I grew up in the sun and worked outside until 1980’s. But never wore sunscreen and yes I got burnt early in summer at times or I just developed a healthy tan. With every opportunity I had you found me outside embracing the sunshine. I am not naturally blessed with a darker skin tone and don’t really burn easily as long as I don’t live my life hiding from the sun. .I wear a pair of sunnies but learnt the more I wore these the more sun glare bothered me so balance this as much as possible..
t may cause a furor among our sunscreen-happy society, but you’re skin was naturally designed to be exposed and nourished by the sun. Sunshine works as a major player in optimal health by enhancing your production of vitamin D. Technically a hormone, vitamin D stimulates every cell in your body and plays a crucial role in modulating your immune health, strengthening your bones and cardiovascular health, controlling your appetite and inflammation, enhancing the look and feel of your skin, balancing neurotransmitters for healthy brain function, promoting balanced hormones as well as protecting against cancer. Since the 1970’s there has been both a 30% increase in sunscreen sales along with a staggering 30% increase in deaths from melanoma
Specifically for hormone health, adequate vitamin D levels have been shown to increase ovarian reserve, improve IVF outcomes and reproductive health in PCOS and endometriosis, as well as being helpful in the treatment of fibrocystic breasts.
Vitamin D, also known as colecalciferol, is produced from cholesterol in your body when you are exposed to UVB sunlight rays. Cholesterol is transported to your skin, unpacked and converted into Vitamin D3 after sun to skin contact.D3 is not the active form of vitamin D used by the body. It is required to further undergo a process first in your liver, to form 25-hydroxyvitaminD. This form of Vitamin D circulates in the blood and is processed in your kidneys, to produce the active form of vitamin D, calcitriol.
Sunshine is by far the best source of vitamin D for you, as your GP openly admits, although they are reluctant to suggest prolonged periods of sun. But as you would need to eat a whopping 1 kg of butter per day, to get the equivalent of around 1 hour of daily midday sunshine. The water soluble form of Vitamin D from the sunshine (as opposed to the fat soluble Vitamin D3 supplement), also offers powerful blood purifying effects and can help to treat high blood pressure. It is important to note however, that vitamin D can’t be produced from sun exposure through glass and when wearing sunscreen. These both act to filter out the UVB rays that are required to be exposed to the skin.
I am not saying everyone should be in the sun all day, however, we are becoming a society of house squatters scared of the sun and this is in my opinion harming our immune systems and reducing our ability to enjoy our sun.
Your sunscreen not only blocks vitamin D producing UVB rays, but it fails to effectively block the damaging UVA rays from the sun. The statistics are bearing this point out. UVB and UVB rays are important to receive together as they will give you a signal, through the pigmentation of your skin when you have been out in the sunshine for long enough. UVA rays are not blocked with sunscreen application and alone will fail to give you a sunburn red-flag. UVA rays actually damage vitamin D, contribute to photo-ageing and skin cancer. The damage is silent and you are blissfully unaware of the oxidative damage occurring in your skin. It is important to note that UVA rays still penetrate through glass, so cover up when you are near a sunny window seat.
Our thinking we’re protected because we aren’t getting burned is a fallacy, we allow the most damaging rays to penetrate our skin and do the insidious work, even as we block our burn signal and stop the production of melanin and cancer- preventing, immune boosting vitamin D. This may be leaving us more vulnerable to cancer than ever before.
Sunglasses also limit your exposure to the full spectrum of UV rays. They will block the important UVB, needed for vitamin D production however let through the damaging UVA rays.
Sunshine exposure free from sunglasses (even if you are in the shade), stimulates your pineal and hypothalamus glands in your brain and triggers the hormone balancing effects these glands have to offer. Wearing sunglasses in the morning can also prevent optimal cortisol production, the hormone needed to create a wakeful state by suppressing your sleep hormone melatonin. I personally limit the use of sunnies to the times involving a squint-fest when driving. I am not saying stop wearing sunnies nor am I saying don’t cover up at times but I am saying when we look at the statistics as we have increased our use of sunscreen we have in fact seen a increase in Melanoma cases.
Apart from blocking protective Vitamin D producing UVB while allowing damaging UVA rays, sunscreens contain a myriad of harmful carcinogenic chemicals and endocrine disrupting substances such as phalates and parabens.
Chemicals like oxybenzene, polymers, petroleum, parabens and PABA will cause the skin’s respiration process to be inhibited from inhaling oxygen and exhaling toxins and as we soak up the sun these chemicals are baking into our bodies. The main ingredient that makes sunscreen work is oxybenzene and that is a powerful free radical generator that is classified as non carcinogenic, until it is exposed to sunlight! Many countries now regulate its use, due to these concerns.
The most effective time to increase your vitamin D level is midday, when the suns UVB rays are strongest. The time needed for direct sun to skin contact (without sunscreen) is dependant on your skin tone. This can range from 10 – 40 mins. You do not however want to over expose yourself to the sun to the point of causing sun burn- it’s about knowing your limits. If you burn easily, you may need to avoid midday initially, but receive longer times in the sun in the morning and late afternoon.
It is best to build your sun exposure gradually during spring thus allowing your body’s melanocyte cells to produce a protective pigmentation (tan). Start with 15 minutes morning and afternoon sunshine, with as much skin exposed as possible. By slowly building your sun exposure over time, as your tan develops you you may be able to head out at midday for longer as you will be better protected from the suns harsher rays, present during the summer months.
I believe you need to get your daily dose of the sunshine free from sunscreen and sunglasses. If you’re outside for long periods of time and further protection is needed, cover up with clothing and a wide brimmed hat and consider non-nano Zinc Oxide, Antioxidant rich foods can also provide natural protection against burning, such as rubbing in coconut oil onto your body at night and consuming coconut products, berries, spirulina, sea buckthorn, olives, turmeric and green leafy vegetables in your daily diet. Enhancing your Glutathione levels will also provide important antioxidant skin protection.
Humans are naturally designed to be outside, soaking up the UVB rays. Take off the sunnies, hold off on the toxic sunscreen and gain the vitamin D rich benefits of the beautiful sunshine. Begin your increased exposure now and strengthen your body’s natural sunburn protection in the summer months. You will become healthier and happier as a result.
Remember I am not suggesting we can all spend all our time in the sun, but if we stop plying on the sunscreen and make sure we get some healthy sun’s rays chemical free then cover up to stop burning I believe we will reap the benefits.
We must remember we don’t want to burn our skin and if you see anything suspicious go see a doctor, but you will be doing that already and it will remain as good advice, However like many things in society we are being overly cautious and this caution is actually harming us rather than benefiting us. All I am doing here is telling you the facts and giving my opinion on what we can do to improve our life and health. I just hope you read these details and think this over and decide for yourself because we are being fooled into believing the sun is bad for us and we should not risk getting a tan for fear of melanoma.