I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the quicker the days go by…
Here in the Midwest we are already into the dog days of summer . . . A time of extreme heat, lazy days, and soaking in some vitamin D. Yes, I mean soaking in some sunshine and allowing mother nature to provide me with a much-needed vitamin.
I know what you’re thinking . . . We’ve been told in the past years how the sun is bad and causes cancer, however, there is such a thing as a healthy amount of sunshine.
The case against sun exposure has been taken perhaps a bit too far . . . What do you think?
With the rise of “sun-a-phobia” what has gotten lost in the shuffle is the fact that exposure to sunlight in limited doses has actual benefits.
Recent studies have demonstrated that optimizing our vitamin D levels may actually help prevent as many as 16 different types of cancers. One of the best ways to optimize vitamin D is safe, smart, and limited sunscreen free exposure to the sun!
Now of course this doesn’t mean baking ourselves like we did when I was a young teenager and slathering on baby oil and hitting the midday rays . . . Not forgetting the lemon juice we put on our hair hoping to get that California look!
It’s all about having respect . . . Respect for the sun, . . . it’s a pretty powerful medicine like a lot of things that are natural. Treat it like you would any other medication, using the lowest dose necessary, but not avoiding it completely.
Remember, always avoid sunburn, . . . It is sunburn, not healthy sun exposure, that causes problems.
It is the sunburns we got as children . . . especially if, like me, you are fair skinned, that have been linked to melanoma.
Start early in the year, possibly spring, early in the morning before the sun is strong and increase your exposure gradually. You cannot generate vitamin D while sitting behind a glass window because the UVB rays necessary for vitamin D production are absorbed by glass.
Aim for 15 to 30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure 2 to 4 times a week.
(reference the tables in the book “Vitamin D Solution” by Dr. Michael Holick)
Know when to stop . . . after your 15 to 30 minutes of protection free exposure to the sun, you need to cover up! Of Course, like many we are at pools, outdoor barbecues and parties and know our exposure will be longer. This is when you need to apply sunscreen. Use one with the fewest chemicals possible.
Check the recipe . . . of your sunscreen that is. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the best sunscreens on the market, as in the least toxic, are products which do not contain PABA, Parabens, fragrances, nanoparticles, retinal palmitate (A form of vitamin A), Oxybenzone, Benzophenone-3( B3) or Amino Benzoic Acid. Unfortunately, the side effects of these ingredients can cause much harm to your heart, hormones and even your endocrine system.
Most of you are probably thinking . . . OK, then I want an “organic sunscreen” that’s “chemical free” . . . am I right?
More than likely, looking for the best mineral sunscreen in a natural formula but without the “toxic” ingredients or the Nano particles.
One thing to remember is that the safest mineral sunscreen is made with inorganic chemicals . . .
And yes, just think about it, every ingredient natural or synthetic is a chemical.
I’ve seen so many advertisements and websites putting out their list of the “best organic sunscreen”
It’s nothing but marketing lingo that is put out there for consumers by companies that aren’t careful about the terminology they’re using . . .
It dries me crazy! Sun protection starts not with defense, but with a GOOD OFFENSE . . . start by boosting your levels of antioxidants through nutrition to help your skin protect from the inside out. The best way to do this is a diet full of rich fruits and vegetables.
– A tid bit to remember is that even though vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant . . .
TOPICAL VITAMIN A (retinyl-palmitate) AND THE SUN ARE NOT FRIENDS.
It actually leads to more instances of melanoma and can speed its development. –
As busy as life gets for most of us, sometimes this is hard to get in during our day. With that being said, I have come to rely on a super antioxidant complex made with organic ingredients by Neal’s Yard Remedies …
This carefully blended SuperFood complex is rich in vitamin C to help boost your skin’s radiance and collagen production, as well as helping to support the immune system and protecting cells from oxidative stress. It’s an important part of a holistic approach to beauty and wellbeing from within.
So now you’ve gone out and enjoyed some sun and soaked in some vitamin D. It’s time for some refreshing iced tea or whatever suits your fancy but wait . . .
Of course part of helping our skin after sun exposure is the use of cooling & nourishing products, especially if you’ve gotten a bit of a sunburn
We have several excellent after-sun treatments for you at Neal’s Yard Remedies.
Here are 4 of my favorites:
Lavender & Aloe Cooling Cream – a nourishing cream with lavender essential oil, aloe vera & organic honey. Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Also effective at soothing insect bites.
Safe for children; only apply to affected area.
Wild Rose Beauty Balm – our ‘wonder balm’! A blend of rosehip seed oil, geranium, frankincense, palmarosa, rosemary & more!
So nourishing, apply this to heal your sunburn or simply to replenish your skin after sun exposure.
Lavender essential oil – the one which needs no introduction!
Lavender has long been renowned for healing scalds and burns, and that includes sunburn.
Dilute with a carrier oil & massage – apply to the skin, or take a soothing bath with lavender essential oil swirled in, but always dilute with a carrier oil. For the bath, you can also dilute with full fat milk.
White Tea Facial Mist – I always keep this in my bag during the summer!
This mist boasts a very cooling and rehydrating blend of aloe vera, antioxidant-rich white tea, aromatherapeutic essential oils, and soothing Bach Flower Remedies. It smells beautiful & relaxing – perfect to apply throughout hot days or as an after-sun. Keep it in the fridge to make it extra refreshing!
So there you have it, enjoy the sun . . . it’s not your enemy. Respect what Mother Nature gave us and as always ….
KEEP IT REAL.