My Relationship with Sunscreen

It isn’t difficult to find warnings about the potential negatives of sun exposure. While it is of course true that too much sunlight can be a bad thing, that is true for almost everything. 

I believe it is equally important to recognize that sunlight has some really amazing positive effects on us as well. It boosts immunity by driving the production of vitamin D, kills bacteria on our skin and promotes wound healing, and stimulates hormone regulation in ways that make it a phenomenal antidepressant. 

Solar energy is what drives the generation (and re-generation) of life on our planet, I believe it is just a matter of finding a healthy balance. This is how I manage my sun exposure, so the sun and I can remain friends all year long. 


No SPF before 8am or after 5pm - I love sitting in the sun. I never wear sunscreen before 8am or after 5pm, in fact these are the hours I try to be in the sun as much as possible. Many people say to always wear SPF no matter what time of day, but the sun just has too many health benefits to completely avoid it. Before 8 and after 5 is when the sun causes the least UV damage so you can sit for longer and maximize your solar therapy. 

Only use mineral SPF - when I do wear SPF, I only wear mineral based (non-nano zinc or titanium dioxide). Wearing chemical-powered sunscreen can cause cell damage and skin irritation because those types of sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays. By contrast, mineral SPF helps reflect UV rays, much like a mirrored shield. 

I eat my inner sunscreen - In the last 10 years my diet has improved significantly, and I’ve seen the difference in my skin. I no longer see crazy pigmentation spots after being out in the sun for only an hour. I attribute this to the increased antioxidants and phytonutrients in my diet, as these compounds help the body neutralize free radical damage and inflammation. When your cells are equipped and ready to handle stress, you won’t see as much skin and collagen breakdown. In fact, I would argue that you might even see that the sun’s UV rays help stimulate the body’s natural healing response when given the right cellular information. The way I see it, my diet is my true weapon for sun protection, while my sunscreen is extra defense. 

Vitamin C protection - Wear topical vitamin C underneath your sunscreen for even more skin protection. Vitamin C helps preserve collagen and inhibits free radical damage within the cells. It’s like spritzing lemon juice on an apple core to prevent it from browning. An apple core with lemon (vitamin C) on it will turn brown (a process called oxidation) much slower than an apple core with its bare flesh exposed to oxygen and UV rays. Wearing vitamin C is a no brainer because beyond the protective benefits, it also helps synthesize new collagen production and is a powerful beauty vitamin for the skin. 

Seaweed and seawater - Seaweed is constantly exposed to the sun and uses the sun’s energy (plus seawater minerals) for regeneration and new growth. Both are naturally rich in vitamin C (along with a ton of other important vitamins and minerals), and you absorb some of this when applied topically. If you have a sunny lifestyle, seaweed is the best thing you can offer your skin. 



Typical Day: 

Before 8am - Soak in sunshine with no SPF

After 8am - Wash with seaweed cleanser - Sea Silk Wash 

Spritz of Mermaid Face 

Apply one vitamin C/antioxidant serums: (options - Vitamin Sea Serum, Nori Gel Serum, Herbal Face Food

Apply mineral based sunscreen - Sol Veil SPF 25 

After 5pm - No SPF 



All Day At the Beach: 

Before 8am -Soak in the sunshine with no SPF

After 8am - Wash with seaweed cleanser - Sea Silk Wash

Apply Herbal Face Food*

Apply Vitamin Sea Serum or Nori Gel Serum 

Apply Sol Veil SPF 25 

10 minutes before heading to beach, apply Badger or BabyGanics Zinc oxide SPF OVER Sol Veil (yes, double up on your SPF, it works well and lasts longer) 

Throughout the day, spritz Mermaid Face (cools the skin to prevent pigmentation being triggered and offers antioxidants and hydration on the go) 

Reapply SPF every 2-3 hours or as needed 


*During the summer months I add in my secret weapon, Herbal Face Food. This is a SUPER DUPER antioxidant serum made from over 50 wild botanical plants from around the world. Although its super strong (and spicy), it's also one of the safest products on the market, in fact pregnant women can wear it all throughout their pregnancy. I think of this serum like my "chemical" sunscreen and here's why; when you apply this serum, your skin will absorb the plant nutrients. Let's say you're out in the sun, sweating and your regular mineral SPF is starting to wear off. Well, if you've been using Herbal Face Food, your skin will have accumulated the antioxidant nutrients it needs to defend against UV exposure already in place. It's literally IN your skin. This way, your skin will take way less damage as it's been prepped with antioxidants before hand. 

Last summer I was pregnant (which makes you extra sensitive to the sun due to hormones), but my pigmentation never came out like it has in the past. I used the above protocol and it worked wonders. For my quick guide on how to prevent pigmentation this summer, read this.  


Summer Nighttime Routine: 

- Cleansing Beauty Oil (to remove SPF) 

- Shell Scrub in shower (the best for smoothing skin but keeping it dewy) 

- Mermaid Face (has seawater and seaweed antioxidants to help repair damage) 

- Clear Glow Omega Oil (antibacterial facial oil with vitamin C and omega 3 fatty acids) 

I use these 4 products almost daily during the summer in California. They get used so often that I made a bundle out of them which you can purchase here. 



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