How To Benefit, and Protect Yourself, From Sun Exposure
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know well enough that sun exposure is not particularly good for your skin. Here in Beijing, you might assume that you are not getting a lot given the heavy pollution. Unfortunately, you would be wrong, as it is pretty well established that pollution doesn’t protect us from sun exposure: instead, it just makes the damage worse.
But is sun exposure all bad? No, of course not! The relationship between sun and skin is a complicated one, and today we’ll be talking about three things:
- The Pros of Sun Exposure For Health and Skin
- The Cons of Sun Exposure for Health and Skin
- Natural Care Products That Moderate the Impact of Sun Expo
We’d like to note that this piece is a little longer than our average post. We hope you’ll take the time to read all the way through, as there is a lot of valuable information. Let’s dive in!
Pros of Sun Exposure
The Sun Can Heal Skin Disorders
Yep, we are just as surprised as you! Apparently, sun exposure can help fight acne, eczema, fungal skin infections, and more. The power of the sun’s rays is definitely not something to mess with, and it’s safe to say that sun exposure was probably the first natural medicine. Of course, we’ll discuss a bit later why that also makes sun exposure dangerous for our skin.
More Sun = More Vitamin D
In case you haven’t heard, Vitamin D is vital to our health and well being. It is critical for maintaing our mental health, our bone structure and integrity, and even our lungs health. A lack of Vitamin D means increased risk of cancer, depression, and all sorts of other diseases. Sun exposure is the primary way we get Vitamin D, as our body produces it in response to sunlight. That sounds like a pretty good reason to sun bathe to me!
A Sunny Day Makes For A Happy, Healthy Heart
That’s right, sun exposure has tremendous value for heart health. When skin comes into contact with sunlight, it prompts the body to release compounds that lower blood pressure. In a city like Beijing, where pollution is constantly pushing our blood pressure up, it is good to know we can count on the sun to counteract this and protect us, at least somewhat, from the risks pollution has for our heart health.
Cons of Sun Exposure
Increased Risk of Cancer
It’s no secret in 2019: sun exposure can, and usually does, increase the risk of cancer more than it reduces it. While Vitamin D may reduce cancer risk generally, skin cancer risk increases with more time in the sun. Melanoma, Sarcoma. and Carcinoma are the three types of skin cancer which occur when we spend too much time in the sun unprotected. This is because the sun produces UV radiation which damages our skin by oxidation. This can be prevented or reduced of course (more on that in a bit).
That’s right, while wrinkles will develop from the aging process, sun exposure can damage our skin and lead to more rapid development of those wrinkles. This same sun damage can also lead to saggy skin. In short, sun exposure might lead to you looking older, faster, if you are not careful.
Sun Burns Are Real Burns
Most people have experienced a sun burn, but did you know that it is a real burn with all the same consequences a real burn has? Those include potentially permanent damage in the form of scarring, as well as pain and irritation of the skin. Sun burns range in severity, but avoiding them all together should be a consistent goal!
Natural Products for Dealing With Sun Exposure
Shea butter is a great natural product that can go directly from plant to skin with no intermediate steps. We will soon be writing about all of its amazing properties, but when it comes to dealing with the sun, shea butter really excels at reducing the visibility of sun damage by healing wrinkles. It is also a mild sunblock, and could be an acceptable alternative to sunscreen if you spend most of your day inside, as it does offer SPF 6 protection. Our partners Zest and Amaks Organix sell a range of products that utilize Shea Butter. Check out Zest products at sheisonpoint.com/brand/zest and Amaks products at sheisonpoint.com/brand/amaks-organix.
We already detailed the benefits of Beeswax, but one amazing property to consider is that, like Shea Butter, it does an excellent job of helping heal from sun damage. That’s definitely something to consider if your skin is suffering from too much sun exposure! Amaks Organix makes use of Beeswax in a number of its products. Check them out at sheisonpoint.com/brand/amaks-organix.
There is no better care product for your skin than sunscreen. All of the cons of sun exposure can be avoided simply by applying sunscreen. And yes, natural sunscreen is key. Sunscreen that uses too many ingredients (read: chemicals), pose more threats to your health than sun exposure does. Unfortunately, this is one product we don’t sell at sheisonpoint.com. We are working on it, but you can read more about our reasoning in an upcoming article!
In today’s world, full of warnings about the dire consequences of doing or not doing certain things for our health and future, it can be difficult to know what to do. When it comes to sun exposure, my advice is to pursue it in moderation, but to make sure you don’t miss out on some time in the sun everyday. Make sure also to use sunscreen or at least some kind of product that offers preventative or regenerative benefits. Sun exposure will likely do you more good than harm, so don’t miss out! We hope you, and your skin, get the best from the sun.