Safe Sun Advice:
- Get sun! Don’t use a sunscreen unless you are going to have prolonged exposure and are at risk for burning. If you must use a sunscreen follow my sunscreen tips below.
- Aim for 15-20 minutes of sun per day, avoiding the peak times for UV ray exposure.
- The areas of the body most susceptible to skin damage are the face and neck, so use sunglasses, hats, clothing, and lip balm to protect these areas during longer exposure.
- It’s more protective to get daily moderate exposure rather than sporadic exposure. A tan is your body’s natural mechanism to protecting cell’s DNA from free-radical damage.
- Increase antioxidant-rich raw fruits and vegetables to quench free radicals. Also, supplement daily with fish oils (omega 3’s) to help decrease inflammation caused by UV rays.
- Keep well hydrated in the sun, especially during times of increased activity. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, for a woman weighing 150 lbs, she should drink 75 ounces per day. Since there are 8 ounces per glass, this works out to be about 9 glasses of water a day.
- Don’t use it unless you absolutely have to. My rules for “have to” are: a) you’re forced to be in direct sunlight for longer than safe periods, b) you’re not able to protect your skin from sun damage using clothing, and c) you’re subjected to intense rays without the ability to build up protection.
- Avoid commercial sunscreens. Over 90% contain octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), the main chemical used to filter UVB rays, which has been shown to kill mouse cells, even in small doses. Studies have shown the toxic chemicals used in sunscreen are absorbed through the skin directly into the blood.
- Questionable toxins in sunscreen include: octyl salicyclate, avobenzone, oxybenzone, phenylbenzimidazole, cinoxate, homosalate and trolamine salicyclate, among others.
- If you must use sunscreen, purchase a high-quality natural one from a health food store.
For more information, read the Environmental Working Group’s exposé on the 9 Surprising Truths of sun screen.