For years, we have been repeatedly told that the sun is bad for us, so much so, that many of us live in fear of the sun and take synthetic vitamin D supplements to offset the imbalance that has come about.
The fact is, that the majority of all living things require sun to survive. The key and most important point to remember about sunshine is balance, and using your common sense to avoid getting sun damage.
The sun has a remarkable effect on our health and happiness, and is our best source of vitamin D, a hormone that: controls calcium levels in the blood thus maintaining strong bones, muscles and teeth; is involved in making hundreds of enzymes and proteins which are vital for preventing a number of diseases; strengthens the immune system and has anti-cancer properties.
Research shows that the sunshine has a significant effect on mental health and wellbeing and is recommended in the treatment of depression; for treating psoriasis, eczema and acne; and for regulating circadian rhythms (our internal body clock that when disrupted can result in sleep disorders).
On the flip side, it is important to keep in mind that too much sun exposure does have consequences: an increase in the speed of skin ageing and the potential risk of melanomas. So it’s all about finding the “right” balance for you, taking into consideration your age, skin colour, body weight, the season of the year, and the latitude of where you live.
Personally, I like the idea of delaying wrinkles for as long as naturally possible as well as maintaining my sanity and happiness levels during winter, so I enjoy the sunshine in the early or late hours of the day, avoiding direct sun exposure between the hours of 11am and 3pm. However, if I am going to be out in the sun for long periods of time, I wear a hat and in extreme conditions a natural sunscreen that contains non-nano zinc oxide. Gone are the days where I lay on the beach sunbaking all day!
Following are my 7 top tips for enjoying a summertime glow without the burn
• Use common sense and avoid the mid-day sun. Enjoy sensible sunshine in the early morning hours and late afternoon.
• Wear a hat if you’re out and about in the sunshine during the day. A burnt red nose or peeling forehead is not so beautiful.
• Ensure you’re well hydrated from the inside. Drink 2 litres of purified water a day to help flush toxins, hydrate cells and keep everything functioning optimally. Glowing skin begins from within.
• Ensure you’re well hydrated from the outside. To help prolong and nourish your summer glow, apply a good quality organic body oil.
• Choose organic products for your daily skincare rituals. There are a number of plant extracts that provide a healthy glow as well as helping to minimise the appearance of pigmentation and fine lines.
• Base your diet throughout the summer months on organic fruits that are in season. This will give your body a boost of antioxidants and thousands of other phytonutrients to help you glow from the inside out.
• If you do need to use a sunscreen, choose one with organic plant oils that have natural SPF factor such as carrot seed oil, red raspberry seed oil, sea buckthorn oil, wheatgerm oil. Or if you need a higher level of ‘protection’ go for a non-nano zinc oxide.
Ingredients to avoid in Sunscreens
Please choose a natural sunscreen that contains non-nano zinc oxide. Avoid those that contain fragrance, oxybenzone, PABA, alcohol, parabens, methylisothiazolinone, salicylates, mineral oil, TEA, DEA, MEA, propylene/butylene glycol as these ingredients are linked to dryness of the skin, allergic dermatitis, photosensitivity, cancer, skin aging and acne.
love & hugs
Sam Sargent, founder of Be genki