I love the sun! I love it so much that I crave it, which is why I felt so inspired to write an article on how to enjoy the sun safely.
I feel invigorated, energized and willing to conquer the world when there are sun and heat. In fact, studies have demonstrated that the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible to make us feel happy, is higher when we are in the sun.
I have no shame in saying that I love to be in the sun. As a matter of fact, I love to sun bath. Do I use sunscreen lotion when I sunbath? You’ll find out reading this post…
Although a well-known brand of commercial sunscreen, one with a very particular smell, Hawaiian Tropic to no call out the name, has me remembering my blissful childhood vacation at Old Orchard Beach, today i refuse to have it even touch my skin.
How to Enjoy the Sun Naturally: 5 Ways to Manage Your Sun Exposure
Tip#1 Be sensible
Manage your direct exposure to the sun. Really when you take a minute and think about it we were never meant to lay in the direct sun, without moving for hours on end.
So yes to sunbathing but not for hours in full sun exposure.
Select a location where you can go in the direct sun but also go in the shade. Too much of anything is never a good thing.
Tip #2 Build a tolerance
You skin needs to build what some like to call a base tan. Start with a few minutes the first day and slowly increase the exposure time. When you move out of the sun, cover your skin with clothing to prevent further exposure.
You should never “burn”. If you do, then you have been over-exposed to the sun.
Tip #3 Unprotected skin is needed
To increase your level of vitamin D, it is best to expose your skin to the mid-day sun. This is when the UV rays are most abundant, as well as UVB.
UVB is the type of sunrays required to produce vitamin D. Using sunscreen will prevent the UVB from penetrating your skin thus prevent vitamin D formation in your body. To know more about vitamin D click here to read an article I wrote on Vitamin D supplementation.
Short exposure to the sun (10-15 minutes) daily with unprotected skin is necessary to promote the manufacturing of vitamin D in your body. The best time to expose your skin and have the maximum impact on production of vitamin D is between 10 am – 2 pm (sun peak time). Expose as much skin as possible to the sun.
Tip #4 Eat to prevent sun damage
This is perhaps among the best tips I can give you on how to enjoy the sun naturally. Nutrition.
Ensure that you are getting plenty of omega 3’s, such as eggs, wild caught salmon, sardines, and flax seeds during the day.
Load up in phytonutrients which are a type of antioxidant that helps you neutralize any negative effects of the sun. Phytonutrients are present in green vegetables too. Eat your daily “Big Ass” salad with lots of tomatoes that contain lycopene which offers photo-protection.
Don’t forget to eat a couple squares of 85% dark chocolate that contains flavanols to help protect you from potential damage from UV rays.
Snack on berries as they are particularly high in antioxidants called elegiac acid will help prevent skin collagen destruction and help prevent skin damage.
Get your daily dose of collagen. Either you drink your daily cup of bone broth, or add your 1-2 tbsp. of collagen supplements.
Add a specific antioxidant supplement such as high quality vitamin E (between 400 – 500 mg of mixed tocopherol daily). Increasing your daily dose of vitamin C could be an option as well.
Tip #5 Safe sunscreen
My favorite sunscreen is actually this one from Beauty Counter. I carry the face stick in my bag when I know I might be exposed to the sun for a long period of time.
When I go to the beach I use this one. Beautycounter sunscreen products are made from non-nano sized particles of zinc oxide. Mineral based sunscreen is safer to use than traditional chemical-based sunscreen formula which contains oxybenzone which is associated with cancer risk.
You can make your own sunscreen at home by following either this recipe from Wellness Mama or this one from Mommypotamus.
All in all: The sun is not our enemy…the sun is essential to our life! There is a reason why we love the sun – it makes us happy and healthy. Enjoy it!
Question: What do you use to sunbath? Share your favorite product and let me know what you think of the recipes.