“According to a June 2014 article featured in The Independent (UK), a major study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day.
The epidemiological study followed 30,000 women for over 20 years and “showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group.”
Researchers concluded that the conventional dogma, which advises avoiding the sun at all costs and slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure, is doing more harm than actual good”.
– Here is is the link to the original article: Scientists Blow the Led on Cancer and Sunscreen Myth
We asked 8 professionals in the health and wellness field to give us their best sun safety tips and advice on ‘How to be safe in the sun without blocking the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D3 from the sun and here’s what we came up with!
I recommend following many of these tips, not just 1 – Also remember to tailor your sun safety protocol to your day and reapply you sun protection when needed. A day at the beach will require much more protection then an hour in a shady park.
It’s been ingrained in us from a very young age to wear sunscreen whenever were out in the sun, but not only can that lead to a deficiency in Vitamin D (estimated up to 70% in children, over 50% in adults, and 95% in senior citizens) but most sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that are known carcinogens. However there are a lot of naturally occurring sun protectors out there that aren’t toxic but will allow you to stay out in the sun a bit longer to soak up that valuable sun. These oils’ SPF capabilities are being studied more and more:
– Coconut oil , and carrot seed oil both have natural SPF’s and can be used on the skin as a protector [they’ll be a main ingredient in many homemade sunscreens (along with ingredients like zinc) – you’ll want to research their individual spf and make sure you are getting enough (at least 15) with your total protocol if you’ll be out in the sun for longer then 15-20 minutes at peak times]
– Wheat germ oil also has a natural SPF and further it contains squalene which protector of the skin’s sensitive lipids.
Outside of using natural sunscreens (store bought or homemade) another great way to protect yourself from sun damage is making sure you take antioxidants:
– Eat lychees or take a lychee supplement – protects against UVB damage by suppressing inflammation and supporting the body’s natural antioxidant defenses
– CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant that counteracts damaging free radical activity caused by the sun.
– Rosemary and drinking green tea are both similar to CoQ10 in there antioxidant greatness, protecting against free radical damage.
Kirsty Terry www.equilibrium-health.com
So when the sun comes out and you want to be safe in the sun, prior to reaching for the sunscreen and adding unnecessary chemicals to your skin, check out the following top tips before you go outside and let the sunscreen be your last resort:
1 Choose lightweight, light coloured clothes to shield your skin from the sun’s UV’s rays, especially sunhats and sunglasses are an essential to protect your eyes from UV radiation.
2. Plan to be outdoors either before the midday sun or later in afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky and avoid the midday sun.
3. Find some shade under a tree or a canopy where you can still feel the warmth but reduce the risk of the direct sun burning your skin.
4. Keep a close eye on your skin that is exposed, red skin means you’ve had too much but be careful as it may not show till later.
5. When you need the additional sun protection try one of the more natural products, one of my favourites is Dr Mercola Sunscreen SPF30, it scores well in the reviews and the added zinc is an essential boost of anti-oxidants.
Deana Whitaker Perkins www.CounterCultureWellness.com
Did you know that the best long-term sunscreen might actually be ingested? Yep! Research shows
that healthy FATS actually protect our cells from scorching sun rays. Another reason to throw out that margarine once and for all! Butter, olive oil, butter, avocados, butter, coconut oil! Eat a diet rich in delicious, organic FATS and don’t worry about possible weight gain… because it just WON’T happen due to fat intake. (But we might need to talk about sugar…) Nothing like permission to eat more butter!
Leslie Nance www.go2kitchens.com
The sun is nature’s gift to all things living. Staying healthy and growing requires the sun. Our body’s natural ability to compress the sunlight into Vitamin D through our skin is a gift. To build a natural tolerance to the sun I suggest daily exposure when weather permits. Exposing your face, arms, chest and legs will give you adequate absorption for you body to make healthy doses of vitamin D. If you are fair skinned or not used to the sunshine I recommend that you start slow with 5 min when the sun is at noon or before. Build a tolerance. Slowly increasing your exposure by 3-5 min after every 7-10 days. It will become your natural sunscreen. Never expose your skin to the point of redness. When the skin becomes to hot or has a burning sensation, it is time for the shade. Enjoy the suns natural gifts!
Pim Jansson http://www.absolutnutrition.co.uk
Pim just wrote a blog about how sun exposure prevents skin cancer. In a nutshell, Contrary to common beliefs, intermittent sun exposure and sunburns within 10 years of diagnosis have been found to be negatively correlated to deaths due to melanoma. Interestingly, cutaneous melanoma; the most common type of melanoma that occurs on the skin, has shown to only have an increased incidence among indoor workers. The incidence among outdoor workers has remained constant since before 1940, although outdoor workers are exposed to three to nine times more UV radiation.
Emily Brown www.nourishing-transformations.com.
If you’ve been avoiding the sun in hopes to evade skin cancer or slathering on chemical laden sunscreens, that have themselves been linked to cancer, you may actually be doing your body a disservice. The sun is not our enemy. Without the sun we would not survive. It’s a major life force for us. Many people, especially in the northern hemisphere, are chronically low in vitamin D due to lack of sun exposure. When levels of vitamin D are chronically low that is when disease can set in. The best way to boost vitamin D levels is first through the sun, then supplementation, then food sources. Aim for 20 minutes of sun exposure daily to your arms, legs, chest, neck and face. To protect yourself in the sun this summer while also allowing your body to produce the essential hormone, vitamin D, try this homemade natural sunscreen protector:
2 oz. Coconut oil – Great moisturizer and natural SPF properties
6-8 drops Lavender essential oil – Helps repair skin damage, great for sunburns
1 capsule vitamin E oil – a preservative for homemade sunscreen and moisturizer
Whisk together ingredients in a glass bowl and slather on!
Test out like you would any other sunscreen source and apply this non-toxic, natural alternative as necessary.
Patti Stevens livebalancednaturally.com
One of the main reasons people are Vitamin D deficient, is that they do not spend enough time outdoors anymore. We make our lifestyles so busy that we do not take time to just enjoy nature and soak up the rays. Getting out in the sun, with as much of our body exposed, three times a week for 10-15 minutes each time is recommended. Early morning is a great time to do this. You could meditate, exercise (get out that hula hoop), read a book or just take some deep breaths and be grateful for what nature has given us. I recently wrote an article on Aging Skin and the Sun you can check it out as well.
Teri Ringham TerisWellnessTips.com
My “Go To” items when venturing out in the sun for a skin nourishing treatment? Coconut Oil, a tad bit of liquid Aloe Vera with Lavender and Carrot Essential Oils in a spray bottle. If I’m going near sunset when the bugs are prolific, I add a bit of Citronella oil. I’m still absorbing my Vitamin D but in a safer manner by using my spray PLUS I’m also conditioning and nourishing my skin by letting warmth of the sun open my pores to absorb these delicious ingredients. Likewise, if I had put on sun protection with all its chemicals, I would have been absorbing those toxins. My choice? Gimmee my Natural Spray any day!
The Short of it: