Sunbathing season is finally here! For all you sun worshipers, I’ve got some “glaring” information that might help to open your eyes. This season join me in the “slow sun movement” and begin by choosing safer alternatives to protect you and your littles from harmful UV rays this summer.
In recent years, the fear of skin cancer and premature aging has casted a dark cloud over sunlight. This shift has caused a major deficiency in Vitamin D for many, especially in children. Unfortunately, a lack of this essential nutrient can lead to poor bone health and a compromised immune system. The truth is we can appreciate the benefits of the sun without causing harm. Respectful sun worship can be managed – just be mindful of the risks and seek some rays in moderation.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) approximately 75% of commercial sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer and disrupt normal hormone function. This is some “shady” news, which is why I opt for the non-toxic solution, coconut oil. This natural gift from Mother Nature doesn’t contain health-compromising ingredients. It works by blocking out as much as 20% of the sun’s harmful rays. Basically, you don’t want to block 100% of rays as it is a great way to increase your intake of Vitamin D. When applied externally it acts to strengthen the skin and make it less prone to sunburn. Simply apply coconut oil in solid or liquid form to the exposed skin every hour for maximum protection.
The reason why sunscreen is considered to be unsafe, especially for babies is due to a couple of valid reasons. For one, an infant’s skin is much thinner than an adults so it absorbs the active chemical ingredients in sunscreen more easily. Another explanation is that babies have a greater surface-area to body-weight ratio; in other words, more toxic absorption. Both these factors combined puts babies at a greater risk of exposure to harsh chemicals. In general, avoid any questionable chemicals and potentially harmful ingredients. Try to stick to organic or natural mineral-based sunscreens. Just remember, anything you put on your skin can be absorbed by your body, particularly the chemicals used in conventional sunscreens as they have a high absorption rate. Simply put, it is best not to use anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.
The benefits of coconut oil are endless and increasingly becoming well-known. Some positive aspects of using this natural oil is the added shine and moisture it gives skin as it works to block harmful UV rays. The equivalence in protection is about SPF 15 and while it shields your skin from burning, it still allows you to gain the health benefits of sun exposure without absorbing unnecessary toxins. Another plus side to using this oil is that it doesn’t have a strong, lingering odour. It actually reminds me of being on vacation with it’s subtle tropical scent. There’s a reason why Native Pacific Islanders have been slathering it on since the beginning of time. The final kicker is that you can pick up a big vat of it at any local grocery store for a decent price and it lasts forever.
Whenever possible, it is best to avoid direct sun exposure and dress in light layers, especially for children under one. You can also avoid outdoor activities during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is strongest. If it’s unavoidable, find coverage under a large umbrella to protect sensitive skin from the rays and out of direct sunlight.
Regardless of some valid concerns, the sun is vital to our existence. It gives us the healthy glow of life, so why on earth would we want to turn our backs on it!?! We must outweigh the risks and consider the advantages. Lets arrive at the conclusion that while we need to take some precautions, the many benefits of enjoying the great outdoors is worth the extra effort. With some simple preventive measures in place, you can put on your sunnies and step into the light. And while you’re basking in the afternoon sun, give natural sun protection a go and see if you too will switch to this safer and more affordable sun-care alternative. Click here to get natural and safe sun protection now.