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June 17

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Tan Safely; Don’t Burn!

sunscreen tips

Ah, summer! The time of year when kids are out of school, the days are longer, and Texas afternoons revolve around water! Summer outdoor activities may be some of my most favorite things to do - spending lazy days by the pool, cruising around the lake on a boat, or even splashing through the beach waves.

While I am a big proponent of the importance of Vitamin D (that blog is coming soon!), it is so essential to protect our skin!

Check out these helpful tips for enjoying the summer sun while also protecting your largest organ:

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The Importance of Sun Exposure

Our body absorbs the most Vitamin D between the hours of 10-2PM. That is when the UV-B rays are most present, which is what our body needs to convert sunlight into beneficial Vitamin D.

  • Low Vitamin D can increase your risk of allergies, certain cancers, chronic pain, cold and flu, and eczema, just to name a few.
  • Research has shown that a safe tan can protect us from getting Melanoma.
  • To ensure you tan safely, apply sunscreen to areas of your skin more prone to burning.

Use the Right Sunscreen

Until recently, I thought all sunscreens were created equal. Sure, I could get a “less harmful” brand with more natural ingredients, but I didn’t realize most of the sunscreens I was using (“natural” or not) contain ingredients that aren’t even deemed “safe & effective” by the FDA! It wasn’t until I listened to a lecture by founder and director of GrassrootsHealth, Carole Baggerly, that I discovered it really did matter what chemicals made up the sunscreen I was using for my family and me. 

Choose sunscreens that contain one of the two safest ingredients (as listed by the FDA) to protect our skin:

  • Zinc Oxide
  • Titanium Dioxide

Sunscreens containing one of these products protect over a broad spectrum of UV rays, giving you the best and most effective coverage. They are also photostable and water-resistant.

Since these ingredients don’t contain harmful chemicals, they are safe for even sensitive skin. Yay!

I have tested a sunscreen containing only zinc oxide on a few of my fair-skinned family members, and it worked wonders! Even my husband, who always burns at the beginning of the summer, raved about how well the sunscreen works!

Use lotions, not sprays

No matter how safe a product is, when you use sprays, extra chemicals are released into the atmosphere and breathed in by the person next to you. While protecting our skin, we need to protect our lungs as well. As a momma of two littles, I know how convenient and time-saving sprays can be, trust me! If a spray is the only option, spray it into your hand first, then apply from there. That way, it isn’t spraying all over everything within a 2-foot radius.

Lotions allow you to apply sunscreen thickly and regularly. If used appropriately (not just a thin layer once every 4 hours), sunscreen can protect your skin from burning while allowing you to get that nice sun-kissed look.

Don’t be afraid of allowing your skin to absorb the useful sunlight; just be smart by protecting it correctly so you can enjoy it for years to come!

Resources:

Baggerly, Carole. “Vitamin D.” drsearscoachesportal.com

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