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Let the sun shine on...

19 Jul 2016

When the sun shinessun, woman, freedom, happy

There have been a few sunny days in the UK this year and I know a lot of people have been on sun seeking holidays already.  I know I'm already thinking about my next one!!   Every so often we are reminded in the media about the big C... Cancer and of course when the sun's involved Skin cancer is a concern, so you are advised to wear sunscreen.  However I'm here to say please be careful but it shouldn’t get to the point that your skin is never exposed to the sun without sunscreen. 

So be sensible and wear sunscreen when you are out most of the time and especially at the hottest part of the day (noon to 3pm) but there needs to be at least 15 minutes a day when your skin is not covered in sunscreen.  oh yes it's all about moderation.. even with the sun!

To sunscreen or not to sunscreen?!

Basicall the role of any sunscreen is to block the sun's rays from getting to this skin, thus it's simple logic that this will also block the manufacture of vitamin D through the skin.   The body absorbs vitamin D from the sun and then through a chemical reaction can turn it into vitamin D.  Why is that so important?  Well we're hearing a lot more these days about Vitamin D, it's important not only for bone health (as it helps with the absorption of calcium), but for protection against breast cancer, heart disease, and anti-ageing too.   One tip is to just have your arms exposed as they tend to be 'out' more often than not so can have a higher tolerance to the harmful rays and if you want to you can protect your face as the skin here is more delicate.  Of course not all sunscreens are created equal, so I would urge that when you buy sunscreens, try to buy those that are as natural as possible, because ……what you put on your skin is going to be absorbed into your body (and of course this applies to children as well). 

organic sunscreens, safe, sun, protection

There are a number of good makes of natural sunscreens available I highly recommend doing your homework here and not just grabbing the cheapest one off the shelf.   There are lots of people who have written blogs on the subject.  I particularly like this one from Be Healthy Now:

sunscreen, natural, organic, safe

A common complaint from many of my sunworshipping clients is that they get prickly heat on holiday.  This can be fixed by changing your sunscreen to a more natural brand.  Check that there is no mineral oil, petrolatum or petrolium in your product as this acts a barrier on the skin which means that the skin is unable to breath so when you get hot the body attempts to reuduce temperature by 'breathing' and so has to create more surface area (bumps on the skin) and thus prickly heat occurs.   Which is not normally 'the look' most people are going for on holiday!  

Sunlight Reduces Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes

Going back to our 'wonder' vitamin D.  Exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk of older people developing heart disease and diabetes, according to research from the University of Warwick.  The scientists found that pensioners who got out and about into the sunshine had higher levels of vitamin D than those who preferred to stay indoors.  Conversely low levels of vitamin D can trigger metabolic syndrome – a condition that affects one in five people and is more common in the elderly.  Metabolic syndrome affects the body’s ability to produce insulin and can significantly increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. 

older couple, sitting, outside,

When we get older, our skin becomes less efficient at forming vitamin D naturally and this study certainly seems to suggest that older people should spend more time outdoors to stimulate the same levels of vitamin D that they had when they were younger.   No wonder so many people retire to the costa del sol!

Eye and Hair Care

Protect your eyes.  Did you know there are more eye injuries reported in the summer months than at any other time of the year, presumably because we’re outside more.  So wear sunglasses to keep them safe from the number one cause of eye damage or irritation: the sun’s UV rays.   If you're like me I go through sunglasses quite quickly..lose them, leave them, break them, dog eats them....so I tend to by cheaper makes however they can still have protection in the lenses and they should state this on them when you buy them.  You can replace sunglasses...it's harder to replace your eyes!

child, cute, sun, glasses, eye, protection

Love your hair.  Most of us know how drying the sun’s rays can be to our skin and are diligent about drinking more water in warmer weather and using moisturisers on our skin, but not so many of us consider what they may be doing to our hair.  To avoid dry-looking, out-of-condition hair, invest in a good conditioner to give your hair much needed moisture – and remember to get the most natural products available.  My hairdresser uses Joico products and I've had some great results with a hair mask for from Arbonne.

Next month check out some top tips for staying well while travelling...as we search for the sun!