(NaturalNews) While it is true that we all need regular exposure to sunlight, there are also limits as to how much our skin can take. If you are fair skinned and burn easily, you don't have to apply sun block lotions that are full of chemicals, preservatives and artificial colors and scents. There are actually natural materials and alternative ways that you can shield your skin from the sometimes damaging effects of UV rays.
The first and most effective way to screen excess UV rays from penetrating the skin is a physical barrier. This includes hats, long sleeve shirts, and other articles of clothing that physically shield your skin. Wide, floppy hats are one of the best ways to shield your face from excessive sunlight. However, long sleeve shirts are not usually practical in the summer months.
Sesame oil has actually been identified as one of the best natural materials with sun blocking capabilities. Sesame oil is obtained from the pressing of sesame seeds, and it has many therapeutic properties for the skin. It not only moisturizes and soothes dry skin, but it also blocks up to 30% of the sun's UV rays. Sesame oil is also rich in antioxidants, so it can help neutralize the free radicals generated by UV exposure.
Hempseed oil is another plant based material that is supposed to offer some sun screening benefits. While the exact sun protection factor is not known, it is often used as a mild sun block on its own. It is also used sometimes as part of a complete sun block formula with chemical ingredients.
Hempseed oil is beneficial because it helps deflect some of the harmful UV rays without affecting the all too important absorption of vitamin D. It also helps repair damaged skin and is an excellent emollient for dry skin. Hempseed oil contains essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and chlorophyll, all of which act as potent antioxidants.
Coconut oil is another natural sunscreen that can be utilized. Although it has a lower sun protection factor, blocking roughly 20% of the UV rays, it has many properties that make it desirable for use in the sun. First off, it has a pleasant smell and imparts a wonderful sheen to the skin when applied. It is an excellent emollient for dry skin. Further, it does not clog the pores like some other oils can.
Cottonseed, peanut, and olive oil all contain about the same UV protection factor as coconut oil. These may not be ideal for use on some types of skin though, due to their heavier nature. Jojoba oil and shea butter both have a small UV protection factor of about 4% for those only looking for a small amount of screening.
Danna Norek is the owner and primary contributor for several natural health blogs and websites, where she frequently shares her experiences and knowledge on herbal supplements, natural remedies, vitamins, and healthy lifestyle habits. You can find information on a 100% natural, chemical free deodorant here at Natural Effective Deodorant and an all natural sebum-neutralizing, SLS, paraben and chemical free Acne Soap with lavender, lemongrass and tea tree essential oils here at All Natural Acne Soap.