For years I slathered myself in sunscreen – the highest SPF I could find. I would literally bath in the stuff, all in an attempt to keep my extremely fair skin from turning into a shade of red eerily similar to a lobster’s shell.
I was told that if I didn’t liberally apply all this goop, I would burn. And GASP, get wrinkles, skin spots and even skin cancer. I bought into the marketing hook, line and sinker. I spent easily hundreds – maybe even thousands of dollars – on sunscreen.
But then one day my naturopath gave me the strangest advice – instead of slathering myself in chemical or even mineral sunscreen – try olive oil.
That’s right, olive oil.
But instead of applying it right before I go bake in the sun, I apply it liberally after a shower for two weeks before I enjoy sun time and keep applying it all summer long.
The idea being that the olive oil makes your skin cells so happy and healthy, they can withstand the barrage of solar rays.
It all comes down to free radicals and preventing them from ravaging your skin cells. The issue with sunscreen – even mineral sunscreen – is that when it breaks down it releases free radicals that are absorbed by the skin.
But wait! Aren’t free radicals the very thing we are trying to prevent with the sunscreen?
Yes. And that’s why sunscreens may not be the save-all we think they are. Since my naturopath gave me his advice, I haven’t used sunscreen again. I also haven’t experienced anything more than a minor burn since I’ve been using olive oil. As a bonus, my skin is softer and looks healthier.
Now, I’m not a doctor or in any way in a position to give medical advice. This is just my account of what I’ve done to prevent sun damage. I encourage you to do your own research and use what works best for you.