During the summer, there are tons of news stories about the evils of UV rays, and the cancer risks associated with sun exposure. But we believe that it’s not all doom and gloom and it is possible to enjoy the sun all summer long, by following a few easy, natural tips!
Skip the Sunscreen for 20 Minutes a Day
We need the sun to help us manufacture Vitamin D, an essential vitamin that plays a crucial role in our overall health. In particular Vitamin D plays a huge role in our immune system function as well as with bone health. While we can take Vitamin D supplements, the best way for our bodies to get Vitamin D is to make it ourselves.
Vitamin D is synthesized in the body through a combination of UVB rays and a form of cholesterol in the body – the combination converts the cholesterol into Vitamin D3, which is then carried to the liver and kidneys to make it available to the body. So anytime you wear sunscreen, you not only block the cancer causing UVA rays, but you also block the Vitamin D producing UVB rays, thus denying your body a crucial component it needs for a healthy immune system!
Thankfully you don’t have to risk a sunburn to get the amount of sun you need for your daily Vitamin D fix – all it takes is a good 20 minutes or so (depending on the person) in the sun with at least 40% of the skin exposed. More is not better – there’s a maximum amount a person can absorb in a given day, so don’t go and bake all day long – you don’t want to burn!
Natural Protection from Burns
Obviously most of us want to stay out in the sun a lot longer than 20 minutes a day, and that’s where sunscreen comes in. Unfortunately, most conventional sunscreens are laden with toxic chemicals and “nano particles” that go directly into the blood stream, delivering those toxins very efficiently.
But there are some more natural options, based on titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and thankfully they don’t leave you with white “lifeguard nose”! One of our favorites is made by Badger (available on Amazon.com) and it zinc oxide based. It takes a little more effort to rub it in but it works amazingly well, and the rest of the ingredients are all 100% natural oils. Even better, since it is zinc oxide based, it actually helps your skin heal if you do burn (zinc is an excellent element for healing skin)!
Care for Your Skin from the Inside Out
Finally, at the end of the day the best way to care for your tan (or heal from a burn) is to make sure you get the right nutrients, in order to care for your skin from the inside out. Essential fats and the right antioxidants go a long way to making sure your skin has everything it needs.
Coconut Oil and Omega 3 fatty acids are great sources for essential fats, but our favorite is Krill Oil. Not only is it the most effective way to get Omega 3s (the form in krill oil is the most readily absorbed by the body, of all Omega 3s), but it also has an amazing antioxidant called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is one of the most potent antioxidants on the planet and in addition to all the great health benefits antioxidants provide, it also provides the body with the elements it needs to heal damage from sunburn.
As you can see, it is possible to be safe and healthy and still be a sun-worshipper! So get out there and enjoy the sun this summer!