Friday, April 5, 2013

How We Do Sun

Sun.  It's the first weekend of spring here, with the sun finally shining brightly overhead.  We often get asked about how we do it without using sunscreen.  So here's our all- natural method of sun care for our little toe-heads.

1.  Start early, and Stay outside.  
We always make sure our kids start their sun exposure as soon as the sun begins to peak out in early spring.  We want them to build up their exposure slowly, before the sun reaches higher heights as summer approaches.

2.  When in doubt, go in and out.
It's never a good idea to begin your sun exposure in one large dose.  The previous house we lived in had a huge tree right in the middle of it.  It provided natural shade coverage for the majority of our yard, so when the kids went out to play, they were constantly in and out of sunshine.  Because our new house doesn't have as much natural shade, we have to be more purposeful about allowing the kids freedom to come inside for a few minutes and then going back outside to play.  

3.  Early/Late Daytime Play.
If you find yourself already 1/2 way through May and your kids haven't played outside yet, start by small increments in the morning and in the late afternoon. With smaller children, this approach always works well, because we always take our afternoon nap and use it as a break from the sun.

4.  Use the Clothes.
Every once in a while, we decide to go crazy and take the kids down to the Jersey Shore.  We all know how much brighter the sun is reflecting off of the sand and water.  We always make sure that we all wear hats, swimming shirts, and cover our feet.  Umbrellas and pop-up tents provide extra shade where the kids can still play in the sand.  

5.  Nutrition Matters.
You are what you eat.  With four kids, we get how difficult it is to maintain a completely healthy lifestyle 24/7.  To keep it simple, do these two things to make sure your skin is thick and ready for sun exposure:
-Limit your Omega-6 fats (vegetable oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, if it's fried, it's this.), and INCREASE your Omega-3 fats (coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, quality fish oil).
-Limit your grains, increase your fruits and veggies. Even just one one meal a day can make a dramatic difference.
For ideas on how to add these to your lifestyle, click here.

As more research is done, the more we find that sunscreen depletes your vitamin D levels, and can even lead to the exact problems you are trying to avoid. For more on that, click here. 

Gear up, and enjoy the sun!!


  1. :) Just saw Rachel share this on FB, and LOVE it! Just curious... do you ever use any of the chemical free sunblocks? I ask because I've been reading and researching this for years, and will once in a while use the Badger All-Natural line or others with limited chemicals - like when we're at the beach for a week or something. It's a rare event, but just wondering your thoughts on that.

    (So glad my little guy gets to spend some of his days with you and your awesome family!)

    1. Ami! Yes, we do always find ourselves in a sunny situation a few times a year. We also keep some Badger brand sunscreen on hand. Mercola and Kiss My Face are also brands that are trustworthy in the sunscreen department. We try to make sure that we are only using SPF 15 or LOWER, and check to see what UV rays it will be blocking. We also make sure that we start each summer off with a fresh bottle.