We are in the middle of wonderful-summer. This is a time of year that I personally look forward to during the cold, wet months of November and February. To be out in the world, not bundled up against the elements, to enjoy the health benefits of the sunshine, and the fresh air, road trips and of course, watermelon for dinner.
There is quite a bit of misinformation about how sunlight works with our bodies, perpetuated by the misled medical community. The latest research is showing that sunscreen is loaded with toxic chemicals that do more harm to our systems than good, and that sunlight is REQUIRED for a health immune system, not the Big Bad Wolf. So let me begin by telling you that your dermatologist will get angry with my point of view, but that this point of view is based on how our physiology ACTUALLY works, and has been tried and tested by many, and published in peer-reviewed journals over the past several years.
I am not about to tell you that getting sunburned is a good idea, or without side effects. Indeed, repeated burns ARE an indication that we are at higher risk for developing skin cancer. BUT! Our bodies need VASTLY more than 20 minutes of sun exposure a day to make enough vitamin D, especially in the northeast, where the sunlight is weak 70% of the year. Vitamin D levels exceed 10,000 i.u.’s a day when we are in the sun enough, and this is a GOOD thing. Besides storing it for winter months, the extra vitamin D fights cancer, keeps us healthy now, balances brain chemistry and more! This is big stuff, guys. We need sunlight.
Sunscreen actually blocks the weaker rays of the sun that will lay down a protective “base tan” and prevent burned skin. The stronger rays can still penetrate the sunscreen (and do), thus moving right through the superficial layers of the skin, to the deeper layers, where there is less cell turn over, and more room for cell mutation (cancer) to occur. The chemicals from the sunscreen seep into your skin, and cause inflammation in your system as well. All the buzz in the health world is about inflammation these days. Essentially, inflammatory chemicals, when numerous in the blood for a long period of time, make a nice environment for things like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes. When we decrease inflammation, we decrease risk for ALL disease and pain. Bottom line: tan safely, over time, and you’re safer than if you only get a slight tan because you’re always slathered in SPF 30.
There are plenty of ways to do it SAFELY so we don’t burn, and we don’t need to use the toxic junk found in ordinary sunscreens.
Take extra calcium lactate 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, and then every 1-2 hours again, while out in the sun. Why? Our bodies need calcium to USE that lovely sunlight and activate vitamin D. When we burn, it’s actually our bodies telling us we are too low on blood levels of calcium to continue to function and feel good at the same time. Ever been sick, or exhausted after too much sun? That’s one of the main reasons, along with dehydration. Oh, and yes, the type of calcium matters. Calcium lactate has an extremely high rate of absorption, so you know that when you take it, it works. If you can’t find it, call the office, as I stock it in large bottles during summer months.
Take extra fish oil before you go out. It’s great for supporting skin health, and is amazing at preventing burns even in the most sensitive skins.
Don’t go out during “peak sun hours” if you have NO base tan, or are very fair, for more than 45 minutes to an hour without extra calcium and water.
Bring sleeves and shade, so that if you feel that slight painful start of a burn, you can immediately cover up. Toss some aloe in your bag, too, and rub it in along with an oil listed below, to help protect your skin.
Eat bunches of antioxidants: brightly colored vegetables, leafy greens, dark berries, and dark chocolate just to name a few. All antioxidants help in proper cell health (and programmed cell death, or apoptosis), thus preventing cancerous changes at the cellular level.
Use natural sunscreens if you are fair-skinned, and worried about over-exposure. The picture below will help you find some suitable ingredients, or you can shop at your local health food store (in Leominster: Roots Natural Foods) and find a good one.
See your chiropractor regularly to ensure that your immune system is functioning properly and your body can heal as fast as possible if you do get a burn of some sort.
And of course, treat your skin with respect. Your skin is your largest organ, and is a major player in detoxification and your body’s defense system. Don’t abuse it, and if any of this information is confusing to you, call the office to schedule some time to have your questions answered.
Here are some natural sunscreens, and you can look online for recipes to make your own:
Most of these oils can be found at the health food store, or certainly online at sites like frontiercoop.com or bulkapothecary.com.
Use your common sense, stay healthy, stay well,
Have additional questions? Contact below in comments, at email@example.com, Website, Facebook, or Twitter!
Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana
If you do not already have a local chiropractor, call Dr. Tijana at 706.254.4579 to schedule your first appointment for YOU & YOUR FAMILY for a comprehensive health assessment TODAY!