Sunshine is soooo good for us. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter thought to play an important role in depression is boosted by exposure to sunlight, and Vitamin D (the bone boosting hormone) is created by exposure sunlight in summer. In fact, just 20 minutes of daily exposure to sunlight can create enough Vitamin D to last us for up to nine months! No wonder it feels so good to lay in the sun and soak up those warm, golden rays.
Skin cancer, however, is on the rise (1), despite the increased use of sunscreen. So, how do we get enough enough of these important hormones and neurotransmitters and still stay safe in the sun?
Safe exposure to the sun means sunbathing until your skin starts to turn slightly pink (about 20 minutes), after that point, you should cover up by applying a zinc-based sunscreen (the only type of sunscreen that is not absorbed into the bloodstream) OR by wearing light clothing. You can find a list of safe sunscreens on the Environmental Working Group’s website.
If you do plan to be out-and-about during the day, follow these simple guidelines to ensure you stay safe in the sun:
🌞 Stay in the shade as much as possible during the hottest part of the day and cover up when your skin starts to turn pink.
🌞 Only apply suncreens containing skin-safe minerals zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (2).
🌞 After your period of safe sun exposure, wear a hat, sunglasses and light clothing.
🌞 Consider adding products containing Astaxanthin to your daily supplement routine. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant thought to protect our bodies against radiation.
So, get out there and play in the sun, safely of course 😀
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1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2014.
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