Health Benefits of the Sun & my Favorite 1 Ingredient Broad Spectrum Natural Sunscreen
I love the sun! I like to joke and say that I must be solar powered because I feel so much better when the sun is shining. Do you feel that way, too?
There’s a good explanation as to why that is! Today I’m going to tell you the health benefits of the sun and why it’s essential for vibrant health to practice safe sun exposure.
There are so many healing benefits of the sun from strengthening our immune system to regulating thyroid function, from improving mental health to even protecting (yes, protecting!) us from many different kinds of cancers.
As soon as warm weather hits and the sun is beaming, you better believe that I’ll be outside, sensibly taking advantage of the many healing benefits of the sunshine.
Smart sun exposure, without sunscreen or covering up, during mid day when UVB rays are the strongest, is not only healthy, but crucial for good health!
Wait a minute! Are you crazy?! Everyone says that the sun CAUSES skin cancer!
Hear me out on this one! According to the statistics, skin cancer rates are skyrocketing despite the fact that we as a whole are spending far less amounts of time in the sun and wearing more sunscreen than ever. Something doesn’t add up! And “paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared to indoor workers.” Studies are now saying that Vitamin D from sun exposure may actually help prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, skin, prostate and colon.
Safe sun exposure is healthy and crucial for good health!
The media loves to exaggerate the negative effects of the sun and often fails to tell us “the other side of the story” despite the latest research that overwhelmingly tells a different story.
Americans have been scared to get in the sun for fear of getting skin cancer or premature aging.
As a result, people slather on the sunscreens, cover up and completely block out our highest source of Vitamin D and one of the best sources of natural healing — the sun!
And that’s a real problem.
Why is that a problem? Experts agree that 70-90% of us do not get enough Vitamin D. And lack of this crucial vitamin is at the root of many chronic diseases including cancer, depression, obesity, autoimmune and thyroid disorders, and many more.
Let me tell you how big of a deal Vitamin D is for our body:
Every cell in our body has receptors for Vitamin D!
Every cell! It’s responsible for supporting the immune system, supporting bone growth and development, regulating thyroid function, strengthening the nervous system, regulating cardiac function and so much more. But the sun’s benefits go way beyond just Vitamin D. The sun helps skin disorders, is especially helpful for acne, psoriasis and eczema. It provides cancer protection, helps the heart, lowers blood pressure and is crucial for good mental health. Sun exposure even reduces bacteria counts by as much as 50% from infections!
Our body actually needs the UVB rays from the sun to produce sufficient amounts of Vitamin D because Vitamin D is extremely difficult to get from diet alone.
That’s why it’s crucial for your health to practice sensible, non burning, midday, sun exposure without sunscreen!
How to Practice Safe, Healthy Sun Exposure
It is the UVB rays that produce Vitamin D in our bodies and these rays are most plentiful during mid-day. During that time, get in the sun with the least amount of clothes for as long as your skin can tolerate before you start to burn. For fair skinned people this might be only 3 minutes. For dark complexions, it can be 20 to 30 minutes. Gradually your skin will be able to tolerate more and more. After you have reached your maximum amount of time in the sun without burning or turning pink (or a 30 minute max time), put on some sunscreen or cover up or just get out of the sun. Make sure to never allow yourself to burn!
When the weather is warm and the sun is shining, I always take my lunch break outside where I can get at least 20 minutes of good sun exposure. I soak up that important Vitamin D and then get back to work feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Healthier Sunscreen Options
If you’re a regular around here, you’ve probably already guessed that I’m not a big fan of commerical sunscreens. Most contain some questionable and not so healthy ingredients. Parabens and other various synthetic chemical ingredients and fragrances are known hormone disruptors, carcinogens and can cause allergies.
Since other effective and more natural sunscreen options exist, I prefer to choose healthier, natural sunscreens with ingredients that have been well researched and shown as safe and non-toxic. I always check any store bought beauty and personal care products in the EWG skin deep database. Anything with a rating of 2 and under has been tested as clean and safe.
My Favorite Healthy Natural Sunscreen
My very favorite natural sunscreen and what I use personally for my sun protection is just pure Red Raspberry Seed Oil (I use THIS one). Red Raspberry Seed Oil has been tested as comparable to a broad spectrum titanium dioxide sunscreen of SPF 28-50 that provides both UVA and UVB sun protection (You can view the study findings HERE). I used red raspberry seed oil as my sunscreen all last summer and I’m planning to this summer, too. I put it on after about 20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure. It’s wonderful and works so well for us!
THIS brand is my all time favorite for red raspberry seed oil. Unlike a few of the other red raspberry seed oils that I’ve tried that have a slight fishy smell, this one smells absolutely divine with hints of raspberry. Yum! I look for any excuse to use my red raspberry seed oil. It’s rich in antioxidants and provides many anti-aging and healthy skin benefits. My face loves it! It’s especially known for helping skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, too. I love it so much! 🙂
Red raspberry seed oil is one of the only oils that provides BOTH UVB and UVA sun protection. While it’s true that other oils and butters like coconut oil, carrot seed oil, avocado, olive oil, shea and cocoa butters do offer some sun protection, but it’s only UVB protection. They do not offer any UVA protection (which is the more harmful kind!). That’s just something to be aware of if you seek out homemade sunscreen recipes.
Other healthy natural sunscreen options
If you are looking for a healthy, natural sunscreen formula that is the same texture as commercial sunscreens, my top pick is from a company called Badger. Badger sunscreens are what I chose to use before I discovered red raspberry seed oil. All of the Badger sunscreen products (you can find them all HERE) rate 1 and under in the EWG database, meaning the ingredients have been researched and tested as clean and safe. They’re great!
What if I can’t get out in the sun?
Although I think natural options are always best (read why HERE), it’s unrealistic to think that we can spend 20 or so minutes in the mid-day sun every day. So if you can’t get out in the sun or during the cooler weather months, you may see a big benefit from supplementing with a good quality Vitamin D supplement. I know I do! HERE is a great Vitamin D supplement that I recommend.
I hope this post provides you with some good information to make informed choices when it comes to sun exposure. Happy Safe Sun Tanning! 🙂