With pale white skin, I grew up avoiding the sun.
My parents were overly cautious about me getting burnt. As a child, if I spent some time in the sun, I was lobster red and in tremendous pain. But that all changed when I turned 30.
I was determined to transform my relationship with the sun. After all, exposure to sunlight is one of the basic requirements for good health.
I learned a few things that have allowed me to safely soak up the sun to reap its beautiful benefits:
First, I realized that the first exposures to sun in the spring needed to be gradual.
Second, and this was key, I found that the type of food I ate had a huge affect on whether I tanned or burned. Eating heavy cooked foods and processed junk foods contributed to burns. The more living raw foods I ate the safer I seemed to be in the sun, especially with foods high in potassium and rich in vitamins and minerals. Essential fatty acids help restore skin elasticity and make your skin more resistant. Also, it is important to drink plenty of liquids to hydrate the body.
Third, I stopped wearing sunscreen. In the past, I seemed to burn even with the highest SPF. And I have read that most sunscreens are carcinogenic. Instead, I learned from a wise woman in Costa Rica, that once you come out of the sun, cover your skin thinly with coconut oil or cold pressed olive oil mixed with a bit of water. I modified this advice by also lightly coating my skin with coconut oil an hour before I go out into the sun.
Fourth, I learned the importance of wearing a hat to protect the face, eyes and ears. The other benefit, especially for women, it that it cuts down on squinting, which contribute to wrinkles developing around the eyes.
Fifth, for the most part, I stayed out of the sun between 11am and 4pm. I limit myself to about 20 minutes at a time and make sure I give myself more time in the shade throughout the day. I especially love reclining on the grass in the sun in the around 9am for some sunbathing. If I am out in the garden for more
It took one summer to transition my skin into sun loving and it was worth it!