Practicing Safe Sun

Sun damage is real. It can start out looking like a harmless freckle and become something sinister.

Protecting your skin from too much sun exposure is imperative for skin health and appearance. Sunburns and peeling cause deep damage to your skin on a cellular level and can permanently change the structure of your skin.

Experts agree that some daily sun exposure is vital for vitamin D production and for those of us who live far away from the equator, it’s even more important to get some sunscreen free exposure.

One way to do that safely is to be outside without sunscreen in the early morning sunshine in the spring and summer from 7 to 9 am. This way you’ll get natural Vitamin D and the angle of the sun at that time of day does not point directly down on you like it does at noon. You can take advantage of that by getting sun without the burn risk.

According to recent studies in , The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a few minutes of non sunscreen exposure in the warmer months is also beneficial; “in the UK, 9 min per day between March and September, exposing the forearms, lower legs, hands and face (from June to August) and just the hands and face (March to May, September) was enough for adequate Vitamin D exposure (Mendes et al., 2019a).”

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When choosing sun protection, I find that mineral sunscreens work best and don’t have harmful ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate, ethylhexyl and methooxycinnamate. Instead, try looking for brands that use ingredients like avobenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These ingredients are far better for the skin and the environment especially if the label says ,”barrier safe”.

And as always, regular check ups with the dermatologist are an important part of skin health so be sure to ask your doctor for more information.




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