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!
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.
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!
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
4. Killing dangerous substances on your skin
5. Clearing up skin diseases
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).
2. Choose a mineral sunscreen (without nano-particles)
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.
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! ♥