Things You Should Know About Sun Bathing and Sunscreen
Sun bathing has been demonized in recent years as a cancer-promoting, premature aging pastime. It is not until recently that some of the conventional thought about sun exposure has been debunked, and some have reversed this opinion.
Getting burned, or anything past the slightest bit pink, is still dangerous though. You should never, ever let your skin get burned by the sun’s rays. That fact has not changed. However, you also should not avoid UV light like the plague, as it offers many therapeutic and healthy benefits as well.
The first and most important byproduct of sunbathing is the generation of vitamin D. UVB rays, which are emitted by the sun, are actually the initiating factor behind your body’s production of vitamin D.
This important vitamin helps strengthen our immune system, and has recently been discovered to be a powerful cancer fighting agent. Those with high vitamin D levels simply seem to have a better protection against abnormal cell mutation. Those with higher levels also tend to get sick less often.
One hypothesis for the reason behind winter flu and cold season is that people catch them easier due to lower vitamin D levels from less sun exposure. Vitamin D has also been linked to lower risk of depression, and an overall improved mood.
This nutrient has come to light as being a truly powerful remedy against some of the most common and troublesome human afflictions, so getting enough is of vital importance. One of the ways you can ensure you get enough is to get enough sunlight exposure.
Your skin actually makes vitamin D when the UVB light from the sun hits it. Your body then absorbs this vitamin D over the next several hours. It is simply the most effective way to get your vitamin D levels up, and yet so many people still fear sunlight as a cancer causing agent.
While it is true that over exposure can cause skin cancer, normal, common sense exposure can be very healthy. Wearing only natural sunscreens is preferable, since so many of the commercial ones on the market today contain chemicals and hormone-interrupting preservatives.
Many commercial sunscreens also contain derivatives of vitamin A, which is a common ingredient in anti aging skin care products. However, vitamin A derivatives such as retinyl palmitate can actually promote cancerous cell growth on the skin when exposed to sunlight.
So essentially that sunscreen that you are putting on your skin could actually be accelerating and promoting skin cancer growth. Make sure you choose a sunscreen without this common additive. Also avoid parabens, oxybenzone, PABA, and other petrochemicals if you can.
One of the most important aspects of protecting your skin from the damage that UV rays can induce is to get plenty of antioxidants in your diet. Lycopene in particular can be extremely protective against UVA and UVB cell damage. Lycopene is commonly found in tomatoes and other brightly colored orange or red vegetables.
Astaxanthin is another nutrient that is a great ‘internal sunscreen” that helps protect the skin against UV induced cell mutation. This can be purchased in supplement form, as can lycopene. Both are excellent antioxidants. They help your body to fend off cell damage caused by environmental toxins, UV rays, toxic foods, and the aging process itself.
Danna Norek owns several websites on the topic of natural health, wellness and beauty. Natural anti aging products and other ways to prevent aging, as well as other beauty secrets, reviews and tips can be found at Cosmetics and Beauty Product Reviews. You can also find acne and rosacea skincare information, reviews, product suggestions and tips at Acne Magazine.