HOW TO NOT SUNBURN WITHOUT SUNBLOCK (2021)
NO SUNBLOCK, NO SUNSCREEN - HOW?????
SO FRICKING CLOSE TO THE EQUATOR TOO
Gili Air, Indonesia is exactly 928km south of the equator. Presumably being closer to the equator means easier to sunburn as we’re closer to the sun (someone please correct me if I’m wrong).
To be fair though, I am not fair skinned. My ancestors are from southern China and I have an ability to get a nice deep tan. But I do remember walking around in Singapore outside for about an hour on a cloudy day (Singapore is just over 100km away from the equator) and getting sunburnt and more recently spending all day at the beach in Hong Kong during the summer and getting a nasty nasty nasty burn.
HOW DID I DO THIS?
- DON’T WEAR SUNGLASSES - in your eyes are photoreceptors which are at least partially responsible for regulating the amount of melanin released. When I don’t wear sunglasses, my body knows I am outside with lots of sun exposure and releases an appropriate amount of melanin to protect my skin and as a side benefit a nice dark tan.. If I wear sunglasses, my body will think I am indoors and no melanin is released and I burn.
- SUPPLEMENT WITH ASTAXANTHIN - I’ve been taking this since I heard Ben Greenfield recommend this a few times on his podcast https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/ As a side note - Ben Greenfield is by far my favorite health influencer as he’s focused on the same things I am: cognitive performance, athletic performance and longevity. Here’s what he said about astaxanthin on an article he wrote recently (found here https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/anti-aging-articles/how-to-defy-skin-aging/)
“Astaxanthin serves as a natural sunscreen in marine plants and is a red pigment carotenoid that can be consumed through wild caught salmon and krill or supplemented. It is a potent antioxidant that is much more powerful than Vitamin E, CoQ10, Vitamin C, and green tea. This protects your cells from damaging oxidation that leads to aging. Studies have found that astaxanthin prevents UVA-induced DNA damage in skin cells, prevents skin sagging from UVA radiation exposure, and 6 mg per day oral supplementation plus 2 ml topical application has been shown to improve skin wrinkles, age spots, elasticity, texture, and moisture content.”
This is the brand that I take (yes that’s an affiliate link) https://id.iherb.com/pr/Now-Foods-Astaxanthin-4-mg-60-Veggie-Softgels/414?rcode=WEH382
- LOW INFLAMMATION DIET - I generally eat a pretty low inflammation diet - I get my High Sensitive C Reactive Protein tested (blood test) on the regular which is a biomarker for inflammation. And it's usually pretty low. I generally try to eat a lot of veggies, no processed food, quality meats and no sugar. I believe that an inflamed body is more susceptible to sunburn.
- LIMITED EXPOSURE - This is an obvious one but I generally don’t spend more than 3 hours a day in the sun (and sometimes that’s in the middle of the day) not covered up. There was one day when a two hour scooter ride unexpectedly turned into a 5.5 hour scooter ride in the middle of the day and I got a tinge of red, but no burn.
Btw, I am not a medical doctor nor do I play one on TV. This blog post should not be construed as any medical advice whatsoever and any lifestyle change or new supplements you take you should consult with a doctor first.
Dive safe and always dive with a buddy!
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