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The Sun: The Good & The Bad

Posted on June 2, 2017 at 3:10 PM

The summer season is upon us and the hot weather is here to stay! Lately, I’ve seen a lot of conflicting information out there about how to stay safe in the sun. Some articles are promoting ample use of sun block, while others are quick to point out (correctly I might add!) the harmful ingredients these concoctions actually contain.

Are you feeling confused about how to handle the sun? You’ve come to the right place! Read on to hear about the good and bad of the sun, and what you should be doing to stay safe this summer season.


The Good

The sun is so important for many reasons, not just for vitamin D purposes. Here’s a list of good things the sun can do for us (SunFriend 2015):

  • “Cheer us up by boosting serotonin – the “feel good” hormone
  • Reduce heart disease
  • Prevent diabetes
  • Beat SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Help prevent MS 
  • Prevent cavities
  • Relieve aches and pains
  • Reduce risk of cancers
  • Boost fertility
  • Give you more energy
  • Ease IBD – inflammatory bowel disorder
  • Beat period problems
  • Help skin conditions
  • Boost the immune system
  • Help you lose weight” 


The Bad

The “bad” side of the sun is well documented and hyped up in the news. I’m speaking about the correlation between sun exposure and cancer risk. In an effort to avoid cancer development, people slather on sun block to “protect” their skin from the sun – but there’s a dark consequence to this action, because sun block also blocks your body’s ability to make vitamin D. This is crucial. Here’s a little known but extremely important fact: the risks associated with vitamin D deficiency can actually far outweigh those associated with skin cancer. Thus, sun block is not the answer!

Furthermore, there’s a “bad” side to sun block as well. (In fact, it could be argued that there’s only a bad side to those mixtures). If you ever read the ingredients on a tube of sun block, then you’ll quickly see that these “skin protectors” are PACKED with nasties...including CARCINOGENS! (That’s right, you’ve been slathering something on to protect against cancer, which actually contains cancer-causing ingredients!)


So What Should You Be Doing?

While I’m suggesting you ditch the sun block, I’m not suggesting you forget about staying safe in the sun. If you’re going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, the best thing to do is cover bare skin up with clothing.

If that’s not an option, or you don’t want to cover up, then you can use a natural sun protector like Harmony Body Butter. This helps protect the skin from the sun (and can even be used in the water!). Unlike sun block, Harmony Body Butter lets the skin absorb UVB rays, thereby allowing it to make vitamin D.

Remember, all you need is 15-20 minutes in the noon-day sun to get your daily dose of vitamin D. You DO NOT need to stay exposed long enough to burn (or even tan) your skin. If you’re thinking staying out longer is beneficial because you’ll get even more vitamin D, think again! Your body can actually only make a set amount of vitamin D each day – around “10,000 to 25,000 IU” (Vitamin D Council 2017) – and this is easily attained within the timeframe mentioned above.

Contact Harmony in Health for more sun safety tips!


References

Vitamin D Council (2017) https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how- do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/

SunFriend (2015) https://sunfriend.com/blogs/news/48281409-15-reasons-why- the-sun-is-good-for-you

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