The sun seems to be hotter than ever. I don’t know about you, but my fair skin burns in approximately 3.5 minutes (I’m not kidding). I have to be so careful in the spring/summer to not stay in the sun for too long without covering up, or I will soon be lobster-like.
Here are my tips for staying safe in the sun this summer:
Sunshine is not the cancer-causing enemy that we once thought it was. We need sunshine like we need food. It balances our circadian rhythm, helps to boost your mood and best of all, it helps us become a Vitamin D factory.
We do not produce Vitamin D without the presence of sunlight, so those of us living in the Northern hemisphere are forced to supplement this essential vitamin during the winter months.
The Vitamin D Council tells us that:
‘Large amounts of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are made in your skin when you expose all of your body to summer sun. This happens very quickly; around half the time it takes for your skin to begin to burn. This could be just 15 minutes for a very fair skinned person, yet a couple of hours or more for a dark skinned person.’
Your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D in just a little under the time it takes for your skin to begin to burn.
This depends on the time of day and the amount of skin that you are exposing to sunlight, your geographic location and the colour of your skin.
So you really don’t need to be tanning for hours to get the maximum benefit of Vitamin D production happening. And over-exposure to the sun can be damaging over time. (Have you ever seen 15 year old shingles drying out, cracking and falling off? Yep, that’s the sun’s magic).
What if the sun didn’t ever cause cancer, but the toxic sunscreens that we’ve slathered over our bodies to be able to lay out in the sun for hours was the cause? It’s something to think about.
Have you ever read the ingredients on a bottle of sunscreen? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of most of those items, so I try to use sunscreen as rarely as possible.
What To Do Instead of Sunscreen?
Well, you’re not going to like this, but I wear loose, long sleeves as often as possible when I’m out in the sun for extended periods. Yes, it’s hot and sticky but it is better than getting fried and dealing with burning, stinging, peeling skin for days or weeks.
Always wear a hat that can shade your face from the direct sunlight as well, and protect you from getting overheated on hot days.
Enjoy the sun! But consciously, in small doses. Lay out for a few minutes here and there to gather up your Vitamin D (and don’t shower right away after, or you can wash away the chemicals needed to keep producing the vitamin). Give your skin a chance to get a bit of a base protection early in the spring so that you won’t burn so easily in the summer, and cover up with loose clothing if you are going to be exposed for long periods of time. Happy Summer!
With Sources From: