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Safe Sun Exposure: 3 Tips for Fun in the Sun

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safe sun exposure

Summer fun is just around the corner, and with the sunny weather this spring, it’s already time to think about how to enjoy the rays and practice safe sun exposure without your brain screaming the “c” word.

There’s no doubt that overexposure can have a harmful effect, whether it be premature aging, photo damage, and yes, even skin cancer. Genetics also play a factor, as does skin tone. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid the sun altogether. Just a small amount of sun exposure each day actually kicks in our body’s ability to produce vitamin D. This is good because many people are lacking in this crucial vitamin, especially us northern dwellers.[1]

So, how to play it safe in the sunshine and keep skin looking fine? Here’s 3 tips for safe sun exposure.

  1. It starts with food. We’ve all heard the saying “food is medicine.” The healthier our diet, the more adept our bodies will be to handle stressors, like too much sun exposure. According to Dr. Josh Axe, eating a variety of whole, nutrient-dense foods is the best way to prevent skin cancer. In his article detailing our nutritional requirements, he quotes Professor Georgiana Donadio, director of the National Institute of Whole Health in Boston, which sums this up perfectly: “Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body,” she says, “and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to aging, are the manifestations of your body’s internal needs, including its nutritional needs.”
  2. Cover up. Wear breathable long-sleeved tops and pants, sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats if you are going to be exposed to the sun all day. At the beach, bring a large umbrella to seek shade, or find a nice shady spot when hanging at the park.
  3. Wear sunscreen when necessary. For lengthy sun exposure, especially in those skimpy swimsuits, it’s best to wear sunscreen and reapply it throughout the day. Be extra diligent if you will be in the water where it can easily wash off. To find the safest sunscreen options, try the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database. Those rated from 0-2 are the safest. They recommend zinc-oxide based sunscreens which do not contain harmful chemicals, and to avoid spray types. Here is a compiled list of safe sunscreen options based on EWG’s guidelines.

Don’t stray away from sun exposure. Just make sure you do it safely and you’ll maintain a healthy glow from within, too.

How do you practice safe sun exposure to soak up the rays on a summer day?

If you have any questions or concerns about skin cancer prevention and safe skincare practices, contact us!

[1] Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/benefits-of-moderate-sun-exposure

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