Safe Summer Sun
Who doesn’t love a little summer sun at the beach, park or pool. Despite all the bad we hear about sun exposure, there are indeed health benefits of safe sun exposure. One of my favorite sayings “everything in moderation” works great when discussing soaking in the sun. Prolonged exposure to the sun can result in burns, and aging, but 10-15 minutes of daily sun exposure is great for the body (and mind).
Vitamin D is one of the most important things we get from sun exposure. It is true when deficient we can increase our levels with supplementing D, however moderate sun exposure allows the body to make vitamin D on its own in the amounts it needs. Being in the sun is also good for the soul! Studies consistently show that sun exposure reduces the incidence of seasonal affective disorder. Moderate sun exposure may help reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
Knowing the benefits of sun exposure is jut as important as knowing how to protect yourself from its potential dangers. If you’ve ever had bad sunburn, you know just how painful it can be. Additionally every burn we experience increase the risk for sun related skin cancers and aging. So to get the benefits of the sun, it’s imperative to know just how to play safe!
Wearing sunscreen, avoiding high noon sun exposure and covering sensitive areas of skin are three important practices of safe sun. Sunscreens are not just skin deep, and picking the perfect sunscreen is a difficult task these days with so many options on the market. Recently the FDA has come out with new regulations preventing companies from advertising sunscreens with SPF values higher than 50+. This is because it can lead to a false sense of protection, encouraging people to apply the product less, or cover up less.
The two main types of sunscreens available for purchase are chemical and mineral. Chemical has been more scrutinized due to its potential harmful ingredients and mineral sunscreens (primarily made from zinc and titanium) which are gaining more popularity these days because they are less harmful and have a more broad spectrum of coverage. When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to do your research. I recommend the EWG guide to choosing sunscreen at www.ewg.org.
Sun Safe and Enjoy!