showed that when applied topically to the skin, CoQ10 protected skin cells, suppressing the UV radiation induced inflammatory response. Researchers concluded that the ingredient in topical skin care products could provide enhanced protection from inflammation and premature aging caused by sun exposure.

  7. Golden serpent fern: Research published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies in 2012 found that this herb could be used to combat the effects of excessive UV exposure. When it was applied to patients with sensitive skin, it reduced the sun’s damaging effects. Scientists believe the extract works as an antioxidant, protecting DNA and skin compounds from UV-induced damage.

  8. Helichrysum flowers: These happy little dandelion-looking flowers are like the sun itself, but they help protect your skin from the damaging rays. Helichrysum also has anti-inflammatory and regenerative qualities, so it can help your skin recover from damage as well.

  9. Rosemary: Rich in antioxidants, rosemary helps protect from free radical damage, and also helps tame inflammation. These two properties make it perfect for sun-protection purposes, as it’s the free radical damage from the UV rays that we want to avoid.

  10. Lavender: If you’ve looked around at natural sunscreen formulas, you’ve probably noticed lavender mentioned several times. It not only has a lovely scent, but has been found in studies to inhibit the generation of the type of free radical that causes much of the damage from UVA/UVB radiation. It also helps protect against cancerous changes—in one study, applying lavender oil reduced skin tumor incidence by 33 percent.


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