“Your skin is your solar panel!” as Dr. Wolfson has said.
Sunshine is hugely beneficial for us! Dracula would disagree, but we are not asking him for advice about sun exposure – he is a little washed out.
When you step outside on a sunny day, how do you feel? It warms the skin, lifts the mood, regulates hormones, and prevents disease! Its energy producing properties are palpable. What is there not to enjoy?
Sunshine is a bright spot for human health as it charges our cells, makes for better insulin function, prevents breast cancer, and protects our skin from damage. Sunshine can even treat conditions such as eczema and acne.
Sunlight on our skin triggers the synthesis of vitamin D. This process sends messages to immune cells telling them to travel to the skin where they act as protection and repair damage. Studies show that vitamin D may help lower the risk of developing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Sun exposure is a controversial topic, and we ask that you speak with your doctor about what is right for you. We are not suggesting you throw your sunscreen out! Of course, spending hours in the sun without protection is not a good idea, but safe sun is a great idea!
5 Tips for Safe Sun Exposure:
- Get the DMinder App. This app allows you to see how much Vitamin D you can make at specific times of the day. You can use this app to plan your safe sun exposure.
- Spend 15-30 minutes outside (depending on your skin tone and where you are in relation to the equator) without sunscreen at least 3-4x/week.
- When you have had enough sun, use nontoxic sunscreens. Badger is a favorite. Keep in mind you will not make Vitamin D once sunscreen has been applied.
- Cover up with hats or umbrellas when you are over your daily sun limit.
- Seek shade when you are outside for longer periods of time. Even in the shade you may need sunscreen, especially if there is a reflection off the water.
Sunshine lifts the mood and browns the skin, a perfect combination for that summer glow inside and out. Exposure to sunlight (on the retina actually–take off those sunglasses barring any eye issues) is what triggers serotonin, the happy, stress relieving, calming hormone. Get outside and soak up some rays, increase your Vitamin D and be happy!