Sun Exposure Has Many Benefits, But You Should Also Occasionally Protect Yourself from It.
Being outdoors and enjoying sunshine are certainly things that I value and I find very important for our overall well-being. I feel there are so many benefits to the body both physically and mentally from simply being outdoors.
Too much of a good thing can actually be harmful as well.
The sun is no exception to this rule.
It is important to understand how to "toe the line" when it comes to balancing the benefits of sun exposure to the health risks of overexposure. We need sun protection just as much as Vitamin D production. Too much sun exposure can cause serious harm so caution is required.
Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin
Quick Facts from the Journal of Pharmacology's Vitamin D report:
A Quick Tip from the International Journal of Health Sciences report on Vitamin D Deficiency Prevention:
So I suppose we understand that Vitamin D is important. It is important for reducing all cause mortality rates. Optimal levels of Vitamin D appear to be correlative in reducing some falls, preventing muscle weakness, important for bone health, important for heart health, cognitive impairment implications, and potential anticancer implications.
Alright, alright. Vitamin D is important and the primary way we get it is through sun exposure. Enough already, right?! Wrong!
There can be too much of a good thing here. It is called sun overexposure. Sun overexposure potentially predisposes you to the following:
Sunblock vs. Sunscreen
Regarding UV protection: UVA protection is for protection from skin aging. UVB protection is for protection from sunburn. Both are harmful if overexposure is reached.
SPF is sun protection factor. The SPF is how long the sunscreen or sunblock will protect you from the sun's UVB rays. Broad spectrum SPF is rated for blocking a percentage of both UVA and UVB rays. For example, an SPF 50 will take 50 times longer to burn than unprotected skin.
Sunscreen uses chemicals to absorb and attenuate UV rays from the sun. Sunscreen typically is absorbed quickly into the skin when compared to sunblock which necessitates more frequent reapplication times.
Sunblock physically protects the skin from UV rays via a blocking effect via gentle ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are reportedly valuable for those with sensitive skin. Sunblock typically stays on the skin much longer and less frequent reapplication is required.
Sunblock technically provides better protection as it blocks a significantly greater amount of UV rays from reaching the skin when compared to sunscreen.
As an adult, I’m grateful that I have taken time to actually learn how to take care of my health. Over the last 5 years, so much of my lifestyle has changed because I realized that I wasn't going to get any younger. The choices that I am making in my life now are for prevention and healthy aging. I am learning how to protect myself from harmful things that increase my risk for disease later in life. I know that anything can happen, but I try my best to make healthy decisions for the sake of longevity.
My path wasn't always so healthy but I am glad that I found a wellness community. To be honest with you, it’s really scary to think about my skin health as a teenager. I was literally outside in the sun and sometimes unprotected for hours.
I’m disgusted and even horrified to even think about the times when I wore tanning oil or bronzer instead of sunblock. These memories of my adolescence, remind me of the lyrics, “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger” from The Faces. Thankfully, times have changed drastically for the better and those bad lifestyle habits didn't last long.
Almost a decade ago, I had a scary and life-changing wake up call. I realized I needed to reconsider the health of my skin after having several irregular moles removed from my chest. Ever since then, my lifestyle has greatly changed in all areas but also including how I care for my skin while outside. I found a lot of great information about skin health and skin protection from Skin Cancer Foundation.
Please don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the sun and a summer tan, but I do things much differently now. I continue my annual skin exam at my dermatologist for a peace of mind and to make sure I’m doing things the right way now. I also religiously wear sunblock, sunglasses, and spend a little more time in shaded areas. Lastly and most importantly, I consider the type of sunblock that I use on my skin.
When choosing sunscreen its important to find chemical free ingredients that will protect your skin by a physical barrier instead of chemical barriers.
This is why I prefer using sunblock over sunscreen.
After getting started with Young Living Essential Oils, I became aware that traditional, store-bought products commonly include many harsh chemical ingredients that are often untested and poorly regulated. Please consider reading our dirty secrets of the cosmetics industry post for more details on this!
Remember, the skin is widely considered our largest organ, so using harmful products actually exposes our body to dangerous toxins. Many products can be listed as "natural" and "hypoallergenic" without that actually meaning a thing according to the FDA.
When doing research, I sometimes see or hear people say a small amount may not be harmful, but I think about how many product I use everyday and how many years I use the same products on my body. To me that seems like a great exposure to unnecessary chemicals. The skin actually absorbs the ingredients into the bloodstream, which over time causes bioaccumulation or chronic damage to our cells, organs, and body. Decades of using chemical filled products may cause implications with how our body is supposed to work, which is why I choose to use Young Living Essential Oil products, including the mineral sunscreen.
Learn about your products
There are two things that I talk about often and feel are important to understand: greenwashing and label deception. Once I had the knowledge that all products are not equal, I actually too the time to look at labels, research ingredients, and understand which ingredients were chemicals, I felt empowered to change my choices.
The first thing that made a big difference in my choices was becoming a knowledgeable consumer and learning how to read labels. I found that reading labels can be challenging because of greenwashing, which is a marketing technique that companies use to make their products appear "greener" and "eco-friendly" despite containing known toxic ingredients. I see this happening all around me, specially when looking at personal care or cleaning products.
Unfortunately, companies are able to make product packaging look like everything we want it to be. They are very good at creating an illusion of a safe product, yet often times its still filled with toxic ingredients because of the lack of regulations. They have millions of dollars in marketing and consumer testing to determine the most effective advertising strategies, regardless of how it impacts our health.
You will find the most information about the product is in the ingredients list which is located on the back of the label. The scary truth is even this list can be misleading or confusing because toxic ingredients have many synonyms. Companies know that consumers may be looking for words like formaldehyde, so they are able to list another name that we may not be looking for yet its still within the product. These scary marketing techniques and rules regarding ingredients occur because of The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 which I have discussed before in our cosmetics industry post.
The TSCA grandfathered approximately 63,000 chemical compounds that were not required to undergo testing or be held to new standards of product safety and efficacy.
In addition, terms such as "fragrance" often acts as an umbrella term for many other chemicals added to the product. Companies do not have to disclose the chemicals truthfully in the product because they are able to put many ingredients under the term fragrance on the label.
Everything about this information make me infuriated which is why I am here. My goal is to continue to share and spread awareness. Young Living Essential Oils offers simple and affordable ways to ditch harmful chemicals by switching to plant based products.
What to Look for In Sun Protection Products
Since sunscreen is applied all over our skin, all summer long, it's important to read the labels and consider the ingredients before choosing a brand. By using Young Living Mineral Sunscreen I am able to avoid exposure to chemicals, support my skin, and prevent sunburn!
The 10 Harshest Ingredients Common to Sun Protection Products
Young Living's Natural Mineral Sunscreen
To avoid the harmful ingredients and the concerns from traditional products, I use Young Living Essential Oils Mineral Sunscreen, a product that actually has expanded the Over the Counter Line Young Living offers members. I have been using this sunscreen for two summers and I really like how it has been supporting my skin in the sun.
Young Living Sunscreen is formulated with plant and mineral based ingredients for all skin types to protect from UVB and UVA rays and prevent sunburn. Since I have very sensitive skin the gentle formulation that actually moisturizes and soothes my skin so I apply it to my face every morning before applying my Savvy Mineral Makeup. I actually even apply the sunscreen when I am going to be in the shade or in the car because I realize that the sun's rays reflect everywhere so I always want to be protected.
I love that it’s actually easy to use and pretty fast-absorbing. I typically apply the sunscreen at least 15 minutes before I am going to be exposed to the sun or when I am getting ready in the morning.
Of course, as a Young Living product, it’s infused with Helichrysum, Lavender, Myrrh, Labdanum, Cananga, Carrot Seed, and Frankincense which are some of the best known skin supporting essential oils. The mineral sunscreen from Young Living contains non-nano zinc oxide, which provides a physical barrier to prevent sunburn.
There are even two options, SPF 10 and SPF 50, which are both water and sweat resistant up to 80 minutes, hypoallergenic, and reef safe!
And last but not least, I use Young Living Essential Oil Mineral Sunscreen over any other brand because it is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen!
Please be smart when choosing products. If necessary, consult with a physician or dermatologist regarding the most appropriate and effective combination of sun exposure and sun protection to properly manage your health!
Related Essentially Well Posts:
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