Nutritional Tips for Damage Limitation with Sun Exposure Part One of Two
For most of us the sunshine and warmer weather is embraced gratefully. Sunny days make us feel more optimistic, more energetic, and it’s a chance to show off all those flimsy clothes we’ve been hankering to wear. We look and feel healthier with a suntan, and are indeed better off health-wise because sun exposure is a natural part of life and stimulates chemical changes in the body which go far beyond the well known benefits of increased level of Vitamin D.
Did you know that the effects of sunlight on the skin include: improved sleep quality, enhanced release and regulation of endorphins (the feel-good neurotransmitters like Serotonin), Vitamin D synthesis stimulates increased Calcium absorption, which is vital to keeping our bones and teeth healthy; there are anti-microbial effects on the skin and eyes (sunlight kills off yeasts and other bacteria that play a role in adverse skin and eye conditions), sunlight enhances our skin’s barrier functions, and it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
What about achieving that healthy glow without the associated damage? I’ll give you some tips on that in part two.
Tips to avoid the sun:
- An actual physical barrier is most reliable. Follow the Aussie rules Slip, Slop, Slap: Slip on a shirt (long sleeved), Slop on sunscreen, and Slap on a wide brimmed hat.
- Around 75% of commercial sunscreens are highly toxic, so do your homework in finding a non-toxic one (see later).
- Avoid being in the sun between the hours of 11.30 and 4pm when the most damaging rays are at their most potent.
- Seek out shady areas if you will be out in the open for more than 15 minutes.
- For beach walks take a parasol with you, women’s brightly coloured cotton embroidered fashion umbrella’s are totally in Vogue, and for men, set a new trend with a large canopy golfing umbrella.
For the adventurous health Guru, you can make a non-toxic sunscreen at home using this recipe (choose organic wherever possible):
You will need:
- ¾ Cup Coconut Oil
- 10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Pomegranate Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Shea Butter
For this part one, I want to give you tips when you need to avoid the sun for specific reasons, such as having active skin cancer, or undergoing, or about to undergo Laser Treatment?
The reason you need to avoid the sun for 6 weeks prior to Laser treatment is in relation to the fact that lasers target pigment, so a tan would compromise the lasers effectiveness (Laser energy would target the tan instead of what you are trying to eliminate).
The reason you need to avoid the sun for 6 weeks after Laser treatment is that your skin’s integrity is somewhat compromised as it recovers from exposure to Laser energy. It will be more sensitive for up to 6 weeks, and if exposed to sunlight during that time, there is a greater risk for blistering / burning, and to the development of unwanted side effects such as hyper or hypo pigmentation.