The Importance of Sunshine!

Hi beautiful! ♥ Yesterday I posted a picture of myself soaking up some sunshine, and it brought a lot of positive feedback. It seemed like a topic well-worth exploring a little more, especially in today’s society!

I’ve always loved the feeling of sun on my skin. But for years I’ve heard contradictory opinions on whether or not the sun is really good for us. My instinct leads me to believe the sun is good for me. When the weather is beautiful and the sun is shining, I just want to be outside! I can’t help but feel good when the sun embraces me. I think we can all relate to this feeling :) But over the last few years, the sun has gotten an increasingly bad reputation for causing skin cancer and premature aging. We are advised to wear high SPF sunscreen whenever we are outside, even during cold and cloudy weather.

For thousands of years before us however, the sun was highly recognized for giving life and maintaining health. Although I don’t agree with roasting yourself for hours and hours under the sun, I do believe moderate amounts of daily sunshine can be very beneficial to your health and your skin – contrary to popular beliefs.

I like taking my laptop outside to work sometimes to soak up some sunlight!

So I did a bit of research into the benefits of moderate amounts of sunshine, and found a great list on Yahoo (click here to read the full article) which highlights and explains the awesome work of pure sunshine!

1. Getting a sufficient supply of Vitamin D
Spending just 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun can help you get an adequate supply of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed by the body to promote bone health, boost immune function, reduce inflammation, improve neuro-muscular function, and even protect against some forms of cancer.

2. Helping you feel happier...and sleepier
The on-line magazine Environmental Health Perspectives states that another of the benefits of sun exposure is that it helps you to produce more serotonin, endorphins, and melatonin in your brain. Endorphins and serotonin are brain chemicals linked with feeling good and at ease. And melatonin is a nocturnal brain chemical that allows you to enter into sleep-mode more quickly at bedtime.

3. Increasing white blood cell and red blood cell production 
Experts have found that the sun is good for you because it helps you produce more white blood cells, which enhances your immunity. Sun exposure also helps you produce more red blood cells, which means your blood becomes more oxygenated.

4. Killing dangerous substances on your skin
UV rays from the sun can actually kill viruses, bacteria, molds, yeast and fungi that may be found on the surface of your skin. In this way, sunlight acts as a natural antiseptic of sorts.

5. Clearing up skin diseases
While excessive sun exposure can lead to premature wrinkling and even some forms of skin cancer, there are various benefits from sun exposure when it comes to your skin. For example, moderate sunlight has been shown to help clear up some cases of acne, psoriasis, and eczema to name just a few.

Source: http://voices.yahoo.com/is-sun-good-5-benefits-sun-exposure-8566877.html?cat=5

So the sun not only helps to keep cancer and skin diseases at bay, but it also creates serotonin which makes us feel happy! Great! So what changed in the last few decades to totally altered our perception of the sun? I believe it stems from the “era of consumerism” which is centered around desire-based shopping, meaning purchasing things we don’t actually need. And although I am no angel when it comes to this department (I have done my fair share of unnecessary shopping), I have become increasingly aware of this phenomenon. One of the first principles taught in advertising is: if there’s no problem, create one - and then provide a solution! Ha! What a thought :) At the end of the day, businesses want to make money. This is fair, “there’s no such thing as free lunch” - but at what cost?

By not correctly informing customers of the entire product, companies can take their customers naivety for granted (sometimes unintentionally). For instance, you may think sunscreen manufacturers are doing a good thing by helping you stay protected from the sun, and although the creams can prevent you from burning, the product fails to mention the effects of the multiple harmful chemicals used in their products, which can actually lead to skin cancer alone! “One small but impossible-to-ignore study published in Free Radical Biology & Medicinesuggests concludes that certain sunscreen ingredients may cause more free radicals to form than if you used no sunscreen at all. The study, which was conducted at the University of California, Riverside, points to three commonly used, FDA-approved sunscreen filters—octyl methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone. These chemicals can boost the number of free radicals over time as they break down and are absorbed into the skin.” Source: http://www.advancednaturalmedicine.com/skin-care/exposed.html

As consumers, we should be well informed and aware of what we’re putting our hard earned money towards. So is sunscreen totally bad? I don’t think so. But it’s about choosing the right type of sunscreen, and if possible using natural methods of sun protection instead!

Miami last year :) The water was amazing!

When buying sunscreen

1. Avoid these ingredients:
  • Oxybenzone, which is linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that may lead to skin cancer.
  • Retinyl palmitate, which has now been proven to be a carcinogen.
  • Octyl-methoxycinnamate causes oxidation damage of the skin, which ages your face.
  • Butyl-Methdiebenzoylmethane, which releases free radicals into the body.
  • Benzophenone 2 (BP2), decreases the function of the thyroid, in a population that is already seriously suffering from hypothyroidism (under active).
Source: http://www.advancednaturalmedicine.com/skin-care/exposed.html

2. Choose a mineral sunscreen (without nano-particles)
EWG determined that mineral sunscreens have the best safety profile of today’s choices. They are stable in sunlight and do not appear to penetrate the skin. They offer UVA protection, which is sorely lacking in most of today’s sunscreen products.

Source: http://www.thebetterhealthstore.com/Newsletter/062510_Sunscreen_01.html

Natural (sunscreen-free) ways to protect your skin

1. Keep hydrated. Your skin is more likely to burn if you have are dehydrated.

2. Gradually expose your skin to the sun gently in short bursts rather than a big hit for hours. Your skin will naturally increase its resistance to the Ultra Violet light if it adjusts over weeks. Morning sun is the best.

3. Don’t wear sunglasses. They block light getting into the eyes, and the optical nerve that runs to the hypothalamus is able to adjust the skins resistance to the sun on the basis of how much light your receive with your eyes.

4. Cleanse your liver of toxins, and heavy metals, stop drinking alcohol, etc. The far infrared rays of the sun pull out toxins from the body. If the body is severely toxic then when those toxins come out and bake on the skin’s surface then you will burn easily.

5. Take plenty of antioxidants in your diet – those color pigments in foods. The sunburn is caused by oxidation of the skin cells. If there are plenty of antioxidants in your food from vegetables and herbs then you will be able to stay out longer without burning.

6. Coconut oil has an SPF of about 4-6. All you need is regular light applications. And it has many other health benefits.

Source: http://www.bodhiyoga.net.au/ways-to-naturally-avoid-sunburn/#sthash.TvVe2oby.dpuf

So to conclude, the sun isn't as bad as it's made out to be! In fact, it can help us with our overall health and well-being - like it's done for thousands of years for not only us, but all other living beings. The sun, in moderate amounts, is nourishing! The recommended time is anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes of unprotected sunlight a few times per week. If you'll be out in the sun for longer periods of time, for instance during the summer, I recommend taking a natural approach to sun protection and/or using mineral-based SPF's!

I hope this was helpful and interesting to you! Education is key, so never stop being curious :) I'd love to hear your feedback on this topic below in the comments. Love you all! 


  1. definitely helpful! Your posts are always helpful (:

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  3. Hey Annie, I'm excited that you posted this topic! Just last week I was standing in the sunscreen aisle for half an hour, debating which product to buy, if any. I ended up buying Coppertone, which I'm sure is full of harmful chemicals, but I was more scared of being "burned" than those chemicals. I am not very happy with the idea of rubbing chemicals all over my largest organ, so I'm using it very minimally and hoping to find alternatives...

    I totally agree with you about natural protection. I work at an outdoor summer camp during July and August, and have had mild heat exhaustion a few times. Natural sun protection was the most helpful to keeping me healthy last summer. Staying in the shade, drinking water, and wearing a hat all helped to cool me down in between times of sun exposure. Interesting about the sunglasses, though - I would have thought those were necessary!

    Thanks so much & enjoy the sunshine!
    - Hovey

  4. Great blog post Annie! I for one was never a big fan of sunscreen and while everyone on Youtube said to make sure to wear some I never did mostly because of the harmful ingredients as you mentioned. And i've been using coconut oil as my daily moisturizer all along and I didnt know it had about 4-6 SPF! :D Yay! Education IS key and it is so true! We have all the access to information by just using Google and we should use to educate ourselves and learn! I'm so glad that a little sunshine helps heal eczema (along with a proper diet, exercise, and being positive and happy) because I have it and I hope to start letting my skin by healed by the glorious sun! love you so much! -Sarah Kisses from SoCal

  5. Hey Annie, Good post! I don't know if anybody has shown you this site but it has lots of natural products.They can customise products for you or you can buy them in their original state and create your own :) http://www.purenuffstuff.co.uk They have natural false tanning lotions and after sun. I have ordered from them for years. Might be worth you checking out anyway xx

  6. Hi Annie !
    Thanks for this blogpost it's very helpful and interesting!
    Can you please do a video on how to make detox water?
    Loveee you so much! Your my inspiration!!!
    - Naomi :))

  7. I love to use oils as a natural sunscreens, coconut oil and raspberry seed oil are the best :) we shouldn't be afraid of the sun, it gives us life :)

  8. I think this is a really important topic in green beauty that doesn't really get talked about! I am very comfortable sitting out for half an hour in the morning sun without any protection. I can almost feel the cells in my body responding to the warmth and the benefits of the sun's rays, as though they are all suddenly full of energy and buzzing in my body. However I do also use a mineral sunscreen, my favourite is John Master's Organics Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 30. It's great for days when you are out for long periods of time in the sun, and ensures my skin doesn't get damaged by excess sun exposure. Even though we may wear SPF, it doesn't mean our body can't receive any benefits from the sun's energy. I think, as always, that balance is key :) x


  9. Thank you for the post! Everything is good for us but in balance! The positive energy that we give to people and things is important too, in order to recieve it back! :D


  10. Great Blog Post as always, Annie! Very informative and detailed descriptions! Love from Scotland! <3 x

  11. Hi! You are such a beautiful woman. I love comparing your photos from the past and finding differences between them and today's photos. I've tried many time to change my lifestyle, but it is not that easy :D But I don't quite and will try more and more to achieve my own goals.
    I was wondering if you can make a video about your everyday life including answers for questions such as what profession is, where you work and how it happened that you moved to Dubai. I dream about moving somewhere else but I don't have enough courage.

    I will be really grateful :)

    By the way, I love your smile :)) You are so charming when you smile :)

    Have a wonderful time :*

  12. Really interesting! I'm also reading about this topic and I totally agree with you! Thanks for the post!

  13. Dear annie....please make a video of ur everyday life ....what u do??? Where u work ?? In which profession u r??? N how u manage all dis along taking care of ur health; exercise and all??? Plz annie...plzz ....v ol want to know more about u ?? Love u ...u r great ..;* :*

  14. Great post right there, Annie!
    Which natural sunscreens would you recommend?

  15. In the 20th Century, babies were kept in cages outside windows, so they could get sunlight and air to get Vitamin D for good health. Originating in America, it was also said that these too provided more room for families who had little space in their city homes & somewhere for the child to play with toys.”
    ( http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/2013/07/28/behind-the-awkwardness-sunny-d/ ) yes sun is very importand..love from Greece barbra xxx

  16. Wow Annie, I didin't know anything about that dangerous ingredients. Thank you for this great information! Kisses <3


  17. Great informative post Annie!!

    check out my beauty blog :) http://beautybyjasmina.blogspot.co.uk/

  18. You're wearing sunglasses in your photos though Annie xo

  19. How amazing!!

    Thank you for your post



  20. This is an amazing post! Thank you so much for sharing Annie! You inspire me more and more! I've made a note of 'bad' things in sunscreen. Will definitely avoid them!

    ♥ Oxana
    O X A N A  M.U.A makeup blog NEW POST! I woke up like this || Nightly rituals
    Bloglovin | Facebook | TumblrInstagram

  21. I was reading about this topic.. Cause we expose too much to sun during college time.. Plz Annie recommend a natural one.. There is plenty so how to choose da best.. Love u ����

  22. You are so sweet$$ thank you for sharing$$take care and keep going, you are doing right$$$ huge hug

  23. Thanks for another great post Annie! I would like to make a correction though. The optic nerve does not actually travel to the hypothalamus but to the thalamus and the cerebral cortex. The thalamus does help regulate mood, sleep and alertness which will cause the sun to help regulate sleep patterns and make you happy as you said. The hypothalamus helps regulate endocrine function. One of the hormones of the hypothalamus helps regulate water retention which in a round about way will help you achieve and maintain healthy skin but has no direct link to the eye and the optic nerve. It is therefore incorrect to say that light getting absorbed by your eyes is going to the hypothalamus and allowing your skin to self adjust to UV rays. I realize you probably don't mean to imply to never wear sunglasses but I will just add that wearing sunglasses as much as you can when in direct sunlight will help prevent sun burn and damage to the sensitive skin around the eye and the cornea. It also helps prevent the progression of cataracts, age related macular degeneration among other diseases. I just wanted to point this out to you since you seem to enjoy and appreciate learning the why and how of health and beauty and as an eye doctor, wanted to share the knowledge. Keep up the great blog, I really enjoy you sharing your ideas and adventures with us!

  24. Thank you love, very nice and informative Post. You adress the Most interesting topics! Love from germany

  25. awesome! you look great

  26. You have great advice on food, skin, and natural well being. However, as an eye doctor, reading your post, especially about sunglasses, it's important to always write that these are your opinions, not facts. Your nerves, optic or ophthalmic, do not adjust over time. Your eyes change only until the age of 7 at most, and that's more refractive error not nerves. Wearing sunglasses reduces the amount of ultraviolet radiation emitted from the sun, and enhanced by car windows, glass buildings, etc. People are impressionable, myself included, and it's always important to remember not everything you read on the internet is true; wearing sunglasses is important also because pupil size increases in daylight, and again increases the amount of UV that can enter your eyes. Please be aware!

  27. I absolutely love your blog. Inspiration is one word to call it! Thank you ! <3
    mishmsxo http://mishmsxo.blogspot.com.au/

  28. Hi Annie

    Great post ! Very interesting !
    I would also like to know where you bought your sunglasses ! they re are amazing !
    You have a great sense of style

  29. Finally someone who's agree with me about all of this ! Sun is life :)
    Could you please do a morning and night routine ? And I would also love to hear you speak in french in one of your videos !!

  30. Great post!! You are beautiful!!



  31. I follow you... Like this Post*/*


  32. Hi Annie!!
    Last summer, I had a job in which I had to spend a lot of time outside, MY SKIN IMPROVED SO MUCH. Everyone thought I was wearing makeup but I wasn't at all. Then once I went back to school and saw less sun my skin got so bad again. SUN REALLY DOES HELP SO MUCH. It evens everything and completely depletes acne

  33. Hi Annie, found you recently on youtube . love all your videos you are soo pretty! god bless you and thank you for sharing your insight on skincare and diet.
    you are gorgeous inside and out! keep shining

    xxx Nadia

  34. I was just told by my doctor, that I have a deficiency in Vitamin D, its very low. Now that I look back, it is definitely that, I commute by train, wear long sleeves shirts, always, always wear sunscreen and even my makeup has sunscreen. Then, I work all day, without going out much. I guess it caught up to me. Thank you for this very informative article!

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