While the sun isn’t bad for you, too much of it can be damaging to your skin. Leathery skin texture, sun burn, extra wrinkles and in extreme cases, skin cancer can all develop from too much sun exposure. But as long as you stay within the amount of sun time that you know works for your skin, the sun can actually be a nourishing and productive addition to your self and skincare routine. But what about when you want to be out in the sun for longer periods of time? And do you always need to wear sunscreen or a hat?

Luckily, there are things you can do to help your skin deal with the sun, regardless of sunscreen or hat cover. To start, make sure you eat lots of bright colored foods. While not necessarily a replacement for things like sunscreen and hats, eating a diet high in brightly colored foods means that your body will be getting plenty of antioxidants which help to neutralize and combat free radical damage resulting from too much sun exposure. Antioxidants found in the color pigments of plants have been found to actually help the skin absorb sunlight without getting burned- the exact same function they serve in the plants themselves.

While not a sunscreen or hat replacement either, using raw Shea butter on your skin has been shown to help the skin be more resilient under the sun. While we aren’t allowed to say that Shea butter has an actual SPF rating, it has been compared to a low rating of 6, making it a great addition to your sunscreen routine or even an ingredient in your very own DIY sunscreen formula. It is also rich in essential fatty acids that help your skin perform at its best, which in turn helps support your skin’s overall wellbeing and ability to be in and deal with the sun. Some people even like to mix it with their sunscreen.

Build a base tan. This might sound silly since it’s not technically in the same category as sunscreen or wearing a hat, but making sure that your skin has a healthy base tan before you go out in the sun for longer periods of time can really help prevent a sunburn. How many times have you gotten burned because you got excited and either stayed out too long or forgot/didn’t apply sunscreen or used a hat? Well, with a base tan the chances of that happening go down.