At Made for Life by Spiezia Organics we get asked all the time for our hints on suncare. As a cold spring warms up into early summer, the UV rays are powerful. So here are some tips from our MD Amanda Barlow to take care of your skin without using products that contain chemicals and plastics.

Whilst we all are very much aware of the potential damage that excessive exposure to the sun can have, including enhanced risk of skin cancer, it is worth bearing in mind that sunshine also ensures that we are provided with a source of Vitamin D which boosts our immune system and sense of wellbeing. Many of the sun creams available on the market are so loaded with chemicals, that the question has to be asked - what is more damaging? If you are looking for a good sunscreen, suitable for sensitive skin and want it to be gentle, then choose a Soil Association certified one as there are strict controls over the use of ingredients.


Tip 1: Cover up

Wear natural cotton or linen long-sleeved clothes when you go outdoors. A long-sleeved shirt (floaty for women) will shield your body from the sun's rays. Although warmer to wear, darker coloured clothes will provide more protection than light ones so grab those lovely vibrant bright colours that are prevalent and look good with lightly sun-kissed skin. When I am at the beach or pool and feel trousers are too hot, I grab my sarong and a long T-shirt.


Tip 2: Go glamorous! 

Put on a wide-brimmed hat before heading out in the sun. Your face burns easily, as the skin is thinner. It's important to shade it with a hat, especially if you're not applying sunscreen. Straw hats are not ideal as they sometimes have small holes so do be aware of that. There are some great stylish cloth hats.

Plus, if you want to have silky glossy locks then applying a hair oil as a conditioning treatment is a good idea and will offer protection from chlorine and also sea salt. Our Head & Hair Oil is perfect for this and actually promotes hair growth too! Just tie back in a pony tail, put those sunglasses on and go for that film star look!


Tip 3: Be a shady lady

Protect your eyes with sunglasses that filter UVA and UVB rays. Continue with that glamorous look and go for wrap-around sunglasses – they look great and provide the best protection.

Don’t be tempted to lie endlessly in the full blaze of the sun. There is actually nothing more lovely that having the benefit of the warmth of the sun but also gentle shade. Solie or sit in the shade as much as possible when you're outdoors. Go for an awning, a tree or sit under a large umbrella. And keep an eye on shade as the sun moves around.


Tip 4: Miss midday

Avoid going outside particularly in the full heat of the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sun's rays are strongest during this time period. So minimize your time if you can or choose that lovely shady spot.


Tip 5: Make sun care a daily habit

You can get a sunburn even when it's cloudy or cold outside. It's also possible to get burned when you're under the water. UV rays can even penetrate glass!


If you burn...

If you do overdo it, take a luke warm shower, pat dry and then apply a good soothing after sun. Our Skin Solve Balm is packed with restorative ingredients, including calendula to heal, nourish and replenish the skin and will also offer a beautiful scent. A little goes a long way. It's also great for insect bites, heat rash and preventing vest rash from wetsuits.


Natural SPFs in Oils

Interestingly enough some oils including the ones we use in our Made for Life by Spiezia Organics products have a natural SPF. I have given a little information about two below. One of my daughters, who still occasionally has sensitive skin and sometimes suffers from eczema, prefers to apply our Age Well Intensive Moisutrising Balm to sunscreen. She says it doesn't cause her skin to itch and we apply this several times a day whilst making sure we observe the handy hints provided above.


Jojoba Oil – Jojoba oil is more correctly described as a liquid wax. The properties of jojoba oil are really close to that of human sebum (the skin’s natural oil). As a sunscreen ingredient, jojoba oil provides natural moisturisers for the skin and also provides healing and anti-inflammatory elements through its natural substance called myristic acid. Myristic acid is a form of essential fatty acid (those EFAs you often hear about) and is naturally occurring in plant oils. Jojoba oil has a natural SPF rating of 4. We have been told that people who have used our Age Well Intensive Moisutrising Balm post-operatively or after radiotherapy find it very soothing – it contains both jojoba and sesame oil alongside rose which is immensely hydrating.


Sesame Seed Oil – Sesame seed oil is said to be composed of 50% lipids and 20% protein which gives the all-important Vitamin E content. Tocopherol provides stable anti-oxidative mechanisms which include the elimination of free radicals. UVR rays are said to be capable of activating the release of free radicals in skin cells. As a sunscreen ingredient, it has an SPF rating of 4.


Other Natural Skincare hints and facts


Don’t go red with tomatoes!

Lightly cooked tomatoes are rich in lycopene. This carotenoid is incredible and has been shown in recent scientific studies to provide some protection to humans against sun damage. Cooked tomatoes plus tomato sauces as used in pasta dishes are really rich in lycopene. So try and have about 55g (3 tablespoons a day). In studies, healthy women, aged 21-47, who ate 55g of tomato paste containing 16mg of lycopene every day for 12 weeks experienced significant protection against acute – and potentially long term – sun damage.


Take Tea

Tea, especially green and white teas offer a fantastic array of antioxidants. This is great for your general health, but also benefits the skin. In fact the recent study in the USA showed that people going through radiotherapy for cancer who had at least 10 cups of green tea a day had less painful irritation post radiotherapy and their skin made a better recovery. There’s also evidence that dietary green tea, specifically its polyphenols, may inhibit the growth of tumours by controlling inflammation and preventing DNA damage. Topical green tea extracts can also be applied directly to the skin and will offer photo-protection. I prefer to drink mine – great chilled with slices of lemon too!