How to Enjoy the Sunshine Safely
Warm weather is around the corner! As you prepare for the summer, remember small snippets of sun exposure are vital for Vitamin D production and increasing serotonin levels. While the small snippets are vital, excessive amounts of sun exposure, which many of us have already had, decrease the amount of NAD+ in our cells. This is precisely what stresses the cells and causes the visible sun damage. Before now there hasn’t been a whole lot we could do to really reverse these visible signs of aging. But Magnifiskin now offers a way to dramatically boost the amount of NAD+ in your body. To learn more, click here.
As far as preventing further sun damage, you want to build a small arsenal of sun protection made up of rash guards, wide brimmed hats, sunscreen, and cover-ups. This coverage will not prevent you from getting those snippets, so go ahead and stock up. Before purchasing, you want to be aware of some information that can help you choose the right products and clothing for you.
The first thing we think of is sunscreen, so let’s talk about choosing one. Since 1993, the Environmental Working Group, EWG, “has shined a spotlight on outdated legislation, harmful agricultural practices and industry loopholes that pose a risk to our health and the health of our environment.” They created the Skin Deep website which “assesses and compares the safety of personal care products.” This organization has published a ton of articles on their findings about sunscreen. Within the last few years, traditional news sources have picked up these findings, spawning a new awareness of the many ways in which some of the ingredients can be damaging to people and the environment.
We have known for a while that some sunscreens destroy coral reefs, but now we know more specifically “sea creatures metabolize oxybenzone into a toxic compound.” We also know Sunscreen Chemicals Accumulate in Body at High Levels. Besides the damage to coral reefs, you want to avoid oxybenzone, octinoxate (which can disrupt hormones, among other things), Vitamin A, and added insect repellant. You want to look for zinc oxide, titanium oxide, avobenzone, and Mexoryl SX. Mexoryl SX is mainly used in European sunscreens, is relatively non-toxic, and is very effective for blocking out UVA rays. While we don’t focus on UVA rays, and they don’t cause sunburns, you should consider them because they can also be dangerous.
If you are looking for a daily moisturizer / facial sunscreen, Elta MD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 comes highly recommended and is excellent. Australian Gold Mineral Lotion Non-Greasy Botanical Sunscreen for the Face is tinted, SPF 50, and is also good. If you have very fair skin, Andalou Naturals Color Correct SPF 30 is good another option.
If you are going to the beach or the pool and will be out during the heat of the day, you can wear clothes with UPF 50. The UPF 50 is achieved by the tightness of the fabric weave. If you want something to compare it to, the UPF of a cotton t-shirt is 5. When you look into UPF clothing and rash guards, many are treated with chemicals. However, there are a few companies whose UPF clothing is chemical-free. One example is UVSkinz, and ROXY makes excellent rash guards.
We are now learning most sunscreens don’t block UVA rays, which are the rays that cause a tan. They damage skin and cause wrinkles. While we haven’t been all that concerned with these rays in the past, we should be. And clothing and hats is the best way to block them.
Lastly I would encourage you to get a few hats that you like. Start to think of them as accessories, and make sure they are also UPF 50. Since we are now learning that UVA rays are also dangerous and that many sunscreens do not protect against them, optimal clothing becomes really important. And remember early morning sun is best – think early morning walks on the beach. Enjoy the sunshine!
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