How to Make Your Time in the Sun This Summer, Safer and Healthiertweet
In the past few decades, the cosmetic industry has been actively promoting the use of skin blocks which is part of the reason why much of the western world now suffers from vitamin D deficiency. Added to this current deficiency, sunscreens do not prevent skin cancer and in fact, many of the ingredients in commercial sunscreens are not good for your skin and some are even toxic and cancer causing.
The Environmental Working Group in the USA released their Sunscreen Guide in 2011. After testing and ranking more than 600 sunscreens, they found only 1 in 5 sunscreens to be safe enough to be recommended while 3 in 5 US sunscreens did not meet European safety standards.
How should you and your family handle sunlight safely?
Vitamin D is not a vitamin at all but a “feel good hormone” that is probably the single most important factor in human health and unfortunately, much of the world’s population is deficient in this vital vitamin. Every tissue in our bodies needs vitamin D and will not work correctly if we do not get enough. While in its most extreme forms, vitamin D deficiency produces rickets in children and osteomalaccia (bone softening) in adults, milder degrees of deficiency are now understood to be one of the causes of a vast array of chronic diseases, including osteoporosis, impaired immune competence, various autoimmune diseases (such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis), several cancers including breast, colon, lung, lymphoma and prostate, high blood pressure, pregnancy complications and cardiovascular disease. All of these may develop because of, or be exacerbated by, vitamin D deficiency.
And the best way to boost your vitamin D levels is through natural sunlight
So with this information on one hand, what about some of the ingredients in sunscreens that cause concern?
- Retinyl palmitate is an ingredient found in one-third of all sunscreens that slows skin’s aging. As a form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate is suspected of speeding up the development of skin tumors when applied in sunlight – which of course is when sunscreen usually is.
- Oxybenzone is another ingredient which as a hormone disruptor is hazardous. When exposed to the sun, it can worsen skin damage through free radical generation. The chemical is also linked to low birth weight in babies.
- Zinc oxide if used in a colorless microfine form physically blocks UVA and UVB sunlight, and the zinc promotes skin healing and stimulates the cells that replenish skin cells. But frequent (or daily) use may be toxic to the skin.
- Titanium oxide. This product also comes in a microfine particle form but while it effectively blocks UVA and UVB, there is evidence that titanium promotes inflammation.
- Always avoid sunscreens in a spray or powder form as you run the risk of inhaling particles of sunscreen. There’s also a greater chance that dangerous nanoparticles are included in sprays and powders more than other products.
Vitamin D from sun exposure is the BEST way to optimize your vitamin D levels; exposing a large amount of your skin until it turns the lightest shade of pink, as near to solar noon as possible. A vitamin D3 supplement can be taken orally to elevate levels above 40 ng/ml and to reach a safer plateau until sunlight can take over the maintenance. If you are in a colder climate, you will probably need to take the supplement during winter months too.You can find out your vitamin D levels using a 25(OH)D test. This can be done by your local lab taking a blood sample and carrying out the test for you or by going online for a home test.
Many people find that once they get their vitamin D levels up to an optimum level, they are less susceptible to the sun
But if you need to stay in the sun after your have received your daily dose of sunlight, take a look at natural sun screens and natural substances for sun protection. Here are some suggestions:
• Green tea (when applied to the skin) protects against UVA and UVB damage and also neutralizes major free radicals in the skin, while reducing inflammation and preventing sun-related immune suppression. Green tea also appears to prevent skin cancers.
• Silymarin is a component of Milk Thistle which you can apply topically for major protection against sun damage and skin cancer.
• Grape seed extract and pycnogenol provide a powerful antioxidant flavonoid that not only prevents UV damage but also protects skin’s collagen and elastin both of which retard skin ageing and of course wrinkles.
.• Curcumin is a flavonoid found in the spice turmeric. A colorless form has been created from this yellow spice called tetrahydrocurcumi which you can apply topically to inhibit skin cancer. This very strong antioxidant reduces inflammation and restores skin immunity. It also lightens skin spots associated with ageing skin.
• Resveratrol is found in grape seeds and skins and actually protects grapes from the sun’s harsh rays. Studies indicate that it can do the same for people when given either orally or applied topically.
• As well as the above mentioned vitamin D, vitamins C and E have also shown protective effects from too much sunlight.,
By combining oral antioxidants with healthy natural sun screens, and of course avoiding sunburn as opposed to sunlight you can provide your skin with safe and maximum protection against sun damage and ageing.
Your skin is your biggest organ and absolutely everything you apply to your skin is of course absorbed into your body’s systems.