This post was written in collaboration with Kortni Jeane, however, all opinions are my own.
Getting out in the sunshine each day has a wide variety of benefits. But like many good things, it’s all about balance and moderation. And while some daily sun exposure can be an excellent and vital part of your overall health and wellness, if you are going to be out in the sunshine for an extended period of time, it is important to be aware of how to protect yourself and your family.
Let’s chat why it’s important to get out in the sunshine for a minute. For starters, a good 15-20 minutes of sun a day has the potential to increase one’s levels of Vitamin D, which not only contributes to bone health but decreases your risk of various diseases. Exposure to sunlight is also thought to increase our brain’s release of serotonin which can boost both our mood and ability to focus. And if those aren’t reason enough, a good dose of daily sun time can actually reduce one’s risk of some specific cancers. You heard that right – the sun doesn’t just contribute to cancer rates like we hear far too often.
But it is important to learn your limits and exercise caution to avoid putting yourself at risk for some of the potentially harmful effects of the sun. The following are a few natural ways you can use every day to do just this.
Gradual sun exposure. Getting much too much exposure at one time can cause a sunburn. And a sunburn is never good. Start slow, particularly if you been cooped up during those long winter months, and gradually increase your time to avoid burning.
Spend time in the shade. Instead of going indoors, find a shady spot to hang out, if needed. There are so many benefits to being outdoors, including just some good old fresh air that you can still take advantage of in the shade. Have little ones that like to play in the sandbox, at their water table etc.? If possible, set this up in the shade so that they can play uninterrupted for as long as they wish.
Avoid the sun between the hours and 10am-2pm. The suns UV rays are strongest during these peak hours, and some may say even up to 4pm. If at all possible, try and limit your unprotected sun exposure during this window.
Wear protective clothing. Yes, you may get a few looks when you are wearing your long-sleeved shirt on a beautiful sunny and 85 degree day, but you, in fact, may be the smart one. And many lightweight fabrics can even keep you cooler. Heading to the pool? Consider a rash guard- especially for little ones. It can protect them from the sun, while simultaneously keeping them warm when they hit the cooler water. We love the high quality, stylish options offered by Kortni Jeane.
Wear a hat & sunglasses. Because your face and eyes are important! The skin on our face and neck are not only often the most vulnerable to sun damage, but they are often the place that get the most neglected causing thinning skin, wrinkles, or worse over time if we don’t work to protect it.
Diet & Supplements. Did you know a an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich diet coupled with certain supplements actually has the potential to improve your body’s sun tolerance. Check out this post from Wellness Mama entitled “How I Eat my Sunscreen” to learn more.
Use sunscreen when necessary. That said, not all sunscreen is created equal. And many on the market today contain questionable ingredients that have the potential to have a negative impact on the health of you and your loved ones. Do you research – and don’t always assume that just because something says “free and clear” or “pure and natural” that is is safe. Check out this article from the EWG for information on some of the most troubling sunscreen ingredients and their potential effects.
Looking for a safer option for your family? The following sunscreens top my recommendation list for having clean and high quality ingredients. Each product and/or it’s ingredients when compiled receives an overall score of “1” (the lowest possible) on the EWG rating scale for toxicity.
Young Living Mineral Sunscreen Lotion (You are welcome to use my Enroller/Sponsor ID: 14075696 to purchase this product (I just get a small amount of kickback.))
Beauty Counter Mineral Sunscreen (You will need to find a consultant to purchase this one. I would be happy to recommend one.)
Make Your Own: Try this recipe from Dr. Axe.
There really isn’t any better feeling that the sunshine on your skin on a beautiful summer day. And with good reason, as the sun is truly a vital life source for us as living beings. But because it is such a powerful source of energy, please exercise consistent caution for yourself and your family in the summer time and beyond. Your skin and your body will thank you for it.
Did you love our matching swimmers in this post? Head on over to Kortni Jeane to snag some of your own for your entire family.
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Great post! I am definitely sharing this with my Tribe! Such basic recommendations yet ones we NEED to hear! And I love your sunscreen recs 🙂
Leah @ Lunch with Leah
Glad it was helpful, Leah! And thank you for sharing!