Let the Sun Shine In!

As summer kicks into high gear, take full advantage of the sun’s benefits. The sun is great for your immune system, for your Vitamin D storage, for your brain’s happy factors, and more.

The sun produces Vitamin D on your skin, but only during the summer, only in the middle of the day from about 10-2 p.m., and only if you are not wearing sunscreen. Allow twenty minutes outdoors, without sunscreen, during these hours to give your body time to make some natural vitamin D.

Tips for healthy sunscreen use

Be smart about your skin health while you have fun in the sun.

Remember, your skin is an absorptive organ and anything you put on it must be food grade. Just as with your daily moisturizers, the oils in sunscreens need to be food oils. These food oils can become rancid in a sunscreen container, so take these precautions:

  • Try to keep your sunscreen cool, to preserve the oils.
  • Take a small travel bottle with you for excursions to the beach or camping so the entire container doesn’t get hot outdoors.
  • Buy new sunscreen every year. Last year’s product has had air in the container for months, which will cause rancidity.

Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s annually updated sunscreen safety ratings for information about each product’s contents and safety factors.

Love the skin you’re in

Moisturizing with fats such as coconut oil can help prevent skin damage. Moisten your skin with water first, so the oil will seal in the moisture of the water. And if you love the smell of coconut, as I do, you’ll find yourself surrounded in its aroma – a waaaay sweeter smell than my childhood memory of Coppertone.

Buy an aloe vera plant! The gel inside its leaves is renowned for soothing burns and accelerating the healing of the skin. Tear off a small section at the end of one leaf, peel it open, and scrape out the gel inside. Mix this with some water and liquid coconut oil for a healing moisturizer on damaged skin.

Commercial aloe gel products just aren’t reliable for true aloe content, so please don’t even bother. Aloe plants are very easy to grow and not at all expensive. If you keep it in a kitchen window, it will be there to help with the small mishaps that happen around hot stoves.