How To Protect Your Skin WITHOUT Using Sunblock

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Sun Protection is important. But for me sunblock is used only as a last resort. Come see 7 easy ways I protect my skin without sunblock. 

7 ways to protect your skin. (other than sunblock) #TexasHomesteader

(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)

Importance Of Sun Protection

Sun protection is important, y’all! Our Homestead is located in Northeast Texas where heat & humidity are the daily forecast almost every day during summer months. 

But our work days are filled with outside chores such as working cattle or repairing fences, gardening, beekeeping or mowing pastures. 

Tractor Work blue Ford tractor mowing pasture. #TexasHomesteader

Even though we spend many hours in the sun, I shy away from using sunblock whenever possible. Why?

Although sunblock is marketed as safe and effective, I just don’t know how I feel about slathering chemicals on my skin several times each and every day.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when it makes sense to use sunblock.

But today I’m sharing seven easy ways I’m able to protect my skin from the sun’s harmful rays without resorting to sunblock.

Reduce Sun’s Damage – Stay Inside During Strongest UV Times

It’s important to remember that the sun is at its most intense level and UV is at its strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If at all possible, avoid outside activities when the UV is at its strongest.

A quick tip I learned: the shorter your shadow beneath you, the stronger the UV rays can be. So it’s best to be outside when your shadow on the ground is longer. If your shadow is short – go inside for a while!

Working Outside In Summer – Take The Shade With You

Sun Protection is important but for me sunblock is used only as a last resort. Come see 7 easy way I protect my skin without sunblock #TexasHomesteader

Wouldn’t it be nice if all my tasks could be done under the cool air of a shade tree? But that’s not the way we roll here on our Texas Homestead! I couldn’t accomplish the many chores on my list if I stayed under a nice cool shade tree. 

Thankfully I found a way to take that shade with me while I work! We purchased a rigid canopy that attaches to our tractor’s Roll-Over Protection System.

There are similar rigid shades for riding lawnmowers. So if you must work outside, if at all possible – take the shade with you!

Does Covering Your Skin Actually Keep You Cooler?

It didn’t make sense to me at first, but it’s true.

Covering your skin can actually keep you cooler

I protect my skin when working outside by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sun-protective shirt, gloves and pants.

So even though the summer months are hot and humid here, we typically wear a lightweight long-sleeve shirt when we’ll be out in the sun. 

Covering our arms and legs actually works to help keep us cooler by keeping the hot sun from heating our skin.

We like to wear Vapor Apparel shirts because they’re specially made with *Cooler UV Protection. But there’ll be more on that later. 

Here’s another thing I learned:

The darker the material and the tighter the weave, the more protection from the sun is received.

It’s said the more light you can see through the fabric, the less sun protection you receive.

We wear colored fabric but RancherMan & I don’t typically wear black clothes during summer months since black or very dark-colored fabrics will soak up more heat than lighter-colored fabrics.

It’s a balance depending on outside temps coupled with humidity for a true ‘feels-like’ temperature. We protect our skin from the sun but try to stay cooler too.

  • Staying Hydrated When It’s HOT Outside!

As I mentioned for us it’s a balance between protection from the sun and protection from the heat (which can also be a danger in Texas). That means lots of rehydration breaks when it’s hot outside. 

Homemade Haymaker's Punch - healthy hydration. Honey and ginger. #TexasHomesteader

I especially enjoy my own homemade version of Gatoraid – Haymaker’s Punch. It’s made with filtered water, natural honey and grated ginger for a healthy (and zero-waste) hydration option.

What Hats Work Best For Sun Protection?

A wide-brimmed hat that shades your face and ears (and ideally the back of your neck as well) is a smart move when you are in the garden or mowing the yard.

I have a lightweight straw hat that’s my favorite for quick garden chores and such. 

Sun protection when outside in the garden with a wide-brimmed garden hat. #TexasHomesteader

But keep in mind, just like the tighter-weave rule for clothing, the tighter the weave in the hat’s fabric, the more sun protection you receive.

If you’ll be out in the sun for a longer duration of time, a wide-brimmed hat made of a tighter-weave fabric might be a better option.

Work Gloves To Protect Hands From The Sun

I typically wear gloves when doing chores. Different kinds of gloves serve the purpose for different tasks. If we’re repairing fences I’ll typically wear heavy leather gloves.

But most of the time I like to wear lighter-weight garden gloves. They’re flexible enough to work in the garden or drive the tractor while still protecting my hands & my skin from the sun.  

Working in the garden with harvest basket, hat and gloves.

My favorite gloves are these * Touchscreen Gloves for working in the garden. They have special fingertips to allow me to operate my smart phone without removing the gloves.

That’s helpful for answering an incoming call or just activating my music library when I want to listen to music while I work.

How To Protect Your Eyes From The Sun

Sun Protection is important but for me sunblock is used only as a last resort. Come see 7 easy ways I protect my skin without sunblock #TexasHomesteader

According to the American Cancer Society, the sun can be harmful to your eyes as well.

My eyes have always been pretty sensitive to strong light, so I typically wear sunglasses anyway. But I’m doubly sure to wear them for sun protection too.

I always opt for wrap-around sunglasses that offer UV protection. I’ve found ‘fishing’ gear often has the best UV protection. 

Luckily I found some *lightweight sunglasses in the fishing department of a local discount store that had all the features I was looking for. And as a bonus they were inexpensive too!

Advancements in Sun-Protective Clothing

Sun Protection is important but for me sunblock is used only as a last resort. Come see 7 easy way I protect my skin without sunblock #TexasHomesteader

There have been some amazing advancements in protective clothing over the years. A lightweight long-sleeved shirt that protects your skin while still keeping you cool? YES PLEASE!

These are primarily touted as a *fishing shirt but that makes sense. I mean, fishermen spend much time out on the water under that sun. 

The one I bought was made of an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) 30 material. It was made in a way that allows the body’s heat to escape. I’m a big fan of covering the skin while still staying cooler!

Sunblock Can Be Helpful Too!

And of course sunblock is the last option in my sun-protection arsenal. It has its place and I’ll certainly use it when I must. But I much prefer to use the options above first.


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Tagged in All our health & beauty posts Summer in Texas. #TexasHomesteader

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How To Cook Food Using The Sun

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1. American Cancer Society

2. Sun Safety Alliance










2 thoughts on “How To Protect Your Skin WITHOUT Using Sunblock

  1. Cynthia D

    I have had several pre-cancer spots removed from the backs of my hands. I was told that the worse way to drive a car is with your hands on top of the steering wheel which is what I was doing. I now hold the sides of the wheel and I always were gloves.


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