Skin Care for Healthy Living by Reward Me

How to Soak Up Sunshine without the Burn

The sun may feel wonderful but it can harm the skin. How can we benefit from its rays and avoid the risks?

The burn, the pain, the peeling—and the skin damage. This scenario of overexposure to the sun is all too familiar. But despite the sun’s power, it doesn’t get much positive publicity.

Yet lots of songs sing its praises: “Good Day Sunshine,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “Walking on Sunshine.” These classic hits speak to how we relish the warmth of the sun and refer to the symbolic meaning of a sunny outlook on life and love. As the lyric asks, “Don’t it feel good?” Actually, the sun offers valuable health benefits, if managed properly.

The latest reports claim that at least 15 minutes in sunlight without wearing sunscreen won’t burn our skin and will provide a valuable dose of vitamin D, which is necessary for the absorption of calcium and phosphate to keep bones and teeth strong and for cell growth. The long list of sunlight’s advantages includes giving our mood a boost with an increase in serotonin and enhancing the body’s supply of endorphins and another feel-good hormone, melatonin, which encourages a good night’s sleep. Sunshine is also credited for strengthening our immune system, improving metabolism, increasing circulation, reducing the risk of certain cancers and diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis, lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, and developing overall good health. What doesn’t it do?


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To insure we obtain the sun's benefits, soak up the rays for 15 to 30 minutes without protection before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. in order to get vitamin D. Fair-skinned people need about 20 minutes in the sun during those times for an adequate dose. Darker skinned complexions can stay out longer, since they have natural protection and don’t burn as quickly. During midday, when the rays are strongest, it’s important to wear sunscreen and reapply it every couple hours to prevent burning. Otherwise, steer clear, stay in the shade, or remain fully clothed with a hat and sunglasses to avoid wrinkles and melanoma.

A word about sunscreen: Read labels to select a sunblock that offers both UV-A and UV-B protection and that contains zinc oxide with titanium dioxide. Mineral blockers are preferable to chemical absorbers. You may be aware of sunscreens containing chemicals, such as oxybenzone, which has been flagged for health concerns. The Environmental Working Group (an environmental health research and advocacy organization) released a 2013 Guide to Sunscreens. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you'll be wet or sweating. Avoid using it on children under six months old. Learn how to make sunscreen lotions at home naturally.

Also, a diet of foods rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, mushrooms and eggs, is beneficial, and antioxidant-packed fruits and vegetables can help keep your skin safe while you frolic in the sunshine.

Also, read as to how your hair can too be protected from the sun with the help of sunscreen for hair.

Read useful skin care tips here. 

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