I’m a big advocate of sun exposure. As much as it has been vilified as a major cause of skin cancer, its preventive powers for so many other health issues (and seemingly paradoxically, many different cancers) does not warrant staying out of the sun simply for fear of over exposure.
You just have to learn how to not get sunburned, which is where the real danger comes in for skin cancer. It is when this burning occurs over and over that the skin cells really begin to mutate and can become cancerous, and that is indeed where the concern for skin cancer comes in.
One part of my body that I make sure is always protected though is my face. As we age, we have a lot more hyperpigmentation issues on our skin, and a lot more tendency for freckles that may have been cute temporary signs of summer fun to stay and remain permanent.
If I even leave it unprotected after one day in the sun, I can tell that my skin has dried out, and can see almost immediate sun damage effects because your face is a part of your body that is right out there, totally exposed to the sun.
I usually don’t apply actual sunscreen to my face because it often clogs my pores, and I definitely don’t like using commercial sunscreens because they contain so many toxic ingredients.
What I usually opt to do is use a lot of my mineral powder which has an SPF to it, and I also may use my foundation and a lotion with some SPF in it mixed together. Because so many sunscreens are comedogenic, and my skin is still very oily for my age, it makes it hard to find a nontoxic and non-pore clogging sunblock for the face.
If you’re concerned that you won’t get enough sun exposure if you cover your face, don’t worry. The larger parts of your body like your arms and legs will soak up plenty of those vitamin D giving rays. In fact, you only need about 15 minutes of sun exposure a day with the majority of your body exposed to absorb enough vitamin D to keep your levels of this important vitamin ideal for disease prevention.
If I’m going to lounge in the chaise in the back yard, I simply cover my face physically with a T-shirt or small towel. A physical barrier is by far the most effective sunblock. While it may feel intrusive, it won’t clog pores and helps to also shield your sensitive eyes from the bright rays of the sun for prolonged periods of time.
You’ll save the skin on your face while simultaneously getting the exposure on parts of your body that are more well equipped to absorb such intense rays without getting burned or looking sun damaged.
After all, while the sun has many important health benefits it does in fact cause things like age and liver spots as well as encourages hyperpigmentation of the skin in some people. It also does dry the skin out for a day or two after you’ve gotten enough exposure to have the melanin express itself.
One of the best oils for sunblock is sesame oil, which produces one of the higher SPF’s of the natural oils, if you need an alternative to traditional sunblocks.