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Just like all of mother nature, we too, absolutely, require sunshine to grow. 

Scientists have now proven, that being in the sun may be one of the most health engaging activities you can offer yourself. With Vitamin D being a preventative towards over 16 diseases, you have absolutely every right to satiate your sunshine needs, with mindful discernment. Certain amounts of sunshine is essential. 

Here’s the low down. We each have unique skin complexions, genetic orientations and other physical sensitivities that DO alter our capacities to stay in the sun for long periods of time. ALTHOUGH, what I want to make objectively clear in this article, is that we all need a certain amount of sun, without sunscreen as ‘protection’, and Vitamin D is the benefit.

“Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in almost every cell in your body, from your brain to your bones. Optimizing your vitamin D levels – the best way to do this is through safe sun exposure – could help you to prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers. Vitamin D does not just impact your cancer risk slightly. It can cut your risk by as much as 60 percent!”

– Dr. Mercola, sun specialist/scientist.

With that said, Vitamin D not only performs on a physiological level, but also increases something immeasurable, called happiness! Imagine a time when you are waking up, and the sun isn’t shining, but rather it is a cold gloomy day. What was your first reaction? Did it feel hard to want to wake up? Maybe that changed your plans of going down by the river and experiencing the warmth on your face; in your bones. There’s a reason weather affects our mood, as it allows us to feel sensations, while touching certain qualities of our well being, within and without.

My question is, why have doctors and dermatologists tried to completely convince us of sun damage and the sun’s impurities so desperately, to the point of deprivation? This is not healthy, either.

I acknowledge the rational fear of sun burns, caused by the sun’s UV radiation. Yes, this can cause skin damage – leading to the possibilities of skin cancer. But, this should not advance to 0% skin exposure, or layering sheets of smelly sunscreen on every inch of your body. After all, sunscreen also has some dangerous chemical filters in it as well. Click here to find out more, on this important topic. 

So. What is the middle ground? Well according to One Nature and the David Suzuki Foundation, here are some vital sun reminders.

The most effective safe sun protection:

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat. 

  • Wear loose-fitting, tightly knit clothing that covers. 

  • Put on broad spectrum sunglasses. 

  • Seek shade when needed.

  • Avoid sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (peak UV hours)

  • Get enough Vitamin D.

  • Wear safe sunscreen.

A safe sunscreen:

1. Is well-rated by the Environmental Working Group

2. Provides broad spectrum protection

Even though exposure to both UVA and UVB contributes to the development of melanoma — the most deadly skin cancer — SPF measures only UVB. Broad spectrum sunscreens protect against both.

3. Should not contain dangerous ingredients

Avoid:

  • Oxybenzone,  a hormone disruptor that can also trigger allergic reactions

  • Retinyl palminate, a form of vitamin A linked to skin tumours and lesions on sun-exposed skin

  • The “Dirty Dozen” ingredients, including parabens, phthalate, PEG, parfum (a.k.a. fragrance) and sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate

4. Is a cream (not spray or powder)

Choose mineral-based creams. (While you might like transparent options, larger white particles provide better UVA protection!) Research shows titanium dioxide and zinc oxide do not migrate through skin, but inhaled nanoparticles enter the blood stream through the lungs.

5. Offers SPF 30

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job protecting against UVB when applied properly. Choosing a broad spectrum sunscreen will ensure adequate UVA coverage, but a higher SPF doesn’t mean better UVB protection. Research indicates that an SPF higher than 30 is mostly marketing and that high ratings give people a false sense of security, which leads to inadequate use and increased exposure.

 

So, with all of this in mind, I ask you to sun safely, but do not hide in fear. Get curious with your own skin and it’s sensitivities. Do the proper sunscreen research. Know the sun is a crucial element to our health, happiness and vivacity! We are blessed to live in a town, where the seasons do give us all of the different weather variations. With summer here, and the sun roaring, take into consideration your length of exposure. There are luckily plenty of natural skin care and skin cream options, too. (Thank you science, plants and community!)

If you have further concerns or want to just simply read more on this topic, I found this site to be very helpful.

Wishing you a healthy and happy summer, sunshine!