|Alama, Gary and Alofa cycling in Tonga 2011|
Gary's sun protection provided by a very
fashionable white shirt!
Flax oil is wonderful for the skin, as is coconut oil. Both can be used to maintain skin health. However, they offer no protection at all against sunburn.
For about ten years now I have been exploring ways to reduce my reliance on sunscreens and I can advise that I have been able to reduce my sunscreen use by at least 50% while improving my skin health. This is despite being out in the sun a lot more nowadays (I used to avoid the sun in compliance with the skin cancer terrorism warnings). We are about to go on a cycling tour in the tropics and this will include hours exposed to blistering sun.
Here's what I do in anticipation of being in the sun for long periods:
- I take Astazan daily. Astazan is a potent fat-soluble anti-oxidant that soaks up neutralises the free radicals that are produced when UV radiation strikes the flesh. This prevents the free radical damage that causes cell damage. Astazan needs to be taken daily for at least a few weeks prior to the sun exposure. What you will notice is your skin will tan much quicker and the tan will last much longer.
- You can support the Astazan with Algotene which is another potent source of anti-oxidants, including astazanthin. Algotene is a marine phytoplankton which has adapted to survive in the harshest of UV conditions.
- Wear a broad hat and a long-sleeve shirt and use judicious amounts of sunscreen on areas like the back of the neck and front of the thighs.