Sunshine and our health – Part 2 – Welcome. This is part 2 of a 3 part series about sunshine, our skin and how sunshine plays an important role in our overall health.
I would like to gratefully acknowledge the author of this 3 part series, Nadine Artemis of Living Libations, who has done us all a service by improving our understanding of the important role of the sun to our health in this informative series of articles.
In this article, Nadine discusses melanin, sunscreen and the healing and protective benefits of botanical oils.
Part 2 of Wise Interaction With The Sun by Nadine Artemis
Recover your skin’s integrity
The skin’s outer layer is a thin coating of oils that provides natural anti-bacterial, anti-wrinkle, and sun-screen protection. The integrity of this layer is damaged by soaps, scrubs, chemical peels, and synthetic moisturizers. (These things also disrupt vitamin D production.) Washing and moisturizing the skin with essential oil serums and botanical oils, as well as dry brushing, regenerates the skin’s top layer, supports the collagen, and feeds the skin’s immunity.
Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun ~ Khalil Gibran
Sun yourself wisely
Start slowly but surely, and start in the spring so that you may create a protective tan with phased in exposure.
Melanin, the tanned-skin pigment, produced
Melanin in the skin transforms 99.9% of absorbed UV radiation into heat that is easily dissipated, allowing us to sidestep radiation damage that contributes to cell damage. Far more effective than sunscreen, melanin lingers in our skin long after the sun’s rays have set.
There are many, many reasons to avoid synthetic sunscreens, and here are two that may be new to you:
- Sunscreens made from synthetic ingredients create a false sense of security by disabling our skin’s early warning system – the sunburn – which keeps us from indulging in too much sun too fast. Most sunscreens only block UVB rays, the rays that cause sunburn, but not UVA rays. Over the long run, people wearing synthetic sunscreens unknowingly overexpose their skin to UV radiation. Unfortunately, sunscreen prevents them from [receiving] any of the benefits of exposure…
- UVB rays, blocked by sunscreens are the rays we depend on for vitamin D. The interaction of sun on skin is the human form of photosynthesis; sunlight in the form of UVB rays touching the skin activates our bodies production of vitamin D. Scientists are only just beginning to discover how desperately our bodies need skin-made D. In North American, the rate of vitamin D deficiency is soaring — over 75% — and research attributes the host of rising health issues, including heart disease, osteoporosis, juvenile diabetes, MS, and cancer, to the epidemic of D depletion
The best time of day for sunning is morning to solar-noon. Bare as much skin as you dare. The dosage depends on the condition of your skin and your natural skin pigmentation. Tune in to your innate warning system; if skin starts to feel warm, seek shade. Start with a few minutes a day and build-up. Remember to flip!
Botanical oils preserve the juiciness of your sun exposure
Plants, too, require wise interaction with the sun. Almost all plant oils offer some degree of ultraviolet protection to their own tissue – and ours. Officially, the term SPF can only be used to reference synthetic sunscreen ingredients, but plant oils do offer a range of protection that can gracefully extend our time in the sun. Plant oils of virgin coconut, jojoba, olive, and seabuckthorn applied to the skin provide a measure of sun protection. Raspberry seed oil also has potential use as a broad range sun protectant. Under a spectrometer, raspberry seed oil absorbed both UVB and UVC rays while scattering UVA; it may provide an equivalent of SPF-25.
Essential oils, the distillates of plants, are especially adept at harmonizing the sun’s rays with our skin. Rich in antioxidants and cell regenerative activity, they nourish and heal the skin:
If you ever burn, aloe mixed with a drop or two of peppermint, lavender, or seabuckthorn offers soothing relief and quickens healing
The essential oils of sandalwood, geranium, frankincense, immortelle and rose can fade hyper-pigmentation and prevent abnormal cell growth
Scientific studies reveal that the alpha-santol and beta-santol in sandalwood essential oil are also chemo-preventative, reversing the damage of skin lesions and tumors. Other successful studies have been conducted with geranium and frankincense
This concludes part 2 of this 3 part series on sunshine’s necessary role in our good health. If you missed part 1, then you can check it out right here.
Part 3 is coming very soon. If you choose, you can subscribe to Natural Pure Body Care and we will let you know via email as soon as part 3 is published.