Playing in the summer sun means your skin is typically more exposed to the sun for longer periods. And while you may want to soak up all the sunshine you can get, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays.
However, there are several positives to soaking up the warm rays: it triggers vitamin D synthesis, helps regulate your circadian rhythm, and can cause a release of endorphins. However, if you’re not properly protected, UV rays can also damage elastin, causing skin to sag or stretch, as well as lead to lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and precancerous and cancerous skin lesions.
Making sure you get sufficient sun exposure is essential to optimal health for three key reasons:
1. Sun triggers vitamin D synthesis. The sun doesn’t “give” us vitamin D rather our bodies produce their own vitamin d when UVB rays contact the skin. Although categorized as a vitamin, vitamin D acts more like a hormone, affecting the expression of our genes and interacting with almost every cell in the body directly or indirectly.
There’s evidence that adequate vitamin D levels can reduce cancer risk by as much as 30 percent, according to Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard University’s School of Public Health.
Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that those with the lowest vitamin D levels have a 20 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease over an eight-year period compared with those with the highest levels.
And you may already be aware that vitamin D is needed for good bone health.
2. Sunlight supports healthy sleep patterns. Getting sunlight in the morning helps regulate your circadian rhythms and makes you alert at the start of your day. When the sun’s rays hit your eyes the optic nerve sends a message to the pineal gland at the center of the brain to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep. When the sun goes down, your production of sleep-inducing melatonin increases again. Trouble sleeping or staying asleep – it may be as simple as spending your first 15 minutes in the morning light to help reset your rhythm.
3. Sun supports perkier moods. A 2014 study published in the journal Cell found that exposure to ultraviolet radiation causes the release of endorphins — those feel-good chemicals that not only boost spirits but also relieve pain.
A 2008 study reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America showed that rats deprived of light for six weeks not only exhibited signs of depression, they also experienced damage in the regions of the brain associated with human depression.
When it comes to living a healthy and natural lifestyle, what you put on your body is just as significant as what you put in your body. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and since it is porous, it absorbs whatever you put on it.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked into the skin’s absorption rates of chemicals found in drinking water. It showed that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of total contaminant dosage. Other studies found the face to be several times more permeable than broad body surfaces and an absorption rate of 100% for underarms and genitalia. And another peer-reviewed study showed 100% absorption for fragrance ingredients.
If the products you use contain harmful ingredients such as harsh, toxic chemicals, colors, and fragrances, those ingredients make their way into your body, your blood and lymphatic system, you may want to consider switching up your topicals. The majority of mainstream body care products contain a cocktail of carcinogenic chemicals, allergens, and irritants.
While it’s important to spend some time in the sun to reap all these benefits and more, we still need to be safe and take care of our skin. Below is a all-natural sunscreen by Life with Angel (www.lifewithangel.com):
1 c raw unrefined shea butter
2/3 c coconut oil
20 drops Myrrh essential oil
30 drops Carrot Seed essential oil
20 drops Lavender essential oil
(optional) 2 tbsp zinc oxide powder ( a couple of tablespoons per cup of oil/moisturizer) (Be sure not to inhale.)
Natural Sunscreen Directions:
Mix raw unrefined shea butter with coconut oil with a mixer on medium speed until it looks whipped and creamy. (Add in optional zinc oxide powder and mix well.)
Add in essential oils. Blend together on low speed.
Place sunscreen in a glass jar with a lid. This is not waterproof so reapply as needed.
These are the minimal ranges of each of these oils
Raw unrefined shea butter: 5 SPF
Coconut oil: 6 SPF
Carrot Seed essential oil: 28 SPF
Myrrh essential oil: 15 SPF
(Lavender essential oil: Great for soothing and repairing skin)
*Carrot Seed oil is an antioxidant and protects skin cells naturally. Aside from making sunscreen with this oil the medicinal benefits are amazing. It is great for digestive issues and for healthy joints. (1)
*Myrrh essential oil also has powerful cleansing properties. It also promotes a healthy and smooth complexion, while promoting emotional balance. (2)
*Lavender essential oil is known for its calming effects on skin irritation, its soothing properties, and its ability to restore skin. (3)
This recipe does not expire!