When Not to Wear Sunscreen
Welcome to the last installment of our Summer Skin Survival Guide! Yesterday we discussed make up and the importance of a good nights sleep. Today we are going to discuss two topics that may seem a bit counter intuitive for a sun care series.
9. When Not to Wear Sunscreen: Believe it or not there are times when it is beneficial not to wear sunscreen. A study released earlier this spring in The Journal of Internal Medicine entitled, “Avoiding Sun Exposure is as Dangerous as Smoking”, found that non-smokers who stayed out of the sun had a life expectancy similar to smokers! The study followed 30,000 Swedish women for 20 years.
Exposing arms and legs without SPF to the sun for at least 15-45 minutes during non peak sun hours is highly beneficial. Non peak sun hours are before 10am and after 2pm. Use the heat and color of the skin as a guide for how long to stay out. Time is up the second you see the slightest pink tint on the skin.
Synthetic sunscreens block the healing benefits of the sun, they also absorb and bake into the skin creating a whole host a potential health problems. Synthetic sunscreens create a false sense of security by disabling the skins early detection system, the sunburn. Sunburns are a warning sign of imminent skin danger. Disabling this early warning system results in over exposure to UV radiation, which ruins the healing benefits of the sun and creates other health problems.
Sunscreens block UVB rays which are the rays required for vitamin D production. The sun’s rays hitting the skin activates vitamin D production. Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintains healthy teeth and bones, supports the immune system, brain and nervous system, regulates insulin, lung function and cardiovascular health. Vitamin D is so important, a study published in The Nutrition Journal in 2010 found that 42% of adults and 12% of children in the US are vitamin D deficient, so get out there and absorb some rays! It can be the best health inducing 15-45 minutes of your day! Of course, if you are planning to be in the sun during peak hours, (10am- 2pm), wear sun screen and be sure to reapply every 2 hours that you are in the sun to protect your skin. Avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone. Research indicates that this ingredient is a hormone disruptor. Replace chemical based sunscreens with zinc oxide based sunblocks, they offer longer lasting protection without harmful ingredients. Steer clear of super high SPF’s like SPF’s over 50, they are higher in chemicals and there is no proof that they offer additional protection over an SPF 30. Be sure to refer back to yesterday’s post for a link to the Environmental Working Groups 2016 Guide to Sunscreens. Lastly, be sure to check the expiration dates on your sunscreen. Expired sunscreens have reduced effectiveness and can cause burns. Also if you have a sunscreen that is over a year old and has been opened, get rid of it. Opened sunscreens begin to lose effectiveness after a year, especially if they have been exposed to heat.
10. Take off the Sunglasses! The eyes need sunlight too! Anne Willis, Founder and CEO of De La Terre and director of Oncology Skin Therapeutics and Chief Executive Officer for the NCCAOM writes “The most direct path of communication to the brain and people’s health and mood is the eyes. When full spectrum light rays from the sun are received by the retina, it is coded in the brain and sets in motion production of hormones and neurochemicals that keep people happy and healthy.” She goes on to further explain “The lens at the back of the eye, which stimulates the body’s master clock in the hypothalamus and pineal gland, absorbs the blue part of the sunlight spectrum. This in turn creates the production and release of melatonin, the circadian rhythm hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. It is also a powerful immune booster and anti-aging antioxidant that protects DNA and delays neuro degeneration.”
So skip the sunglasses for short trips like running out to get the mail, weeding the garden or mowing the lawn.
I hope you have enjoyed my summer skin series. I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions or comments on the series. You can let me know via email firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook http://www.facebook.com/tracysspa.
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