There’s no question that one of the best parts of Summer is the warm weather. The sun comes out meaning it's time to break out the bikinis and hit the beach! Finally, a little vitamin D and time to get the perfect golden tan … right? Well yes and no. Although sunlight offers us certain benefits, it can also wreak havoc on your skin! In fact, sunlight is the #1 cause of wrinkles and aging (1). In this blog, we're going to cover the goods and the bad effects of sunlight, and how some of the ingredients in our superfood blends can save your skin from sun damage.
Let’s begin with the positives. Sunlight is actually a very vital part of our overall health. First, it helps regulate our sleep cycles. This happens when the specific kind of light that the sun gives off causes our bodies to suppress the production of melatonin. Then, at night when the sun sets, our bodies begin to make melatonin again. High levels of melatonin in the body signal our brains that it's time to hit the hay and that's what helps us sleep soundly at night! (2)
Another big benefit of the sun is that it helps us make vitamin D. When our skin is exposed to the sun’s rays we begin to produce vitamin D. Many studies have found that we only really need about 20-30 minutes of sun a day before we max out the how much vitamin D we can produce. Vitamin D is important because it helps us maintain strong bones and can prevent issues like osteoporosis.
Another benefit of sunlight is how it affects your mood. Sunlight helps our bodies produce serotonin. This is the neurotransmitter in your brain that helps improve your mood, and low serotonin levels are associated with anxiety and depression. This is why some people have more issues with their mental health in the winter months when sunlight is scarce.
Although we need SOME sunlight to be healthy, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing (and the sun is no exception).
First off, sunlight is not your average kind of light. Sunlight gives off ultraviolet rays (UV), and that's what damages your cells. The ozone layer in the atmosphere blocks some of the rays, but not all of them. Also, when you expose your skin to sunlight, it darkens in the form of a tan as a way to protect the deeper layers of skin from UV radiation. When you are exposed to sunlight for too long, however, you may damage that deeper layer of skin in the form of a sunburn.
Sunburns and overall damage from UV rays can have lasting effects on your skin and overall health. The primary health concern with UV radiation is skin cancer. This happens when UV rays cause cells in the body to mutate as a result of the damage.
Sun damage can also hinder your immune system because your body uses its resources to heal the sunburn rather than protecting it from germs and other harmful particles that may enter your body. Last but not least, the damage from UV rays can cause serious aging in your skin! Sunlight is known to be the leading cause of early aging and wrinkles.
So how do we find a balance between good and bad amounts of sunlight? First, you should try to set limits on how much time you spend under the sun each day. For people with fair skin tones, this should be a lot less than people with naturally darker pigmentation in the skin. Aim for only 10-30 minutes to maintain your health.
Next, you should ALWAYS use SPF on your skin. This should be a daily practice, and it is recommended that everyone wear at least SPF 30. Do this even when it's cloudy because UV rays can penetrate through clouds. Many dermatologists also advise reapplying SPF every 2 hours for maximum protection!
Another powerful way we love using to protect our skin from long-term damage is having a diet high in antioxidants (3). These are particles found in certain foods that help to reverse the damage and stress our bodies are exposed to from things such as UV radiation. This is why we strive to show people like you how you can make health a part of your lifestyle. Our team loves our superfood blends. We have a carefully selected combination of healing spices and superfoods that are packed full of antioxidants. This helps heal your body in many ways but especially helps you maintain youthful glowing skin over time.