This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer | Memorial Day!
So if you plan on cooking out or taking a dip or two or even just lounging on your front porch this holiday, don’t forget to take proper care of your skin! Because, sun exposure is the leading cause of the visible signs of aging, including wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots, and sagging. So keep your cool & protect your skin from overexposure to the sun this Memorial Day weekend. But, just how much sun is safe sun?
It’s been proven that the best source of natural vitamin D is sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation—yet these same UV rays are known leading cause of skin cancer. W. more than 1.3 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed yearly in U.S., it seems worth getting facts straight. So, Vitamin D is used by our bodies to keep bones + muscles powerfully healthy...recent studies have also shown it fights depression & prevents colds! Though some foods- such as oily fish & eggs- contain vitamin D, nutrient forms in skin when it’s exposed to UVB radiation from sunlight. Some experts say it is difficult to get enough from diet alone, while other professionals argue that since all sun exposure is cumulative, even 20 minutes a day ultimately contributes to an increase in your chance of skin cancer.
But either way you look at it, other factors like your fitness levels & skin color can also affect your body’s ability to absorb vitamin D, since daily exercise will also assist your body w. it’s overall production. You won’t be surprised to know that amount of vitamin D you make is also related to amount of skin exposed to sun—if you expose more of your skin, in most cases you’ll make more vitamin D.
Some sunscreen must-knows as you soak up sun:
i. Wear at least an SPF 30, & apply it before you put your clothes on. If you wait until you’re already dressed, you might miss a few spots. Sun radiation can also penetrate through clothes, so you do need protection even if you’re fully dressed.
ii. Apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside. It takes that long for sunscreen to fully absorb & activate, & you don’t want to be unprotected for almost a full half hour.
iii. Don’t forget your hairline! Wear a sun hat, or apply a misting sunscreen to any part of your head that is exposed, including your part. It can be very painful to have just a sunburn on top of your head!
iv. Re-apply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you are swimming or sweating profusely. Even waterproof sunscreen will lose potency & effectiveness after a few hours, so reapplication will ensure you’re fully protected whole time you are outside.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes & prevent squinting, which can cause fine lines. Sunglasses w. UV protection are especially useful.
What’s important to remember is prolonged sun exposure does not cause your vitamin D levels to increase further, but does increase your risk of skin cancer. & when UV index is high, anything over 3, you will want to avoid sun exposure all together. Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency. When sunscreen is tested in lab conditions it is shown to block vitamin D production, however, regular use in real life has been shown to have little effect on vitamin D levels. At the end of the day, if you want to be full of vitamin D, but not increase your chances of skin cancer, be sensible: get a little sun here & there & maybe skip all day poolside tanning sessions. If you know you are going to be outside all day, cover up & slap on your sunscreen.