Summer sun and what you should know about UV exposure
After a long, snowy winter we slowly emerge shedding our outer layers of scarves, hats, gloves, and long underwear. Summer is finally here and so is the SUNSHINE! It’s easy to spend endless hours outside enjoying the long awaited warmth, but do keep in mind the dangers of sun exposure this season. Sun damage effects everyone and over-exposure can result in pre-mature fine lines, loss of elasticity, hyper-pigmentation, life-threatening melanoma, and more.
UV exposure doesn’t stop at the great outdoors, though. We often think that SPF is only necessary for hot summer days and we tend to forget how much the sun affects us even on cool, cloudy days. Powerful rays reach even the most seemingly sheltered areas, including vehicles and indoors. Protect your skin, your youth, and your life by always wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen or block of an SPF30+. Supplement with sunglasses and a hat, especially when on the water, and re-apply sunscreen as needed. A simple rule of thumb is an SPF15 will yield 150 minutes of protection, SPF30 for 300, and so on, keeping in mind that water and sweat will shorten duration of protection.
SUN SAFE TIPS FOR BETTER HEALTH
1. Many sunscreen brands include chemicals and ingredients which frequently cause sensitivity and irritation to the skin. Be aware of ingredients listed in your sunscreen. The safest and most effective broad spectrum sunscreen ingredient is Zinc Oxide, blocking both UV-A and UV-B rays. Traditionally, Zinc Oxide (Zn2+) has been used to form thick, opaque paste-like sunscreens that provide excellent protection, but are not aesthetically pleasing. For a safe, effective, non-reactive sunscreen try Rhonda Allison Daytime Defense SPF30, containing Zinc Oxide, jojoba, rice bran, sandalwood, and algae, blocking about 97% of UV rays. Great for all skin types, this sunscreens pure, clean formula provides an antimicrobial, antioxidant, soothing and healing support.
2. Before applying Daytime Defense SPF30, use a Rhonda Allison Antioxidant – Antioxidant Complex Serum, Grape Seed Hydrating Serum, Growth Factor Serum, or Sea Gems. Findings show that additional topical antioxidants reduce sun damage and free radical development while providing healthy support for the skin.
3. Take additional antioxidant supplements prior to outdoor activities and kick-up the vitamin D intake during winter months when sunlight is scarce. Recent studies show that women over the age of 50 often lack vitamin D, and nearly all Alaska residents suffer from Vitamin D deficiency in the winter. 400 IU’s daily is recommended, however a mega-dose (prescribed by a physician) may be necessary to combat extremely low levels.
4. Now let’s talk hydration: in order for ours bodies to properly absorb and synthesize any supplement, we must first hydrate. Imagine feeding a dried-out house plant Miracle Grow. Without water the nutrients will first, be unable to reach beyond the desert-like soil to the plants’ root system, and second, have no way of being carried through the root system to its vital leaves and flowers. Strikingly similar to plants, our bodies cellular structure depends on water to intake and distribute nutrients (topically and orally) to sustain life. To ensure proper hydration, take your body weight and multiply by 2. Drink this many oz. of water daily. Also, keep in mind that caffeinated products and alcohol will dehydrate the body quickly, so use a 1:1 drink to water ratio when consuming such beverages.
Be aware of your skin this season and proactive about sun protection. Take these precautions to promote healthy skin and longevity of life. For more information on the extreme effects of sun damage, watch this short video: Dear 16 Year Old Me
If you have experienced severe sun damage or malignant cancer first-hand, or if skin cancer has affected a loved-one, we want to hear your story. Please feel free to reply to this post with any questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you!