Gardeners: Here’s How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun Naturally

June 3, 2008 by Kristie Leong MD  
Published in Skin

Gardening can take a toll on skin over time with repeated exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. The result can be premature wrinkling, sagging skin, and even skin cancer. Here are some ways to protect your skin naturally when you garden.

Gardening can reduce your stress levels by helping you get in touch with nature at its most basic level. Who doesn’t feel relaxed when surrounded by so many examples of nature’s handiworks? Unfortunately, gardening can take a toll on skin over time with repeated exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. The result can be premature wrinkling, sagging skin, and even skin cancer. If you’re going to spend a significant amount of time in your garden, it’s important to protect your skin from damage. Conventional sunscreens have recently fallen under scrutiny due to the presence of synthetic chemicals that are thought to play a role in the development of cancer. The best solution may be to choose natural and organic sun protection to reduce exposure to potentially unsafe sunscreen ingredients. Here are some ways to protect your skin naturally when you garden:

Choose your gardening hours.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays are most pronounced between the hours of 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If possible, do you gardening early in the morning or after 4:00 PM to reduce exposure. You’ll also benefit from the temperatures being cooler at these times.

Wear a sun protective hat.

Although the conventional wide-brimmed straw hat provides some sun protection, you can do better by buying a special sun protection hat. These hats are given an UPF rating (ultraviolet protection factor) which indicates how effective the fabric is at absorbing the sun’s rays. The highest rating is usually fifty, meaning that only 1/50th of the ultraviolet radiation will get through the fabric and reach your skin. Look for a hat with the highest UPF rating possible for the best protection. You can also buy sun protective clothing which absorbs some of the ultraviolet rays from the sun so they don’t reach your skin. Sun protective clothing usually has good ventilation making it a comfortable choice for gardening.

Organic sunscreen

While conventional sunscreens are loaded with synthetic chemicals that are thought to have potentially harmful effects if absorbed into the body, organic sunscreens are composed of all natural, plant and mineral based ingredients. The only real drawback to natural sunscreens is their tendency to break down over time making them less effective. For this reason, when you purchase an organic sunscreen you want to use it as quickly as possible due to the reduced shelf life. Many organic sunscreens contain titanium and zinc oxides which are quite effective in blocking ultraviolet rays. You can find a variety of organic sunscreens online as well as at your local natural food market or health food store. Be sure to read the labels carefully to make sure the ingredients are truly all natural.

You’ll enjoy gardening more if you know your skin is well protected from the sun’s rays.

When you protect your skin from the sun, be sure to do it naturally to avoid exposure to potentially harmful sunscreen chemicals. Fortunately, there are more natural options for protecting your skin than ever before.

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One Response to “Gardeners: Here’s How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun Naturally”
  1. Rookie Expert Says:

    Some nice tips there. I didnt know that they have special sun protect hats! Summer’s here and everyone is going to need tome good sun blocks.


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