Sun Protection From the Inside Out

Written by on June 25, 2012 in Health & Wellness, Natural Living - No comments

 

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We have been told for years that we should use sunscreen and minimize sun exposure. Many  people have been covering up their bodies with sunscreen for years, without realizing that the sunscreen actually blocks the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D from the sun. Not only can sunscreens reduce the vitamin D production in the body by as much as 99%, but many of these sunscreens also contain dangerous chemicals.

Vitamin D is very important to our health, and according to Dr. Mercola, new studies show that 85% of the Americans are deficient in vitamin D. The body needs to be exposed to natural sunlight. Studies  have also shown that people being outdoors without being sunburned decrease their risk of getting melanoma.

 

The are many benefits of Vitamin D including:

  • Support of the immune system;
  • Helping to keep the bones strong;
  • Support of cardiovascular health; and,
  • Support in keeping teeth healthy.

The best is to limit your exposure to the sun and gradually building up the skin’s exposure to the sun, instead of spending hours outside the first time after winter. Eat appropriate food and supplements to protect the skin from the inside, and wear protective clothing.

Protect the skin from the inside:

Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids keep the nutrients and the water in, but keep the toxins out by maintaining the cell membranes. They have anti-inflammatory properties. Skin cells made of essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 are better at handling free radicals than cells made of saturated fat. It is hard to come by non toxic fish today, and even supplements have been found to be toxic.

Be picky when you buy fish and make sure you avoid farm raised salmon since the omega 3 level is not very high. They most likely include many toxins and chemicals due to being raised in a fish farm. You also want to stay away from bottom feeder fish. Good sources of Essential Fatty acids are wild salmon, herring, mackerel (not king), anchovies, flax seed and walnuts.

Supplementation is also an option if you don’t eat fish about two – four times a week. According to Dr. Mercola, there is a chance that you receive too much vitamin D if you use cod liver in combination with sun exposure. So you might want to look into other essential fatty acid products if you spend a lot of time in the sun.

Antioxidants

Skin damage is caused by oxidation, free radicals steal electrons from healthy cells. Antioxidants neutralizes the free radicals. Carotenoids is one group of antioxidants with many healing benefits.  Lycopene is a carotene found in tomatoes, and other red fruits and vegetables such as carrots, watermelons and papayas. Lutein is another carotene found in dark green leafy vegetables. Betacarotene is found in carrots, cantaloup, pumpkin, apricots and sweet potato.

Other antioxidants we include are vitamin C and vitamin E. Vitamin C is involved in the production of collagen, as an antioxidant it protects the cells from free radical damage. Food high in vitamin C are bell peppers, broccoli, mangoes, oranges, pineapples, strawberries and tomatoes. Vitamin E can be found in wheat-germ, nuts, seeds, spinach and swiss chard.

Vegetable oils

Hazelnut oil has SPF 10 and sesame seed, coconut and other oils also offer some natural protection.

When you need sun screen

There are times when you absolutely need a sunscreen, especially when you find yourself out in the sun all day without any shade. You can try to make your own, or buy a natural sun screen without harmful chemicals.

Look for a a natural alternative without harmful chemicals such as octyl methoxycinnamate, Para amino benzoic acid, Octyl salicyclate, Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Cinoxate, Padimate O, Dioxybenzone, Phenylbenzimidazole, Homosalate, Sulisobenzone, Menthyl anthranilate, Trolamine salicyclate, Octocrylene, and parabens.

Sun burn and  insects

Make a soothing sun and insect spray so you are prepared for the summer.

Remember that is also very important that you stay well hydrated. Have a great summer!

Johanna Pedranti

About Johanna Pedranti

Johanna Pedranti is a an Aromatherapist. She makes her own products especially designed for sport. As an Aromatherapist she designs products specializing in maintaining the wellbeing of the body which is pushed by the sports to the limits of endurance, stamina and skill.

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